Fabian Alone

24HourCoffeePeople is a bustling coffee shop on the outskirts of London: this blog shares moments where caffeine isn’t the main event but the people who visit or work there really are.

This morning, Fabian was flying solo, in charge of both the industrial coffee machine and the till. With Milo’s court appearance over the ‘case of the cat confusion’ with Leona, almost all the other staff, and several customers were all called as witnesses (by Leona). As nobody is likely to speak against Milo as they all adore his coffee, I feel Leona is on a very sticky wicket. Even though Xena told Leona she did not want to give evidence against Milo, Leona had her officially called anyway. Leona doesn’t let a small thing like unwillingness stand in the way of justice.

Pressed from his usual languid approach to working life, Fabian was practically juggling to get money in, hot beverages out. Sitting at the staff table nearest the counter, was Kelv, Fabian’s boyfriend, looking on at the mayhem. He often does this; just watches, quietly from the corner, wrapped in a tartan scarf and heavy overcoat. He’s much older than Fabian and works in care homes for unruly children. He had a massive heart attack last year which very nearly killed him, and since then, he has elevated from being a quiet but constant presence in the corner to a nearly-coffee-mate. Because we all adore Fabian, Kelv gets the love too.

Fabian’s sister and father died last year – of unrelated causes; his sister suffered massive kidney failure, while his dad just dropped stone dead on the way back from a holiday in Wales. For someone so fragile, Fabian dealt with these horrible blows with a fortitude that none of us suspected he could possibly possess. But, when he had to recussitate his lover on a cold, dark pavement outside a bustling London restaurant, he disappeared into a tailspin of violent depression and it took him a long time to regain a semblence of his former self. Caring for Kelv left him tired, pale, emotional and thin, but allowed us to see past his scathing sarcasm and endless disgusted eye-rolling if you wanted a panini heating up. It’s why we don’t insist he retakes the Customer Service For Beginners Level 1 course.

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