Every day, she came to my cafe exactly at 4pm. She had a petite frame and stooped while walking. She used to slowly walk towards the blue chair, pull it out, hang her umbrella from the backrest, sit down carefully and then open a book, usually the same book.
I knew her food preference, cafe latte and honey croissant, and always served it with special care. She sat there till it got dark and then slowly left.
She never sat on any other chair. The days when some other customer occupied the chair, she used to patiently wait, till the customer left. Recently, I started putting a reserved board on that chair around 4pm.
Then, suddenly she stopped coming. Initial couple of days I was busy and didn’t realise her absence. Gradually I started missing her.
In this small village everyone knew each other. However, no one seemed to know her.
One day, about 2 weeks after she stopped coming, a young man came to my cafe. He ordered 200 honey croissants to be delivered at the church the next day. He said it was for his mother’s funeral mass.
I put the ‘reserve sign’ on the blue chair permanently.