GOM decided he wanted to be a coffee shop proprietor, & of course that soon became reality. He found a shop he wished to buy, & purchased it quite quickly.
GOM likes people, & thought it would be something akin to keeping a hotel, without the alcohol, & long hours.
It is a very different kettle of fish, as he soon found out. Certain parts of it were still people oriented, & many a good conversation was held over coffee. But quite a few of his regular customers were elderly women, who liked to
And there were young people, who were funny & cheery, & worked at a nearby Bank. They began to come to work early, so they could call in for coffee, & a couple of laughs before the Bank opened. And soon they began coming to collect coffee for lunch from GOM's coffee shop. Where he also made toasted sandwiches, & sold cakes,
And sometimes I would be called upon to make extra cakes, & rush in to help out in the shop. And often, would find one of the young tellers, helping out behind the scenes or making their own cup of Cappucino, while GOM did the food. One girl was a lovely Indian girl, whose train got in early every day, so she had time to fill in, before work. And one young man, Ian, just liked to spend time talking to GOM.
And there was a young girl, Mandy, employed by GOM, who was cheerful & a good worker, but was often late for work.
And the young Bank tellers became friends with us. And Ian in particular got friendly with us, & our children. And he began to come to visit us, in our home at the weekends. And he gradually became quite a part of our lives. He got on well with our kids, & he had a great sense of humour, & a very kind heart.
Ian's mother had raised him alone, having divorced his father, who Ian detested, when Ian was young. He had 2 sisters, & they were older, & had moved away. Ian's mother had a chance to buy a small 1 bedroom unit, so Ian was to be 'homeless'. So he asked us, if he could come to board with us. And after consulting the kids, we agreed.
And for the most part it all worked very smoothly. Ian had a nice car, & he was generous running the kids about, or taking me to the dentist, which was a real ordeal, as I was having sedation for the visit. (I always have horror dentist stories to tell.)
Ian seemed to have friends, but we never met them. We were not sure if he had a girlfriend, but he often talked of a girl who, he said, had a crush on him. For the most part, he seemed content on the weekends to just spend time at home or visiting his mother. Our kids used to come to help in the shop, on Saturdays. Until our son could no longer stand the "boring stories of the old Ducks! Dad! How can you stand it!!??" And he did a deal with us, -he would stay home & tidy the house, & our daughter would come to the shop. So that worked, & our son did a great job keeping the house tidy & clean.
And Ian, well, he went out with his friends or read in his room.
After a time, GOM was approached by two people who were very keen to buy the shop. One was a woman who was a customer, & she just loved the whole place, & the style of food & coffee. The other was an Italian man, who was determined he wanted to buy the shop. So, GOM decided to give them a trial to see if they really would like it. The lady soon decided it was not as easy as she had thought, & it would not be her cup of tea. Plus she didnt wish to bake cakes! So that left the Italian man, Alex.
Alex came &
Anway, Alex came back, still determined to buy the shop, & GOM decided he had heard enough old lady stories to last a lifetime. So he sold the shop.
And we thought of returning to New Zealand. So we put our house on the market, fully expecting it to take 6 moths to sell. And the first lady to see it, wanted to buy it. And she wanted all the furniture. Since we had bought the furniture to suit the house, it did all look nice, & was almost new. But we decided to keep our furniture, & moved into rented premises to wait while we decided what our next move would be.
And Ian came with us, still happy to be part of our family. And round about then, we started to wonder if Ian was sure about his sexual orientation. He started to go out in the evenings dressed in very odd clothing. And began wearing studded arm bands, & neck chokers. Oh well, we thought, he is gay.
He finally denied it to us, though none of us had said anything about it. It didnt bother us, & it was his life to live. I did lie awake & worry about him getting home, just as if he was mine. And some nights he didnt come home, & that was a worry, too. Looking back, I think he may have been at a crossroads, of a kind, trying to find his 'true self'. Which would be very hard, I would imagine, given his background, & parents.
Finally he decided to move. And he would call to see us from time to time, or give us a call. And we were invited to his 21st, which was a nice party until his horrible father turned up. What a nasty man. Meeting him, went some way to explaining how Ian came to be Ian.
And finally, after we had moved to the new house, he came to see us, with a male friend, that we think was his partner. So I hope he found happiness & some peace. He had moved to Queensland, & he seemed happy. And it was lovely to see him. Because we were very, very, fond of him. And I wish him well, whereever he is now.
Cat Stevens, Bitterblue