I miss Alf, of course. But Alf’s Cafe still serves the best food around. You can ask anyone, Tommo has done his dad proud.
I park outside Alf’s Cafe and get the usual stab of grief in my throat. When I get inside, Tommo is too busy fiddling with his new coffee machine to serve me, so I glance at the menu. For a moment, I worry that I have forgotten how to read. I know the menu by heart, but I can’t recognise a single dish tonight.
“Tommo. Where’s your seafood pizza?”
Without looking up, he replies, “It’s still on there. It is called Frutti di Mare now.”
“I’ll have a Fruity Mayor, then, with a milky coffee.”
Tommo shrugs and asks, “What is a milky coffee? A latte or a cappuccino, maybe?”
“Just make me a coffee which is like my usual.”
But I will have to wait to find out which coffee Tommo will choose for me. A dark-haired young woman walks in. Her brown eyes glitter and she has a beautiful smile.
“Ciao, Renata,” Tommo says.
For the first time since I entered the cafe, he leaves the machine. He greets Renata with a kiss on each cheek. They remain close together, holding hands and speaking of plans for a new menu.
I turn away, staring at the familiar photographs of trusted meals hung on the walls. They were taken years ago, by Alf. I am drawn to another snap, leaning against the till. It is of Alf and me. The stab of grief returns. These photos and me don’t fit in any more.
I really miss Alf.
I creep to the counter and slip the photo into my pocket.
“Come on, Alf. We need to find a new cafe,” I whisper and we leave together.