Chapter 10:

(Tristan) Where’s Wabong?

Cafe Eris

The last two months have been CRAZY.Bookmark here

Not that I didn’t think this place was off the minute I walked in. I mean, my boss is an all knowing bald eagle, but there’s so much more where that came from. Bookmark here

My first day at work, I met a kpop idol. Now I’m not into kpop or anything, like I know TBS, wait maybe it was STB? Anyways, it doesn't matter. The point is, it should've been a good experience. Bookmark here

But instead of speaking to Coco-chan, dubbed “The Nations Poster Child”, I got paged by his mother for messing up her order of non fat, no dairy, no meat, vegan, extra cream, extra egg, gluten free, oat milk matcha latte with extra foam and a frog design at a 45 degree angle on top. I memorized the full order out of fear that she’d show up again on one of my shifts. I shuddered at the thought. Bookmark here

Although, she did leave a nice tip.Bookmark here

I thought getting yelled at by a super celebrity’s mother on my first day might’ve just been a once in a lifetime event. You know, maybe things would just become normal after that. Bookmark here

I forgot where I was working. Bookmark here

Later that day, some girl started screaming out of nowhere. I get that the start of the school year can be stressful, but she was definitely going through...something else. When I gave her a glass of water, she asked me if I was sure my name was Tristan, then she mentioned some dude named Trevor. Is that, like, a trick question? Is this another interview test set up by Scanta? Maybe I’m getting tested by a higher power or organization. Woah, maybe that girl was like an agent or something. But she didn’t look like a spy. Maybe that’s what they want me to think. Wait, is my name really Tristan? At this point, I don’t even know anymore. Bookmark here

“Stop zoning out Tristan. There’s an order of black coffee for table three.”Bookmark here

I snapped out of my delusional rambling and realized my other coworker had decided to once again, not show up to work. Bookmark here

“Where’s Wabong?” I asked, impatiently as ever. Bookmark here

“Oh, isn’t THAT a question I’d like the answer to,” said Scanta, giving an exasperated chuckle.Bookmark here

The only other time I had seen the guy was when some unassuming looking girl started harassing him for info on what Coco-chan ordered. I wasn’t about to endanger my own life, so I just took my break early.Bookmark here

“Wait, where’s Ben? Isn’t he on shift today?” I asked Scanta.Bookmark here

“Oh, he broke the ice cream machine,” he responded casually, “So he got kicked out again.”Bookmark here

Again? Before I could respond, he continued. “Oh don’t worry, he’ll be back,” Scanta said, rolling his eyes. “I’m checking out now. Bye.” I waved as he exited.Bookmark here

Wait. Bookmark here

“This is your café??? Why are you leaving???”Bookmark here

He was already out the door.Bookmark here

Not all days were as chaotic as the first. Days like today were suspiciously peaceful. But then again, as strange as ever. Bookmark here

I glanced over at table three where Anastasia was sitting. She was pretty interesting, kind of like an old timey detective with her signature beige trenchcoat, black fedora, and dramatic way of speaking. Her assistant joined her every once in a while to talk about mysteries and cases. One time he started shaking, talking about some robber that I think ended up being a raccoon or something. Bookmark here

Speaking of which, I saw the most horrifying thing the other day, so I sort of understood where the assistant was coming from. Bookmark here

I decided to show up a little early for my shift last Saturday like a responsible employee. Apparently I didn't learn my lesson the first time. Bookmark here

I walked past the bald eagle crouched down in the alley beside the café. He was speaking to a raccoon like they were conducting some business deal. I swear he gave me a look. The raccoon I mean.Bookmark here

Everyday I lose a little piece of myself at this job. Bookmark here

I watched as Anastasia inspected the coffee with pH strips, then chugged it like it was a glass of room temperature water. Bookmark here

Scanta - I mean, the bald eagle - walked back into the café and flashed me a grin. Uh oh.Bookmark here

“Hey Tristan, special order for a very, very important customer,” he said with an unusually serious tone. “Triple chocolate milkshake with extra sugar, melted cotton candy, heart sprinkles, caramel drizzle and cotton candy whipped cream on top please. Ooo, put some ice cream on it too maybe.”Bookmark here

I sighed, it must be for one of the hyper kids that come into the café. There was one who went around with his friends talking about baking guns and sharing guns. It’s unfortunate how young kids are learning about these things nowadays. Bookmark here

I didn’t notice any children in the café today, though. I finished the milkshake with a dash of sprinkles on top and watched as Scanta grabbed a squiggly straw and took a big sip while walking back to his office. Goddammit. Bookmark here

Anastasia seemed to notice that whole interaction, but said nothing. I’m sure Scanta was a mystery that no one in the entire world could solve. Bookmark here

Afterall, the man used the café to throw raves with a live DJ... who was unexpectedly good? Not quite sure what or how or why, but there was definitely something about it. DJ McDizzle’s onstage persona was wildly different from his everyday demeanour, though. Again, I didn’t question any of that. I’m no detective.Bookmark here

On another day - one of the days it was super busy - a couple came in with their daughter and let her run around while they argued the entire time about kitchen appliances. I’d seen the woman in the café before, and she seemed very professional. Her family was obviously a different story. At least the husband was nice: he tipped me extra. Bookmark here

But after all of that, I still hadn’t seen that pretty girl again. I sighed and slumped on the counter at the thought. Bookmark here

Just then, the front door opened letting in a gust of wind. A figure wearing a red hoodie stood in the frame, as if to make a grand entrance. Bookmark here

Scanta had come by the front counter to drop off the empty milkshake glass. He turned to see who had come in and opened his arms wide in a welcome. Bookmark here

“If it isn’t the man himself!” he beamed.Bookmark here

“Yep. It’s me, the man himself,” the figure replied.Bookmark here

Oh, there’s Wabong. Bookmark here

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