The Café had always been called just that - The Café. No one had ever thought that The Café would open up again, especially after what happened in October 1972 - the brutal triple murder of Maggie, Charles, and their young daughter, Lucy Orson. It was screamed on the front page of newspapers far and wide over America.
So when a British woman, Rachel McClure, brought it in 2011, everyone old enough to remember the Orson murder - that is everyone over the age of fifty-nine - muttered darkly as they passed The Café.
Rachel McClure refurbished The Café on the inside and outside, so when it was ready for it grand opening in over thirty-nine years, people were pleasantly surprised by the transformation.
It was a warm and homely, a cheerful place to go and chat with friends or to simply drink a coffee and people-watch.
The thunder rumbled overhead as James walked to The Café to meet his friend. He hoped his friend would be on time, he had a tendency to run late on everything he tried.
Just as he ducked in the doorway to The Café, the rain started. It poured down, soaking everything.
James sauntered across to the counter to order himself a cup of coffee to warm himself up.
"One cup of coffee please." He said to the cashier. He dug into his jacket pocket for his wallet and paid.
"Terrible weather, isn't it?" The cashier said.
James made his way over to a comfy chair near the roaring fire, coffee in hand. He was feeling warmer already. He took his jacket off, put on the back of the chair and settled down.
Rachel McClure made herself a cup of tea and made her way over to the fire. She sat in a chair.
"It raining like hell out there now." She said.
James looked over to the window and stared in shock at the dark sky and the torrential rain now pouring down.
He agreed, "Do you think it'll get any worse?"
As he spoke a lighting strike lit up the sky.
"Spoke too soon. What's your name?" Rachel asked, "I'm Rachel."
"Hi Rachel, I'm James." He said warmly, shaking her hand.
"If you don't mind me saying, you don't sound American."
"That's because I'm not. I'm from England originally, but I'm doing my gap year from university."
"Been anywhere nice?" She asked, interested.
James explained that he'd been to Scotland and Wales before heading overseas to places like Ireland, Spain, Italy and finally America.
Rachel was impressed, she had never had the chance to do a proper gap year. It had been straight over to Florida after the messy break-up from her long-term boyfriend.
"Excuse me." Rachel said to James as a young blonde woman came into The Café and went directly to the counter.
Celia Porter waited patiently as the owner of The Café came over to serve her. That's what she like about The Café - the service was personal.
"A cup of hot chocolate please." Celia said, while shivering.
"You're shivering, come over to the fire." Rachel said as Celia paid for her drink.
Celia followed Rachel back over to the fire. She sat across from a young man, next to Rachel. Who's that, she wondered. Rachel put her drink on the low coffee table in front of the four chairs.
"This is James," the woman said, "and I'm Rachel."
"I'm Celia." She said, smiling. She was starting to warm up due to the thick blanket Rachel had covered her up with.
Looking out of the window at the darkened sky and the rain coming down, James said, "I pity anyone who's out in this weather."
The two women agreed with him.
A dark-haired man walked quickly down the street, wanting to get out of the rain. His blue eyes flicked over shop after shop until he came to The Café. It was still open, he could see figures moving about by the lit fire. He went in fearlessly.
As he opened the door, a bell tinkled above him, causing the people to look over towards him.
The young woman sat nearest the fire has soft blonde hair that complemented her blue t-shirt and jeans; the red-haired woman looking at him with intense curiosity had on a green shirt and sensible red trousers; and the lad who had looked at him briefly before staring back into the fire looked… shabby with his too long hair and his worn jeans.
"Hello, is this open?" Raymond asked them.
"Oh yes," Rachel replied, "I'm Rachel. This is Celia." She pointed at the blonde woman by the fire, "And that's James." She introduced the lad staring into the fire.
Rachel led Raymond to the old-fashioned counter. She served him a coffee with a little brandy in it, because she thought he needed warming up.
"I forgot to introduce myself," Raymond laughed, "I'm Raymond."
Rachel and Celia shook his hand readily, but James ignored him.
James was scared Raymond would recognise him from that night a month ago.
He had been drunk. It was entirely his fault. He had rushed at the first hot man he had seen. He snogged him in a little back alley behind the pub. Raymond had pushed him off and so the fight had broke out. He had been left with a bleeding lip and a swollen eye when he had woken up at 6am the next morning.
Celia was curious about Raymond. He had appeared out of nowhere.
"Where are you from originally Raymond?" Celia asked.
"Boston," He answered, "My family are from up there."
"Then why are you down here?""'Cause I've got a business venture down here." Raymond frowned.
"Not going very well?"
"No." He responded.
Rachel had seen the way James had acted when Raymond had made his way over.
"James, are you alight?" She whispered.
"Y-y-yeah. Of course." James stuttered and promptly blanched.
"Really?" She said, disbelieving.
"I'm fine." He insisted, his voice steady.
They all wondered how long the thunderstorm was going to last for.
Morning came and the sunlight streamed through the clean windows of The Café.
James was the first to wake, his legs stretched out in front of him on the low coffee table. His feet were almost touching Raymond's. James jumped up and hightailed it out of The Café.
The banging door mad Raymond wake up. James had gone, he realised. He looked at his watch, it was 7am. He'd better go otherwise he was going to be late for his meeting. Raymond hadn't expected to end up sleeping at The Café. He left quickly.
Celia woke up leisurely, slowly waking up fully. The twins! She thought suddenly and rushed out of The Café.
Rachel awaked gradually, realising that her sudden overnight guests had gone.
She started to clear the cups up as the sun rose higher in the crisp blue sky.
A/N: R&R please.