It was Sunday. The café opened at noon. Tommy could sleep a bit more and he did. When he finally decided to leave the comfort of his bed and go downstairs, he found Collins making scrambled eggs and Farrier reading the news with a cup of coffee in front of him.
--What would you like for breakfast, honey? --said Collins without turning to face him --Oh, and good morning.
He was dancing in front of the stove as the radio filled the kitchen with the deep voice of some foxtrot singer.
--No, crepes -- said Tommy as he sat in front of Farrier. --Morning, dad.
Farrier laughed. Collins pouted. Both of them greeted him.
--That’s not funny --added Collins, then he sighed and smiled warmly --Let me guess, you want them sweet.
The blond pinched Tommy’s cheek after leaving the eggs and two slices of bread in front of his husband.
--It's been a while since I had a crepe --said Farrier --You know how it is, we get older and then we can’t eat the same things anymore.
--You're not that old. It's not like you're getting fat.
As far as Tommy knew both Collins and Farrier had a healthy lifestyle, and they did a lot of workout just by running the café.
--That’s not it --, he giggled-- Sometimes my stomach hurts and your father gets dizzy.
There was a lightness in Farrier's voice that Tommy couldn’t understand, he frowned without noticing it.
--There's no need for you to worry. It's just what happens when you get old --Farrier smiled, he had a soft spot for Tommy even if they met him when he was almost eighteen years old.
--I don’t want you to die --, Tommy spoke after a long silence, taking Farrier by surprise.
Collins and Farrier looked at him with their eyes wide open.
--It's not like we'll die young, honey --said Collins as he put down a plate with crepes for Tommy and hugged him. --So, don’t lose sleep over that, alright?
Tommy knew death. Aging, not so much. His mother had her ways to stay young, and so did Tommy's grandma and even uncle Tom, who looked half his age in the coffin without the mortician even doing a great effort. His family simply looked young even if they weren’t. His nana was almost 90 years old and uncle Tom would have been 85 that year if his heart hadn’t failed out of the blue. Their looks weren’t a mere illusion, their bodies were, in fact, young.
His uncle's death took him by surprise. Tommy was home when someone called from the hospital. His uncle had collapsed while picking peaches at the farmer’s market. Nana told him later that the doctors tried everything but uncle Tom was gone and, as she spoke,Tommy felt Gibson's hand on his shoulder. That was his goodbye, or so thought Tommy.
He never dared to call his uncle.
The thought of losing Farrier and Collins too was unbearable, so he pushed it to the deepest of his mind and ran upstairs to get ready to clean the tables before opening the café. He always found comfort by keeping himself busy. At noon the café was open but there were just a few customers. Tommy never liked slow days, too much time to let his mind wander through places he didn’t like. His mood improved hours later when the place was full.
The café closed at eight. Tommy mopped the floor, while Collins put the kitchen in order and Farrier did the records. They had dinner together and, once everything was in place on their house, they said goodnight. Now Tommy laid in bed and couldn’t keep himself from thinking about his uncle. He missed him and nothing felt the same after his death. He tried closing his eyes and clearing his mind, but all the got were fragments of his memories playing themselves like an old movie. It was almost Monday.
It was Farrier. It didn’t matter how, run over or plane crash, Tommy was shivering and couldn’t bear it anymore. He got out of bed, went upstairs and knocked on the door softly. There was no answer, but their silence somehow made him feel relieved, so he opened the door. The light from the hallway hit Collins’ face, waking him up. Tommy froze under the door's frame.
--What's wrong, honey? --said Collins while covering a yawn with his hand.
--Can't sleep, can I stay here?
--Of course, your dad can sleep on the floor.