“blind belief” by daniel ho yeung

Another rainy day in the city. It was another Tuesday afternoon and I was sitting by the windowsill at the coffeehouse around the street corner. The gloomy sight outside the window suddenly gave me a chill, and I had to take a sip of my black coffee. On a day in which the window looked constantly sprayed with a fire hose, I wondered if it was the right time to speak with Jonas.
For the past decade, Jonas would take Alice to this same coffeehouse everyday – in the afternoon at around this same time. Of course, I would accompany them, not just because of the great coffee, but because the place seemed to make, well at least for me, feel like at home. For the past decade, my brother would take his beloved wife here everyday, and after she died, he still came to the coffeehouse – at the same time, in the same happy mood, and strangely to say, acted as if Alice was still there with him.
Well I mean, his wife died, so give this man a goddamn break. It felt kind of strange at first. Jonas was sitting across me, as usual, and he was talking to Alice on his left, as always, but the problem was there was nobody there. No one was responding. He was even crazy enough to ask the waitress to pour Alice a cup of coffee. It was quite frightening actually at first for both me and the guys who worked at the coffeehouse, but it’s been over a year since Alice passed away, and we finally got used to it and played along.
It was around four-thirty when Jonas came in, apparently holding his wife’s hand. Old Gerald and the coffee lady smiled broadly and greeted him with their usual kindness. I waved at Jonas, giving him the same bright smile as he walked towards me.
“Damn weather today is it?” my brother said as he eased himself across me to the seat next to the windowsill. I paused for a moment and replied, “Yeah I know. So how have you and Alice been?” We both looked at the empty seat as if awaiting a response. “Oh

good, good,” I played along.
Jonas then lit a cigarette as the waitress poured a cup of coffee for the imaginary Alice. Jonas then said, “You know Vic, Alice and I have decided to leave town for a while and move down to Arizona.” He continued to smoke, “We are gonna have so much fun you see, I’m sure Alice will love it. Won’t you dear?” As he spoke, he put his arm around an imaginary shoulder.
I paused briefly and I finally made my decision. I bit my lip and finally spoke, “Jonas.”
“Just a second Vic, excuse me – “
“Jonas, please.”
“My wife would like -“
“I’ve got to tell you this.”
“Just hold on Vic, yes, Alice would like -“
“It’s very important.”
He was finally too annoyed with my interruptions and he waved the waitress off. “Alright, what is it, Victor?”
“Um, is anyone sitting next to you?” I asked stupidly.
“Well of damn course Alice is right next to me!” Jonas replied, surprised at such a stupid question.
“Jonas,” I leaned closer to him as I spoke, “I don’t see anyone. I mean, none of us see Alice.”
My brother’s hoarse laughter followed my seemingly strange comment. He coughed as he took another smoke from his cigarette. “She’s dead, Jonas,” I told him.
“What the hell are you talking about, she’s right next -“
“She died of cancer ten years ago.”
“If she died how come -“
“She is just your imagination Jonas.”
“That’s bullshit!”
“Well if it’s bullshit, how come you’re the only one who can see her!”
I was raising my voice. The whole coffeehouse was looking at our table.



“blind belief” by daniel ho yeung