The Lonely Man

The coffee shop is full of people as per the norm.

Friends, family, colleagues and more.

In amongst the crowd a lone man catches my eye, it seems no one else has seen or taken any notice of him; it is like he’s a ghost among the living. No older than myself but very slight in frame and stature, drinking a large hot chocolate with a sultry look. The more I focus on watching his small and gentle movements, the more fascinated I become. He raises the drink to sip it every 7 seconds as if part of a clockwork routine, then I begin to feel a cold sorrow filling my soul.

I take notice of his clothes; slightly worn in, but about 20 years behind the current fashion trends. A plastic rain mack is draped over his chair, he seems old before his time, he seems to be living a life that isn’t really his.

A short time passes, possibly 5-10minutes at the most and then he leaves.

My eyes follow him, he limps towards the door and struggles to pull it open. I decide to stand and help him. He looks at me with a sad smile and says thank you.

Then he was gone.

Now I am sat here wondering, thinking about so many different things, perhaps I was wrong about him. Maybe I wasn’t seeing what I thought, maybe I was simply seeing my reflection cast on a vacant face.

A Brief Encounter

I am in a different part of the country, but nothing has really changed.

I can sit and spot all everyones doppelganers from my home town.

I see the old man with his paper, the proud young other with her new born, the ambitious staff member and I even see my own counter part. I see that one person who like myself sits and watches what is going on, constantly taking in everything, making sure not to miss a single thing no matter how small. The only difference is my living shadow is a girl..

As our eye cross paths there is a shared familiar smile, followed by a random laugh. I catch her looking over, as she does me. Perhaps it is because I am not form around here that intrigues her so, I know if the roles were reversed that’s what I would be thinking.

I close my laptop an pack my bag ready to leave, she does the same. As we both head towards the door I reach it just before her and open it offering to let her through first, she declines, I insist but she once again declines saying ‘I’m in no hurry, you go first.”, after a brief hesitation I go to walk through as does she. Colliding in to one another we stop and just burst out laughing, she then goes through and I follow.

We smile and say our goodbyes, but our eyes seem drawn to each other… It feels like an eternity passes. Neither breaking eye contact first. A rush of people break the line of sight for us.

I stand still for a second and smile to myself. Slowly turing I begin to walk away, but to my surprise I hear a soft voice calling after me. She had waited for the crowd to subside and came over to me. I asked how I could help, she smiled and said “How about you buy me a coffee?”… As flattering as this was I tell her that my heart lies with someone else.

Once again she smiles at me “Ok.’ as she turns to walk away she looks bad over her shoulder with a flirtatious glare in her eyes and says “Maybe next time.’ then continues to walk away.

The funniest thing ,is there won’t be a next time.