Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Random Turn

It was his solitary walk from his work to his home. He chose a different path each day. His random wandering at the end of his random but predictable day.

Some days this road, this random side street. Other days, another main road, another side street, a kink and a turn, old houses concealing their families and their histories, their joys and their sorrows.

This day, without thinking, he just took an old familiar route. He enjoyed the buzz of Brunswick Street, then the contrast of that random turn into quiet suburbia so close to the buzz of it all.

He saw her immediately in the distance, her unmistakable shape. The hoodie, her hands tucked cosily in the front pockets. It was her park, her corner of her park. It was their corner of their park and he was there with her.

Fuck, he thought, why this random turn on this random day? Why couldn't he have taken an earlier random turn? An earlier random turn and he would never have seen them. And they would never have seen him.

But he had seen them. And they had seen him. He felt sure they had seen him.

It was quiet. The street was long. This walk was going to be slow and long. It was too late for him to turn around and go back. They had seen him. He had seen them. He kept walking towards them, wondering why this was happening. A man walked by with a snuffling French Bulldog, the man's life apparently, beautifully, uncomplicated.

As the distance between them closed, she turned her back to him. Definitely. She had seen him.

As the distance between them closed, he focused on other things - these trees, this sky, those clouds, this life. He knew they both wished they had not seen each other.

The other one, he also pretended to not see.

So close now, in a normal situation, with normal people, greetings would be shared. Hey. Hey. How are you? Join us. It's good to see you.

But there was just this strange silence.

He kept walking, looking at the trees and the clouds and thinking about the weirdness of life. And they kept looking the other way, also looking at the trees and the clouds and thinking about life. There was a peaceful silence all around them.

Mercifully, the distance between them grew.

He didn't look back, just kept on walking, knowing that something had changed forever.

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