There was one swing in the playground that no one ever sat on. Sometimes flowers, teddy bears and cards decorated the swing then were gone. Despite all the stories, one stood out the most; a little girl fell off the swing to her death. But no one knew the truth for sure.
He watches and awaits by the front door, listening as footsteps go up and down the street. He growls as he hears the mailman approach and a shuffling of papers. The letter flap is fluttering and it’s raining inside the house. He jumps, catching white and brown papers which he rips and throws about. He snatches the last few out of a hand he can’t see and tears the letters up.
Afterwards, he sits, tail wagging and tongue lolling, his task of defending his home and family complete.
Was she late or had I missed her? I sat down and searched the coffee shop for her once again. Of her lovely long red hair there was no sign between other people’s heads. The chattering voices were loud today as the weather was bad and people were seeking warmth.
The door opened, letting in high street noise and the sound of the rain. I looked up and there she was, hurrying to join the queue. She folded her umbrella away and took down the hood of her coat. Her hair was dull today, but I didn’t mind that.
I sneaked glances then when she got a coffee, she squeezed in at a table close by. We always seemed to sit close to one another. Sometimes, I or she would do it on purpose, even if we were the only people in here, we’d pick spots a little away from each other. Other times though, our closeness seemed be coincidence.
She started looking around and I dropped my head to my phone. I couldn’t meet her deep green eyes, but I knew with a look between my eyelashes that she had spotted me.
When she finally turned away, I fixed my gaze on her and that was the start of our looking game.
I placed my coffee mug down and casually looked over at him. He was sat two tables away to my right, head down looking at his phone. I couldn’t read his face from that angle.
Who are you? I thought.
I lent back, trying like I always did to catch his eye, but he never looked at me. Or if he did I never saw him.
We were often in this coffee shop together. Over the months, I had noticed he had a pattern just like me; Saturday mornings, Friday late afternoons and Wednesday lunchtimes. He would get a medium or large coffee, the type differed, just like mine did. Then he would sit and drink his coffee whilst looking at his phone.
I had never seen him with a laptop or a book. Nor did meet up with anyone else. He always alone. Strangely, we seemed to sit close by each other, no matter who was here first or how busy the coffee shop was.
A part of me had sometimes wonder if he was stalking me or if this was some kind of set up but I had found no evidence of anything. It just seemed to be a big coincidence.
And yet, I had a feeling that something else was going on.