Pleasantries

by Alex Thornber

Emily walked the same route home from work every night; she knew the city so well now that it no longer scared her. Every night for the last two years a man who looked to be in his late twenties would jog past. Emily didn’t know him at all but after a few months of exchanging smiles, they never failed to acknowledge each other warmly.

“Good evening Sir,” she would say.

“And to you, Madame,” he would reply as he jogged past. Sometimes he mimed tipping an imaginary hat to her.

One night he stopped running a little way up the road, just ahead of Emily. He then walked up to her with a smile and said, full of fake confidence, “Every evening we exchange pleasantries and I don’t even know your name.”

“It’s Sophie,” she lied.

“Good evening, Sophie. I will see you tomorrow. I’m Andrew.”

Emily smiled and Andrew jogged away.

The next day Emily called work and asked to be taken off the evening shift.

Alex Thornber is writing, studying and living in London.

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  1. #1 by Teresa Stenson on October 17, 2009 - 10:00 am

    This is great. Just the right amount of eerie – or paranoia. Blurred. I guess it’s about almost getting what you might want, then backing away. Really nicely done.

  2. #2 by Nik Perring on October 19, 2009 - 12:32 am

    Nice story. I enjoyed it.

    Nik

  3. #3 by Jessica on June 6, 2011 - 1:49 pm

    Alex, I enjoyed your story :)

    Jess

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