Walking home, world still damp around the eyes from the intermittent rain that had made and unmade its mind all day. Darkish, but light enough to see the shadows of peoples' laughter as they leaned in over Thai tables and lingered, blowing furls of smoke, cradling empty bottles, making eyes at each other and laughing half-heartedly at the jokes of friends who couldn't take a hint.
As for me, well. I was walking home, smiling for no particular reason. O, for a hundred reasons! Enough to be young, to have life, to be worn at the end of the day. And wearing a new cape, fringed with black yarn that must have melted into the evening when he caught sight of me.
I caught sight of him too, but indistinctly. Out of the corner of my eye a figure, clad in black and hovering around my periphery in a way that instantly made me think I was being followed. Silly. I discarded the thought. In retrospect, his wasn't the smartest strategy but his boldness paid off as I turned a corner, ever homeward-
'Excuse me!' Surprised- was I actually right? was he actually following me?- I turned, already feeling my face lift in the inevitable, polite enquiry. He stepped towards me, one, two, three, legs swiftly spanning any distance between us, words rushing out through the night as if he had rehearsed them in his mind as he hurried behind.
'I think you're quite beautiful and I was wondering- if you don't have a boyfriend?- if we could have coffee?'
I started laughing in disbelief but he wasn't joking. In fact, his iPhone was at hand and then we shook hands- or I did- and he, taking his opportunity, reeled me in, kissed my cheek. Told me I'd be hearing from him soon and he was gone, leaving my incredulity rippling in his wake.