Week Twenty-Seven

Continuing on from last week…

After work, she got stuck behind some old man in the queue for the bus who was counting his fare out in pennies. The bus driver was visibly frustrated, his face fixed in an agitated frown as one-by-one the coins clinked into the money dish. She ran her index finger along the edge of the bus card until it made a dent, and then she made several more on her other fingers. The old man was almost there with the change, and was searching for just 20p more. A hand and an expensive watch from behind dipped round her, and tapped the old man on the shoulder.

The old man looked round nervously, as if he was used to being shouted at. The hand opened and presented a shiny 20p coin, and a low voice said: ‘there you go mate’. The man took it gratefully, and she looked around at the voice.┬áIt was him. There was a murderer at her back in a bus queue. Again, she wondered what the protocol for such an event was, but instead of making a fuss she swiped her bus card and sat down.

The murderer sat in front of her and she stared at the back of his head. His hair was dark and thick and styled, and in fact, she thought, he was quite handsome.

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Week Twenty-Six

The man looked quite ordinary to her. Nothing like the hollowed-out, gap-toothed, empty shell of a man that everyone had seen on the television. But still, she was sure. This man was a murderer, and she was serving him coffee.

Apart from fattening up a bit, he seemed to have gained quite a bit more money since escaping prison. His wristwatch and shoes looked expensive, and his wallet looked healthily plump. She almost wanted to laugh at the fact that she was serving a mocha to a man who had once been the most wanted man in Britain. It seemed so ridiculous.

Her next thoughts were about what she should do next. Did she suddenly shout, announce it to the coffee shop? Or wait for him to sit down, then subtly call the police in the back?

What she actually did was stupid. She handed him his coffee, said ‘thank you, have a nice day’, and watched him walk straight out of the shop and down the high street.