Her Gaze

Five minutes earlier and John’s day could have been different. Instead, he sat in his rain splattered car, unable to forget the pleasurable groans of his wife as she and the man who replaced him in their bed embraced passionately.

        Beeeeeep! John snapped out of his trance. His foot kissed the accelerator then jumped back to the brake. Despairingly, he looked through the side window at a bus stop. His bus stop, where he would normally be standing if it wasn’t for the morning’s events. A silver lining of sorts.

        A stranger, alone, waited unprotected against the increasing rain. Eyes, big, blue and round, bordered by black eyeliner, engaged his stare. They were familiar. John didn’t know why. He’d never met her, yet their mystery captivated him.

      Rain thumped on the roof like popcorn exploding in a pan as perfume drifted through the air vent. Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel. John’s nose twitched. A familiar scent, one associated with someone special he knew many years ago. The stranger moved closer, pressing her face against the glass, her presence strengthening the scent.

        ‘What do you want?’ John cried out.

        ‘You!’ replied a muffled teenage voice.

        Great! John thought. A psycho. Could this day get any worse?

        ‘I’m not that kind of man.’

        ‘That is not what I meant.’

        John edged closer to the window, the intensity of the rain challenging his hearing.

        ‘Take your face off my window!’

         Her face remained glued to the glass. John wound down the window half way. She peeled her face away from it and placed her chin on top of the glass.

         ‘You know how long I have looked for you?’

         Horror gripped him. Who was this girl?  

         ‘You expected me at the bus stop? Didn’t you?’

         The air’s cold touch caressed John’s neck, shaking his body. He tried to avoid her gaze. This creepy, drenched, malnourished teen’s gaze. Yet those eyes. Why did they fascinate him so?

         Her hand banged on the window. Clutched in her fingers, a photo. It drew John in like a fisherman bringing in his catch. His mouth went dry. His stomach tightened.

          ‘Beeeeeeeep!’ John jumped at the gesture of the driver behind him, breaking his eye contact with the girl. He looked through the blurred mix of fog and water running along his windscreen. Metres away, two red brake lights stared at him. John shook his head and stared into the rear-view mirror. He wanted to eye the impatient prick who could not control his impulses.

         John froze, his muscles numb, disturbed by his reflection. He swivelled towards the girl’s eyes, then scrutinised the photo again. An invisible claw pulled John’s head back to the rear-view mirror. The realisation hit him like a sledgehammer. The reason those eyes were familiar. They were his.

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