In or out
“Don’t fall!” he says, like always. Big grin on his face, coffee in hand, heading off to whatever and wherever he goes every day after he passes my window.
I’m perched on the ledge, like always. One leg hanging free, one safely inside. My heart balances too. Maybe he has a wife. Maybe he’s gay. Maybe he doesn’t even notice when I’m not here.
I notice. Where was he Monday? Sick or on vacation? I worried that he’d moved or changed jobs, but he’s back today.
“Don’t fall!” he says. Today isn’t the day to admit that I already have.
I tried, I promise, but nobody who studied English in a British high school can see a woman in a casement and a man on the ground not end up with a love story, at least as one of the thoughts in their head. Better this than the other kind of leap Juliet might have been contemplating.
When you walk the same route to work day in, day out, there are people who populate that walk like old friends you’ve yet to meet. They are so much a part of the walk that you miss them when they aren’t there – wonder where they’ve gone and whether they will be back. I remember one such person from my daily commute in Bristol, 15+ years ago. I wasn’t romantically interested like this character, but I still felt a little connection to him. Then I moved away and of course I didn’t say goodbye because I’d never said hello, but I wonder if he noticed.