Do I Know You?

Last night’s writing prompts were a little bit different but a lot of fun. The second challenge was to write a story in which the protagonist is approached by someone who claims to know them. The protagonist doesn’t know the person but agrees to a meeting anyway.

Story by Genevieve

It’d been a long day, a frustrating day, and I needed to relax. Step away from everyone, have a drink and just shut off. I was halfway home but I really wanted a beer and knew there wasn’t any at the house, so I jumped off the bus and walked into the closest pub I could find. Before I could even orient myself someone said, “Jane?”

I turned instinctively and saw a short wide eyed woman wearing a huge grin.

“Oh my gosh! Jane! It’s been so long,” she got up from her table and closed the distance rather quickly I thought for someone with such short legs. “It’s me, Vanessa, from high school.” I could tell she was going to go for the hug so I did the only thing I could think of. I threw my arms open to accept the embrace, it’d been a rough day after all. “Wow! Vanessa!” I laughed trying to make it sound real, “It’s been too long.”

Vanessa pulled out of the embrace, hands still on my arms as she looked me over. This was the moment. If she was going to clue into the fact that I wasn’t Jane, it would be now. “Are you meeting someone?” she asked.

Inside I was giggling like a lunatic, but I maintained composure and said, “No, I just wanted a drink. It’s been a long day.”

“Join us,” Vanessa pointed to the table she’d been at where a man and woman sat watching us.

I had already taken the hug, and it was a good hug, I could call it quits now explain the mistake as I had so many times before. Jane is my older sister. I know we look a lot alike. It happens all the time. But where’s the fun in that? Besides the worries of the day seemed like such a distant concern and isn’t that why I’d come in here in the first place. So I said, “If you don’t mind…”

“Not at all,” Vanessa cried seeming to be overjoyed at the reunion. “So how have you been? What have you been up to?” she asked ushering me to the table. “Guys this is Jane, we were friends in high school.” She turned to me, “This is Simon and Paula, colleagues of mine.”

I smiled at them as I took off my coat and hung it on the back of the empty chair. I smiled, an honest smile because I had a strategy to get me through this conversation.

 

Story by John

I was just about finished. Two hours of whites, colours, drip dry, permanent press… laundry done for another week at the local Martinizers. Finally it was over. I pulled the giant bag over my shoulder and headed for the door.

“Chris? Chris? Is that you? My God. Wow! You’ve lost a bit of weight. You must be working out. Looks good. So, How’s it going? I can’t believe this. You look younger or something. So, do you live around here?”

I put down the bag and looked up at this person. I don’t think I’d ever seen her in my life, but then…

She continued unabated, “That’s some pile of laundry you got there. hey, what’d say you drop that in the back of my little car out there and we go for a coffee?”

I looked at her smile behind the tinted pink sunglasses. She must have been about my age. It was hard to tell. She had three little rings and a stud on her left ear and a small tattoo on her neck.

“OK. Sure. I guess I could take a few … minutes of your time. If you are not in a hurry, that is.” I tried to recover from my initial shock and presented a classic ‘you must be… it’s on the tip of my brain’ look. “Wait now… It’s…” I moved back a few paces from the bag in front of me and wagged my finger like I was trying to remember, “It’s… T… Tih…”

“Mickey. Silly. Gosh. It’s only been what, four, five years? Here, let me help you get that.”

As we carried my oversized garbage bag through the door, I looked around at the cars parked nearby and hesitated clumsily as she edged us towards a rusty looking Jeep hatchback.

“There we go. That’ll be safe for now.” She slammed the back door shut. “Wow. What do you need all those clothes for? Have you become famous or something?”

I was reeling now. I was getting in way over my head. I shrugged my shoulders and looked to see if anyone I knew could see us together on the street. “Well, you see Mickey. I have appearances to keep up now. You know. Travelling, conferences now and then. That sort of thing…”

“Really?”

“Really. People can change you know. I guess you figured I was a bit of a slob or something, back then?”

“Oh. No. Hey, don’t get offended. It’s just it’s been a while, I guess.”

“Yeah. It has, I guess. So, do you want to try Table Talk.”

“Huh? Table talk?” In the street, she was now apparently less sure of herself. “My,” she said, putting a strand of red hair behind an ear, “but we’ve just got reacquainted.” Then looking back at me over her shoulder, she raised an eyebrow.

“No, come on. See, it’s right over there.” I finally replied, pointing at Table Talk, the local café down the road.

“Oh sure. You mean that café. Table Talk. Sure. Let’s go there.”

“Yeah. Sure. Let’s go to Table Talk down the road. Mickey.”

I looked at the bag locked inside her car and stayed put. “Yep. Just down the road. Everybody around here knows that place. So, Mickey, how did you end up parking here?”

An ambulance screamed past us. We stood still in the glare of the midday sun. The smile on her face was becoming a smirk. “Mickey, who are we. Huh? Tell me. Who am I?…” (to be continued)

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