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Brief Encounter (standard:drama, 818 words)
Author: Jason DoneganAdded: Dec 27 2001Views/Reads: 2276/1Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
One man's turmoil of unwanted attention

Brief Encounter By Jason Donegan 

Henry’s was the sort of place he’d go just to chill out for a few hours
on a mad afternoon. Drink some fine coffee, read a little of the 
world’s events and generally drop out of the rat race for a while. Its 
oak-lined walls gave the establishment a sort of musty ambience that 
you only get in old café’s. None of these new purpose built places, 
designed by graduates could quite grasp the character that a place gets 
when it evolves over 60 or so years. 

Sipping his coffee and scanning the foreign news, he
uncharacteristically glanced up and his eyes caught them of another 
man. Dressed in a similar style, tortoise rimmed glasses that were ‘all 
the craze’ with the young professional most of whom didn’t even need 
glasses and so had them fitted with pain glass, short tidy hair and 
clean shaven. His suit was obviously not off the peg and clung to him 
like a well fitted glove. The gentleman smiled a warm smile and then 
returned his attention to his read. 

The next time he changed pages of his broadsheet he again caught eye
contact with his mirrored image and a little anxiety began to fill him. 
Who was this person and why was he staring at him. His mind raced at 
the thought of this chap being interested in him not for his business 
contacts or ability to deal, but for something he didn't want to give, 
in fact didn’t even want to consider giving. He glanced down at his cup 
and felt his pulse begin to rush. He’d come to this place to dropout of 
the loop his life had become. He’d often thought he was stuck in the 
same day. His life seemed to restart on the same morning each time he 
awoke, and how it grated with him. He resented yet envied those people 
whose life wasn’t dictated by the last working day of each month. He 
hated the fact that he owed most of his life to companies who received 
regular injections of cash from his account. Even the way his account 
was organised annoyed him. Designed to expose him to minimum stress by 
paying the lenders the same day he was paid to ensure that when he 
checked his statement on the same day each month at the same cash 
machine he knew exactly how much he had to spend until his next pay 
check. It seemed the things he’d thought about to make his life less 
stressful made him just more so. How he envied those with nothing. 
Everything he possessed was in material form, yet he never owned any of 
it, and by the time he'd finally paid for it he’d disposed of it. In 
fact he’d realised a long time ago that he never actually own anything. 

Now he was sitting across from somebody who made him uneasy about the
day, he was uncomfortable in his safe haven, and had had his escape 
portal from the warp speed work zone invaded. The place were he 
vanished from his stress had been intruded into by somebody who knocked 
him from his balance. And he didn’t like it. 

Every few moments he’d look up and see this person peering into his
soul, searching deep within the dark places of his personality. He felt 
naked in front of him, he felt like he was being stripped of his Armani 
suit, of his Varsace shirt and Christie’s tie. He felt exposed for the 
world to see. 

Anger was beginning to flow over the rim of his pot of control. He felt
his face flushing like a warning beacon, and he could almost here the 
warning sirens. Gradually he calmed himself. Slowly he clawed at the 
walls of control and managed to grasp it with both hands as he felt his 
heart rate and blood pressure lower. 

He’d never felt any resentment towards homosexuals before, although one
had never eyed him up before. This person before him had really got 
beneath his skin, had really stoked something up from deep within him. 
He felt a bead of sweat run from his armpit down the side of his body 
and become soaked in his crisp blue shirt. He was beginning to despise 
this person in front of him, somebody he’d never met, somebody he’d 
never spoken to, somebody he didn’t know. He cursed this 
uncharacteristic emotion, this wasn’t like him but each time he looked 
at this person he felt like he could hear his immoral thoughts about 

Suddenly his nemesis rose from the table he sat at. Gently folding his
newspaper and placing it on the table for the next person to read, he 
casually walked towards the door. As he walked passed he placed a firm 
hand on his shoulder and whispered into his ear. 

“You do know your flies are undone?” 


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