Not Quite Acquaintances

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium
A short story inspired by the Imaginarium House One Word Prompt - Gone.

Submitted: June 20, 2017

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Submitted: June 20, 2017

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Not Quite Acquaintances.

 

I used to see you every day as I walked past your house on my way home. You would be outside, perhaps attending to your garden; removing weeds or watering plants; tidying up or even, sometimes, painting. That was on the dry days. The temperature did not seem to bother you as winter or summer, hot or cold, you would be there, always busy with something.

 

When the weather was wet you would be indoors, but somehow you always seemed to be by your front window when I passed by. You would be cleaning; rearranging ornaments, wiping your windows; always occupied whenever I saw you.

 

At first we didn’t take any notice of each other, acted as though we were totally oblivious to each other’s presence. But over time we started to raise a hand in greeting; just a casual wave, nothing more. I was twenty-five and you were more like seventy. We had nothing in common apart from living nearby.

 

And then a few years passed and we learned each other’s names. I introduced myself as Jack and you said you were called Fred. We then greeted each other whenever we met, just the odd sentence, nothing important. But it was nice to speak to someone in the neighbourhood. You were the only person that lived close to me who I ever got to spoke to and it made me feel less isolated.

 

And then one day, just a couple of weeks ago now, you were not there. No sign of you at all. And it was the same the next day and the next. I heard that you were in hospital, taken suddenly ill. Then yesterday, as I was walking towards my door I heard two women talking, saying how sad it was that you had died.

 

We were never friends, not quite acquaintances, but I really miss you now that you are gone.

 


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