Sitting In A Café Waiting...
I was sitting in a chair at the Café, waiting for her to return. That was when he showed up and sat.
“Hello,” he said in a monotone voice.
I replied “Who are you?”
He shrugged. “Does it matter?”
I frowned. “Yes,” I told him. “I’m not talking to strangers.”
He put his hand out. “I’m a friend. See? Now we’re not strangers anymore.”
“That’s not what I meant,” I insisted.
He smiled. “Eh,” he said. “I like agitating people. It’s a hobby.”
“How is agitating people a hobby?”
“It’s fun; I’m good at it; I do it a lot. And so, that is a hobby of mine. What sort of hobbies do you have?”
“Why do you care?” I demanded.
“Because we’re not strangers.”
I glared. “Yes we are, though. I don’t know you. Hell-I don’t even know your name.”
“Do names matter?” he asked, cracking a smile. “Honestly, though, will knowing my name change anything?”
“What will it change?”
“I’ll know what to call you.”
“Calling people’s boring.”
I said “Yeah, but that’s what people do. They call people by their names.”
“What if I don’t have a name?”
“Everyone has a name,” I protested.
He shook his head. “No, actually. If you’re not acquainted with someone, you don’t know their name. Like right now! I’m talking to you, but I don’t have a name to you.”
“But you do have a name.”
“Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. There’s no real way to tell is there? I got no identification.”
“Why not?” I asked.
He said “Well, I’m not showing it; I don’t want you to know who I am, remember?”
I made a face. “Why don’t you want me to know who I am?”
“I love mysteries. The characters are so fun, but...Sherlock Holmes...Professor Moriarty...John Watson...They’re all just names, you know? Half the people in this café won’t know who they are by name, I bet you.”
“Yes they would,” I insisted. “They’re classic characters. They’re bound to know them.”
He shook his head. “These days people lack education in classic literature...Last time I talked to someone, she told me she didn’t want to read The Catcher in the Rye in the first place, and that it sucked, and it was the worst project ever.”
I replied “Well, she’s just being stupid. How would you’ve known I wasn’t one of those people, anyway?”
“You don’t seem like it,” he answered plainly.
“What’re you talking about?” I asked.
He shrugged. “You look like an intellectual type.”
“What makes you say that?” I huffed.
He cracked another goofy smile. “I dunno,” he answered. He looked up. “She’s coming back,” he told me. “I better go.”
“How come?” I asked.
He shrugged. “Ask yourself that. Farewell,” was the last thing he said to me. He turned around and went into the next booth, talking to someone else who also looked confused.
She sat down across from me and looked at him. “Who was that?”
I smiled. “I don’t know.”
She looked at me. “What do you mean you don’t know?”
I shrugged. “He’s someone who was correct.”
She shrugged, not caring anymore. “Whatever,” she said. “Doesn’t matter. I don’t have enough money. Wanna go somewhere else?”
I nodded. “Okay, let’s go.”
We both stood up and I passed him. “You were right,” I said.
He grinned. “When am I not?” he winked.
We got out to the parking lot and she looked at me. “Seriously,” she said to me. “Who was that?”
I repeated myself; “I don’t know.”
She rolled her eyes. “Whatever. Let’s just get outta here.” I nodded and she took to the wheel, driving us off.
That was the last time I ever saw him, and the first. It didn’t seem to matter, but it somehow did. He’d been right, after all. He was proven to be correct when I went to 10 people I saw in my daily life and asked them who Sherlock Holmes was. Only 4 knew.
But they did know who he was when I brought up his character. Like he’d said; names don’t matter.
© Copyright 2016 Laurie Amber. All rights reserved.