Gerard F. Kennedy Writer

short story / 2014

Sam’s Memento

Excerpt:

The window looks different from where I’m standing.  There is no one there.  Well, it is early morning.  I’ve come out for some fresh air.  There is no one in any of the windows.  It isn’t time yet.  In the daylight the street looks like any other; strange how lights and evening-people can create an illusion.

I have most of the day to myself; until about 6.30.  Then I will be on the other side of the glass; in full view; exposed; except for my soul.  My soul has been playing havoc with my conscience recently; all because of a familiar face.

It has been two days now.

At first I hoped he wouldn’t notice me.  But he was looking.  There was nothing I could do.  I sat perfectly still.  Normally I would cross my legs or move in a tantalising way.

“I think he has his eyes on me.” Steph whispered.

He moved closer and tapped the window.  Steph slipped off her stool to open the door.  His voice was quiet and respectful.  I heard her mentioning the price.  Then the door closed and I listened to their footsteps on the stairs.  It was a shock; it had never occurred to me.  But I didn’t panic.  I didn’t have time.  There was another tap on the window.  This time it was for me.   Both Steph and I were kept busy for the rest of the night.

Later, as we were switching off the lights, I asked her what the guy with the curly hair and the moustache was like.  She had to think.

“Oh yes the French guy; he was easy.” She said.

“I mean he didn’t want to do anything except hold me his arms.  For the whole twelve minutes.  He didn’t get excited; instead he hummed as if he was cradling a baby.  Why do you ask?”

“No reason, just curious.  He didn’t look the sort.”

Steph looked at me suspiciously as if I was a newcomer.

Immediately I thought how stupid my reply sounded.  They never look the sort.  Actually that is not entirely true.  Some of them look like animals and they usually are.  We see them coming; nevertheless we have to be here for them.  It is the normal looking ones that come as a surprise.  I often try to understand why; why they tap on the window.