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Letters- Part 8 of 10

Dearest Reader,

I cannot for the life of me understand what drives people to walk slowly in front of me.

When I choose to leave my home and walk the streets, perhaps to the city centre, in search of coffee or food or even a book, people consistently choose to walk in front of me at speed that resembles clogged pipes.

Do they not realise that I have things to do? Places to be?

How do they think I'm going to make it to the bank? Or the coffee store? Or the grocery store?

I cannot begin to explain the nauseating feeling of walking behind two people, whose hand held arms block the entire footpath, like their happiness is worth wasting my precious time.

I'm sorry for troubling you with my petty antics, but I can't hold in my anger at such ridiculous behaviour.

If I am not perfectly on time there are things I will miss, each minute that passes me by is valid, if I miss a single one, I am wasting minutes that could be used for more useful things.

Not only that, but if I miss too many minutes, I start missing occasions and events that transpire in the minutes I miss.

Like, for example, last night.

I was walking home, after a particularly long walk to the grocery store, when I was held up by two people, laughing, drunk on something already, at only 10pm.

They were stumbling into one another, the woman teetering on her heels as she leaned into him.

Both their bodies took up the entirety of the footpath.

Something I cannot stand.

But, I was polite, I said excuse me, I waited for them to move, I said it again, louder, I waited again.

Then the woman turned her head to look at me, her perfectly waved hair blowing in all directions.

She laughed, tugged on the man's sleeve, and laughed some more.

It was at this point I realised, if I didn't get home soon I would miss your ritual for bed that you so precisely followed.

I would miss your hair brushing, and you dressing for bed, and your nightly stare down with your reflection in the floor to ceiling mirror.

The same one you had every night, where you prodded your skin and slumped your shoulders, making my heart ache as you sighed.

That was something I could not miss, especially not for the likes of two drunk strangers.

But they refused to move, every time I stepped to the left to try and squeeze past them, she would snicker and move in front of me, stopping my path.

But I remained calm, I moved to the right, to try and get around the man this time, but then they would move again, their laugh coming out as fog around me, their happiness a burden too great for me to handle.

I tried, sweet girl, I really did, but I couldn't contain myself.

I pushed her right over, so hard her heel snapped under the pressure and she fell in front of me, her ankle rolling painfully under her body.

She screamed so loud my eardrums burst.

But nothing matched the volume of the man's voice as he called after me.

So loud and direct, like he honestly thought I was going to stop for him, listen calmly to what he had to say.

He had wasted enough of my time already.

In the end he gave up and went back to help the wench who only screamed louder in protest, the pain in her ankle growing with each one of her worthless breaths.

But I did not miss your ritual, I did not miss your hateful stare at your beautiful body and I did not miss your sad eyes as you turned out the light.

What I did miss, was the police car, watching me walk home, watching me watch you and weighing up my motives.

I was so focused on making it home in time to see you that I missed their patronizing stares as they recorded information about me, took down my house number, noted its closeness to yours.

I missed their shared glance as they called it in, they think they had found their man.

But what I did not miss was their car, pulling away from the curb while I watched, knowing they would be back tomorrow to question me.

I knew all of their questions, knew they would ask if I knew that trash you went out with on that one late night.

I knew they would ask why I had moved here, to this dingy home, where a man had killed himself without warning.

I knew it would not take them long, they would piece it together, work out my utter and endless devotion to you and realise why everything was the way it was.

I did not have much time.

But I couldn't let myself leave you here, while I faced trial, was found guilty and sent to live in a cage with solid stone walls and iron bars that would keep me from you.

I could not accept the fact that I would never be let out of there, that I would miss your nightly ritual every night, for the rest of my sorry days.

That I would never get to watch you drink coffee like each sip was your last.

That I would never get to see the day where you would finally notice me, not for the reasons I'm sure the police would give you, but for your own desire to love me.

I cannot force you to love.

I will not.

But I will not leave you here without me, that would be selfish and cruel and I could not burden you with the loneliness that I am sure you would face.

So, in that moment, as I watched the police car pull away, I knew, that tonight would be the last time I watched your nightly ritual.

I knew that tonight would be the last time you or I would feel alone.

And in that moment I realised, I could not let you live without my eyes to watch you carry on.

Your Secret Admirer

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