Once again Alice sat on the bench facing the postbox, red envelope in her hands and a somewhat melancholy expression on her face. Her mind was travelling back and forth between two main points of focus. One was the situation at hand – the letter, and her decision to post it, or not to post it. The other was Chris – that strange, albeit friendly young man whom she had encountered yesterday. She wondered still what his intentions were. Why he sat down next to her, why he was so interested in her business, and why he was back, once again sitting next to her on the bench.
“Hello again” he said, smiling pleasantly.
Alice, who up until that point had been floating around in a world of her own, was taken by surprise by Chris’s sudden reappearance. And so, cautiously replied with a simple, “Hi”.
“How are you today Alice?” his tone was more confident that the previous day, as though he had, had time to prepare himelf for this, like he’d been practicing.
“I’m ok” she politely replied, “Yourself?”
“I’m great” came the over-enthusiastic response.
“Glad to hear it” Alice said turning her head in the other direction, still unsure of what to think of this man.
For a few moments an awkward silence fell between the two of them, until Chris finally broke it with a question, “So where are you from anyway?”
More questions? Alice thought to herself, sighing inside. What she really wanted was to be left alone with her thoughts. But of course, she was too polite to tell him this. And anyway, he may have seemed somewhat forward, but he seemed harmless enough… although, they also do don’t they?
“Aberdeen” she replied, “You?”
“I’m local” he told her, nodding and smiling proudly, making Alice wonder what he was so proud of. This town was nothing special, and it certainly was nowhere to be proud of. Ever since moving here all she had, had were problems. Good things seldom happened here, at least to her anyway. Yet still she responded with a calm, “Cool”, and awaited Chris’s next question, which came only seconds later.
“You in college, uni. You work?”
“Was in Uni” she told him, “Now I’m looking for work”
“Oh. Any luck?” he said sounding hopeful.
“Well no” Alice smiled, “That’s why I’m still looking”
She laughed briefly, and so did he, breaking some of the tension between the two of them, relaxing Alice a little and boosting Chris’s confidence even more.
“Fair point” he said. He was debating his next question when when a familiar jingle came from Alice – it was her phone. Once again she pulled it from her pocket and looked at the screen, and this time, without even bothering to press any buttons, she put it back before turning to Chris, “I gotta go again” she told him, somewhat dissapointed. Chris still struck her as strange, but an equally strange thing had happened in the last few seconds. For a brief moment back there, when they laughed together, he had felt like a friend. And such things were scarce in her life. So that there conversation should be cut short at this point in time was somewhat disheartening to Alice. She also knew that he was obviously interested in her in some way or another, and so she felt bad to have to dissapoint him too, and she knew she had by the tone in his voice, “Oh ok. Well I’ll see you then”
“Yeah” she stood up and threw her bag over her shoulder, “Bye”
“Bye”, and with that, once again, Alice was gone.
Chris wondered about the little red envelope.
Please read Monday first.
This is adapted from a script I have recently written, and in fact am still working on, for a short film I plan to make very soon for my university course. The film documents a week in the life of two twenty-something’s who over the course of seven days form the beginnings of what might grow to be a good friendship, and perhaps something more.
More to come…