Afternoons had been terrible. I couldn't stop thinking about things with Jed.
Did I do the right thing? Or had I flown off the handle when I should have let him explain?
The line blurred, I couldn't tell anymore. I found a job, but that hadn't done much to help get my mind off things. It was an internship so it was ridiculously mindless work. But it was work that paid - I know, I was shocked too! However, the only downside, this wasn't necessarily a permanent fix. There was three of us interns and only one job left at the end.
But was I worried? Not really. Experience - check. Attitude - check. Single, so not going to be wanting maternity leave any time soon - check. I was literally everything someone could want for their business. I could be that career driven woman if they let me.
"Hey, are you okay?"
A voice popped through my little bubble of self-consciousness. The guy gripping the rail in front of me looked pensively at me, eagerly awaiting a response.
"Er, yeah, thanks." He frowned, creasing up his eyes.
"That didn't sound very convincing. Especially as you still seem glum."
"I've just had a bad time recently. That's all."
I'm not sure why I said that, admitted this to a total stranger. Still, it was a bit of a relief to say it outloud to someone caring enough to listen.
"If you don't have to rush, how about we both grab some coffee from this neat place I know? It may cheer you up a bit."
Oh great, another guy from the bus. Man, not again. Do I honestly have some sort of way to attract the type? Like a pheromone, or something?
"Look, I've just got out of a relationship so if I gave you the wrong impression I'm really sorry." He stopped chatting away and blinked at me blankly. Did I break him? Was that possible with guys? I don't know but with my luck, I may have just found a way.
"Duly noted," he stated, returning to normal after what felt like hours but must have only been seconds. "But still, coffee, yay or nay? My treat of course."
Coffee sounded great, especially the free part. I didn't really want to say no either, that may come across rude; sure, this guy seemed a little strange, but he still seemed nice too. Surely one cup of coffee wasn't going to change my life. I was being stupid overthinking all this.
"Alright then. Guess you best lead the way."
He pressed the STOP button and waited for the bus to pull up to the curb. As the doors at the front opened up, he offered out his hand.
Let me tell you this now, this was in most definitely, totally, completely not a date. However, that doesn't mean a girl can have a little bit of harmless fun.
I didn't recognise the place. Probably because I never made time in my youth to find cool coffee places that I would appreciate in my more refined years. But still, it was a really nice place. Cosy. Cool. It had that really artisan hideaway vibe about it. It was the type of place that I could easily see the slick guy like him, sipping a cappuccino on a bright, shining afternoon.
Thom, with a H (Yes I know), was a good guy to chat to. Turns out we had a reasonable amount in common. He was a pretty funny guy. And above all else, he was the first decent person I'd spoken to in a good while. I could see us become good friends especially with the way he made me smile pretty much the whole time we were there.
"Look, I have a confession to make."
Here comes the part I was dreading. The part where, once again, something pretty good comes along and knocks me back to the ground. "Oh gosh, tell me quick." I braced myself internally, like Thom's words were a hand, quick, ripping a plaster of serendipity off my skin.
"I didn't catch you by chance. I was looking for you."
"Oh…" I said with relief. Then it hit me the oddness of his statement. "Wait, you were trying to find me? How do you know who I am?"
"Haha, well, this is going to sound really strange but I wrote about you recently. I write for that local magazine."
Wrote about me? What the hell was he talking about? I wasn't in the mag recent-"
No no no no no.
"You're the one who wrote that crazy article?"
"Yeah," he took a sip from his coffee. I tried not to snigger at the cream on his top lip and focus on the big massive revelation at hand. This was the guy that predicted my future without even knowing who I was. And he had cream on his lip.
Another tentative sip. This time he picked up the paper napkin and dabbed his mouth before he spoke. "It's, er... well, rather complicated to be honest." What an answer. No points for creativity there. And for the record, no points in convincing me to stop pressing either.
"I'll probably understand. Go for it."
"Well," he drew last the word out until it became a long continuing sound. "I kind of, sort of, see the future." He gave a chuckle. Was he joking? Or did he just hear how ridiculous that happened to sound too?
"You've got to be kidding, yeah?"
"No, I actually see the future." He said, curtly, his smirked ceased. For the moment. "I see other people's futures and I thought that I could put this to good use writing horoscopes. Unfortunately, I had to be incredibly vague to fit all the people who read them. But recently many Geminis have moved away, at least in Signe area anyway. Actually, strangely, all of them except for… two."
Thom smiled, "Yeah, you and me. Pretty weird. Coincidental almost. So I thought I would finally prove my skills at last."
He was crazy. Stark mad. Yet I felt intrigued on how he would react if I entertained the idea for a little while. "Okay. But why do you need to prove yourself to anyone?"
He stuttered awkwardly, "Because… er… ahh… that's irrelevant."
"Aw, did someone need to inflate his ego a little bit?"
He frowned, lines creasing around his brows and nose. "I like you a little less than I did a few minutes ago." I fought the urge not to chuckle at him.
"Come on. You can tell me what your reasons were. I promise I won't judge."
He gave a slight sigh. Was it really that easy? "Fine. It was, also, a little bit of payback. Annoying the boss one last time before I escaped. Seemed only fair after the bad time he'd given me."
"So I was your revenge plot?"
"No. Yes. A little." He stopped for a moment. He seemed to go to say something but changed his mind at the last moment. "Did you want anything to go?"
I crossed my arms and raised my eyebrows. "Surely you, the one claiming to see the future, already knows the answer."
"The future's constantly changing, never set in stone. Forever being altered by cause and effect. So, no, that's why I was asking."
He possibly had a point. A deep, but far too convenient, point. "Hmm… Alright. I'm fine thanks… Hey, can I get an opinion on something?"
"Sure." He smiled. He slurped the last few drips for his cup. "Is this about how it ended with that guy?""
"Yeah," I nodded.
He gave me a half smile. "Before you ask, that was only a lucky guess knowing that."
"Whatever," honestly I didn't really care about that at the moment. "In your article, you called him a liar. Do you think I did the right thing and ended it right then and there. Should I have let him explain himself?"
"Probably not. Guys suck. I doubt he would have changed his ways then you would be more upset and hurt than you are now."
"So you agree with my actions?"
He placed in his used items, his cup, his spoon, his rubbish from the lemon muffin he bought, all onto the tray with my stuff. "Oh yeah. No, you were right, he was a complete jerk. You did a good thing."
"You are literally saying that to butter me up now aren't you?"
"Possibly," he laughed. "But in your shoes, I would have done the exact same."
I stirred the spoon around my empty mug. I guess hearing that someone else shared my opinion did make me feel a lot better. But I was still trying to get my head around the rest of this delightfully strange encounter.