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As our eyes met across the busy café tables, I was struck with the feeling that…
People Watcher by Christine Bialczak
As our eyes met across the busy cafe tables, I was struck with the feeling that you knew. You had this look in your eyes that saw into me. I could tell you weren’t just scanning the room. This has never happened before, this feeling that someone can be inside my head. It was a nice change if I admitted it but that was assuming I was right. This was the first time I have ever seen you and I do know what you are thinking, but can you know what I am thinking? I drop my head and stare down at my newspaper, trying to clear my mind of all thoughts, yours and mine, so I could get a fresh look at you. When I finally raise my head to look back at you, you are gone.
“That was close,” I murmured to myself. It wasn’t that I was afraid for others to know, for you to know, it was just so hard to explain to those who only saw part of me. I mean I have never seen you before or talked to you. I didn’t even know you personally so how could I open up with something so mentally confusing? That was the hardest part; trusting my decision to say something or not. It had happened exactly like this before and the minute I opened my mouth to explain, it was a disaster. All I know is I was relieved to see you haad gone, even though you were pleasant to look at, unlike half of the patrons in this place.
When I first realized my ability to hear people I thought it was just my imagination running wild. I mean, how can you look at a stranger and suddenly know who they are and what they are about? It didn’t happen with inanimate objects; that had been one big failure in that poor, old man’s junk shop. I have to smile to myself when I think of that day. I stood in that shop for hours, trying to hear what all those old junk pieces might say to me, but nope, nothing. It had been disappointing as I thought maybe I could learn some new bit of history that is unknown to the rest of the world. No such luck. The only thing I heard was the old man farting and the scuffing sound as he moved about his shop.
I don’t know when it happened or what it is called. I have Googled the subject thousands of times, coming up with nothing. But it was there, a part of me that could hear right into someone’s thoughts. It was a creepy idea when I said it aloud, I will admit that. Stalker 101, Psychopath Next Door, Fucked-up Weirdo in a coffee shop. Yup, I fit them all, when I didn’t explain myself well.
Looking back down at my paper I began reading the articles on the first page. Nothing exciting. More news about school shootings, which always broke my heart, and of course more about the Republicans versus the Democrats. That topic is really getting old. With all the money they make up there in Washington, why not just buy someone who is completely neutral to come and fix the issues. That seems reasonable to me.