No one else saw him, or at least it didn't seem that they did. Although no one walked right into him, they seemed unaware, somehow, of him standing there. He should have been jostled, bumped and muttered over and tutted at, like anyone else would be if they just stood still, blocking the way.
So they don't look at him, this is the City; no one looks at anyone. You don't know who's going to look back at you. Catch someone's eye round here and you've got a stalker, or a guy who says he's lost his busfare and has to get to his son in hospital, or a woman who says she just needs change and while you're counting it out you get robbed. And here I am, he realized, staring like a psycho. Get a grip, Eddie.
The moment he thought this he saw the man's head turn. He was tall, head and shoulders above most people, and Eddie, somehow, couldn't look away, was forced to meet the man's eyes. There was a flash, like strong sunlight reflected off glass, blinding.
Eddie blinked, turned and began to walk, shaking his head.
Crazy, he thought, I'm crazy. Well I always suspected it, but now I know for sure.
Nevertheless he was shaken, had to resist the impulse to keep glancing over his shoulder. People around him seemed more antagonistic than usual, uglier even, their mouths drawn into unfriendly sneers, their eyes hard. A fat woman in red trundled her travelling case mercilessly into his shins. He was jabbed in the head by someone's umbrella and had his elbow smacked hard by a large man in a hard-hat and fluorescent jacket.
Rubbing his elbow and cursing, Eddie dived into the comparative safety of a cafe and fought his way to the end of the line. At the end of ten minutes he had coffee and a chocolate brownie and had even managed to find himself a seat. He was sitting with the brownie in one hand, his mouth open to take a bite when a woman slipped into the chair opposite him, so close her knees brushed against his.
Instead of scowling and turning away she smiled so broadly her face lit up and her green eyes fairly glowed with pleasure.
"You can see!" she said.