a dark, mysterious, desperate tale
Sandra stopped mid sentence.
"Well, go on," said the strange man who had just entered the small, toothpaste-green waiting room.
Sandra said nothing but just kept staring at him, her mouth slack, her cell-phone loose in her slender hand.
He walked casually to one of the black metal framed chairs and positioned himself on it, his legs crossed, his hands resting casually on the arms of the chair. Flashes of silver glinted from his waist as he moved. Other than that, and his pale white face, the man was entirely black. His boots, his tight pants, his shirt, his trench coat, his gloves, his hair--all black. So black that they seemed to swallow the light around him. But the blackest part of him was his eyes. There was no way to tell where his pupils ended and his irises began. All was black. And the friendly, pale lights of the waiting room did not reflect in them.
Sandra snapped the phone shut without bothering to finish her sentence or satisfy the irritating voice on the other end.
"What are you doing here?" Sandra asked, her voice the casual opposite of her taught frame.
"Thought I'd drop by. See how you were getting along," he replied.
Had someone been recording their conversation, it would have sounded like the ordinary conversation of casual acquaintances.
"But I thought your work was demanding, pressing."
"It was. But I fired myself. I think I like free time."
"So what are you doing now?" she asked.
"Talking to you."
"But I have my own life,” she said. “You know that. That's why you let me... that's why we parted."
"Yes. And after some contemplation I decided that I wanted my own life too. That's why I got fired."
"But what does this have to do with why you are here, talking to me?"
"Well, I've decided that I don't want to be alone in my own life, so I thought I'd ask you if you had any advice about making acquaintances."
"You're making all this up, aren’t you? Some cruel joke of yours, isn't it?" her voice was strained as she tried to conceal emotion.
"No, it’s true. I fired myself. See?" he carefully removed his gloves. His hands were black and burnt, but clearly still useable.
He put the gloves back on.
"So, will you teach me to... make friends?" Something glittered in his eyes as he spoke. Two tiny little points of reflected light.