Coincidence by Susan Gibb

I happened by your street last night, just as you were going out the door. I wanted to say hello but you seemed in such a hurry so I followed you instead, thinking that perhaps I’d catch you when you came to your destination.

It was an unfamiliar part of town–at least to me–so I parked several cars behind you. I waited a moment too long and you were out and up the stairs of an address I just scribbled down. A short while later you came out and a girl was a step or so behind you. Odd, you both got in your car.

You went to Antonio’s Real Italian Restaurant. Isn’t that funny–you and I went there all the time. I guess you must have really liked it there and hadn’t lied. I thought about going in and having dinner too, then I’d get a chance to talk to you and meet your friend. But honestly, I wasn’t very hungry.

She looked quite tipsy, your friend; was it the sauvignon? Or did you have the burgundy we always had with the lasagna? I deliberated and then decided that I shouldn’t approach you both just then. I’m sure she would have just been too embarrassed.

I waited for a long time when you dropped her off. Then I woke up in the morning and your car was gone. I would have liked to say hello and ask you if you miss me.

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24 Comments

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24 responses to “Coincidence by Susan Gibb

  1. A heartbreaker. I felt the emptiness all around her. We’ve all been there, one way or another, right? Beautiful story.

  2. Not coincidence at all. Like a suckerpunch to the gut, this one. Peace…

  3. Joanne Jagoda

    The pain of these “coincidences” is palpable. Nice piece.

  4. guy

    I like this one very much, Susan. As Linda says, not coincidences at all.

  5. awww, this is so good, tart and sweet. you really hooked me at the beginning with that voyeur vibe and then the payoff of the read was worth so much more.

  6. At first I thought the mc was a wife but then the I realized they were stalking them. Ouch.

  7. Thank you, folks. Yes, I wouldn’t feel too sorry for the narrator!

  8. I “followed” you gladly! Thanks!

  9. Melissa McEwen

    aaugh, I would hate to be the narrator. I would have went in, though, to say “hi,” but the narrator seems to not want to really know what’s going on even though it’s going on right in front of her eyes, but if she doesn’t get the details, I guess, I wouldn’t seem real to her. After all, it could be a “cousin.”

  10. Andrew

    Real people, real pain.

    Excellent job, Susan.

  11. See, stalker on the one hand; what so many do, truth be known. (“What Andrew said!) Oh, pain – maybe the wrong remedy, but hey, we all make mistakes. Two sides of this coin, you’ve painted quite well. This story lingers – great work, Susan.

  12. Alexandra Pereira

    Enjoyed your story! Very realistic and “well told”. :-)

  13. the voice of ironic detachment works so well…we’re voyeurs in this, step for step, getting close to the reality, but then held at a distance, and turned perfectly with that zippy last line: I would have liked to say hello and ask you if you miss me.

  14. Oh, but I loved this. So plain-speaking but sad and weird and real.

  15. Beautiful. Something only a Scorpio could write :-)

  16. sometimes we just can’t get away from our own suppositions and the weight of nagging what ifs and odd curiosity – this piece really gets under my skin as i can’t figure out exactly who she is and what their relationship is/was – are they married? is she a stalker? so very compact and well crafted – excellent work susan.

  17. aww, how wonderful. and sad. i have been there but, much to my shame and chagrin, on the other side. i was young and heartless then. marvelous story, susan, which will stay with me.

  18. Kim Hutchinson

    This is simply wonderful, Susan. It’s a straight shot to the heart, and you can feel the ache.

  19. Loved this one Susan! Evokes the best of one of my favorites, Lydia Davis. Just superb writing!

  20. Michael Parker

    Susan, this is a wonderfully crafted story; the emotions are on the surface but not over-the-top and so the narrator’s heartache cuts us as much as her. A great grasp of humanity in this. Sad. Tragic. But so well done. Great work! Best,

  21. Maude Larke

    ab-so-LUTE-ly creepy. BRAVA for the tone.

  22. A sad sad stalker. She needs to get a grip. That said, I recognize her and her internal dialogue. Well done! Doris

  23. Don’t know what to make of her. She seems almost too detached to be stalking (though I guess that type of stalker would be more creepy), though ‘your friend’ and ‘ask you if you miss me’ hints of menace. You never fail to empress.

  24. Pingback: Week #41 – Coincidence | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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