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I watched her from inside a café, my fingers lazily flicking through the pages of a magazine, feigning interest. Her bright red Macintosh caught my eye as she flitted across the puddled road in her impossibly high heels. I’d always wondered how women walk in shoes like that, and here she was running! Like a superhero. I was in awe of her. Back then.

She hadn’t seen me (why would she?) so I followed her at a safe distance. Her body dipped and swayed as she made her way through the steady stream of passers-by. Her umbrella held aloft to keep from jabbing her fellow travellers. She seemed slick and elastic, changeable. Like an eel, she slid through the crowd. If it wasn’t for her red raincoat, I might have lost her. Long, long legs striding across the pavement. Not one mis-step in all her travels. And I should know, I’d been watching her a long time.

I knew she was headed home. This was her usual route at the usual time. It was all falling into place, all I had to do was keep up with her and keep out of sight, which would be harder once we got away from all these other rush hour home-goers. I took extra care as I followed her onto her block, then her street, closing the distance between us as she neared her apartment block.

It was exciting being this close to her, knowing her intentions. Feeling like I was inside her mind. She’d be thinking about getting out of the rain. Taking off her shoes, her rain coat, slipping off her work clothes and putting on her pyjamas. That was always the first thing she did when she got home. She’d make some tea. Take her always pre-prepared food out of the freezer to reheat.

It would be such a shock when she saw me. I could imagine her eyes opening wide, her mouth forming that perfect ‘O’ of surprise. Red lipstick, still glossy and perfect. I adjusted my scarf, tucked my head down and stayed close.

Image credit: Renata Nakova | Pinterest