Strangers In The Night

The title for this short story is inspired by the song that was made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra.
Romance isn't one of my strong points, but I thought I'd have a go at a short story for the Valentines competition.

I had written an ending to this but it disappeared when I tried to publish it so there currently is no ending.


4. IV

I went back to the café every evening after that, in the hope of talking to Catherine again, but to my disappointment she was never there again. Each night I'd sit miserably in my corner none the less, sipping coffee until I couldn't stand it any longer and had to get out of there. I couldn't help thinking I'd scared her off. Who could ever love me?

After so long I'd given up going to the café, it brought me disappointment with every visit. I had gone out with some friends one night in the centre of the city, and afterwards I thought I'd take a walk alongside The Seine River.  I admired all the city lights at night, and the stillness of the river. 

After I finished my coffee I couldn't bare to stay there any longer so I pulled on my tweed jacket and walked out the café. The street was lit up by lamposts running along both sides. A man sat on a low wall across the street with a phonograph blaring out some upbeat jazz as couples danced merrily along to it. I checked my watch; I had to catch the Métro back to my apartment in ten minutes. I made my way down the street, in the opposite direction to the music. I left the lively atmosphere behind me and it grew quieter and darker. I walked down the lonely street weaving make-believe romances with the girl at the café. 

The station was a five minute walk from the café. It didn't take me long to get there and as I walked down the steps by the large 'METRO' sign, I found that I couldn't stop thinking about the girl. Her beautifully imperfect face shone brightly in the dimness of my mind. A vast sadness washed over me just then, as I realised I would probably never see her again. I doubt she ever even noticed me. I tried to steer my mind away from the girl. This was ridiculous. I didn't know anything about the girl; my instincts could be decieving me. 

I bought my ticket and made my way over to the platform. The train had already arrived when I got there, and it was already half full. I got in hurriedly and looked for somewhere to sit, but all the seats were already occupied so I had to stand. I bustled my way past a large man coughing into a handkerchief and walked towards the back of the carriage. I kept thinking what would have happened if I'd introduced myself to the girl. Would she have been interested? Is it possible for me to be loved? I kept imagining scenarios of us, together, frolicking through the night. 

As these recurring thoughts passed through my mind I fell into a trance and reality seemed to dissolve around me - I was lying in a huge comfy bed, the sheets a brilliant white. Her head was resting on my shoulder and she was stroking my chest with her delicate fingers. My arm was around her petite frame and I kissed her on the head. Her sweet scent and soft skin excited me. She looked up and smiled at me, a smile that reached her eyes - 

Someone nudged me to get past and I jolted; my surroundings flooded back into view and I found myself standing back in the crammed train. I moved aside, looking rather embarrassed. It occurred to me that this girl had really affected me beyond my control; love had spited me again.

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