“I just dropped by to say hello” I said, dropping laptop on office carpet
“Oh, thats ok.. I got some work to do, though, got to get this sent off to someone now.. who needs help” Caitlin said, looking up.
Glancing round, beige office walls, and colorful things on shelves, it was nice to be back in town, so I sat there and relaxed a bit, not facing Cait, but looking out her window, finger on temple, elbow on desk separating us. Thinking how it was always a bit awkward starting off again. I knew we were both friends. And we had said that we liked each other. We had chatted sporadically on a messenger. It seemed to talk would be awkward and forced. I just sat there silently, wondering about stuff, while she worked. Occasional ticking of the wall clock, and one or two careful mouseclicks, and keystrokes filled the air with a kind of chaotic clicking. In these measured quanta of silence with busy minds not talking, friendship settled into the room. Both minds were aware of each other, but busy with their current things to do, eager to get to the next place in time, but enjoying the moment allowed by circumstance.
“So I might go down to the beach today” I said. “The sunshine will do me good. Maybe go North of the airport, maybe Santa Monica, I’ve never been there before, if I go north and beat the traffic, I can spend some time at the beach, then drive back down to the airport. The flight is not until 11pm or so.”
The silence continued, after some time she said “Yes might be best to go early, the beach is pretty nice and there is a pier… look”, she said, swinging the monitor round, with a Google map opened, and moving and panning and zooming into the Santa Monica pier. “Just go up 405, and turn left on Route 10, till you get to the beach”
I was looking at her while she was talking, nice clothes, quiet manner, confident with the keyboard, and casually professional. I liked her, no doubt, she liked me, no doubt. No affair, no romance, it would be just this, a quiet liking friendship.
“Thanks, I said, I’ll be going then. See you later then, till next time, I should be back in a few months.” I said, standing to go and lifting the laptop back on, and feeling good, relaxed, and now with a purpose for the afternoon, ready to hit the road and get going while it was early after lunch.
She looked at me then, she got up and carefully walked around the desk, and came over to me. Close up, her eyes friendly blue cool with white light.
I left and hit the road, and eventually toward sundown, stood on the pier, with the fishing, and the crowds, and the sunshine, the end of route 66, the end of the road for the day. I loved the white sails on the blue water. moving, searching in the light, like the eyes of my friend, looking south west toward home from the pier at Santa Monica.
[a surreal story with fictional characters and non fictional places]