Jamie finished her late morning coffee. Speculating over the afternoon ahead of her, she left the café for her next appointment and decided to walk. In her own world, calculating figures that would sum up her presentation, the shadow walking beside her broke the rhythm of her pace. She stopped. The shadow stopped too. Turning to face the person, she frowned. He smiled.
She'd seen the man in the café. He'd kept staring at her. She'd smirked and muttered under her breath that he'd probably never seen a naturally dark-skinned woman with braids in a café at eleven-thirty in the morning drinking coffee. Then, she had taken notice of the clientele around her and grinned. She had been the only one again.
Jamie executed an eighty-degree turn and picked up her pace. He didn't look like a creep, and why would he be following her. Coincidences of this kind never happened to her, and she chalked it up to her nervousness before her presentation. She increased her walking pace and lengthened her stride.
She glanced at the sidewalk. The second shadow remained beside her. The man had picked up his pace, too, but no longer encroached on her space.
Reaching her destination, Jamie entered the revolving doors and saw the man's back recede in the distance as he continued on.
Strange, maybe I reminded him of someone he knew
Putting the shadow behind her, Jamie soared at her presentation. She was, after all, in her element, proving to a room filled with men that women were just as good as strategizing as they were. Her strategical planning in the area of space aeronautics was known, and her plan was readily accepted with no changes. When she looked out of the massive window in the conference room, the evening sun was slowly going down. Her day had been successful. She packed her briefcase and departed the conference, smiling. Even though it was a bit cooler than the heat of the day, she decided to walk back to her hotel.
She smugly contemplated what she'd accomplish and lost herself in her world again. Looking down at the pavement, Jamie saw a shadow and glanced to her right. The same man who had walked beside her at noon was next to her again.
"Are you following me?" she asked.
"No," said the man, "I'm walking beside you. Don't you remember me?"
"Quite honestly, no. Who are you?"
"Gavino," he said. "We went to the same university years ago."
"My, you have changed," Jamie said. He'd just started, and she was in the last year of her Ph.D. in aeronautical science when she met him. She'd taken him under her wing and helped him adjust to a country foreign to him and a university system that was totally unlike his own. "Why didn't you tell me that this morning?
"Because I know how you are when you are thinking deeply. You always lose yourself in your world. You haven't changed since…"