The shadows

The door swung open. The glare from the sun blinded Martin for a moment as he looked up from his place in the shadows. A man entered the coffee shop and walked up to the counter. Martin sank back against the leather seat, breathing out slowly. He fiddled with the newspaper on the table in front of him and continued to watch the door. It wasn’t like her to be late.

He was wondering whether he should have stayed at her place last night when the door opened and she entered. He felt himself relax; he was relieved she was finally here. She looked beautiful, fresh. Her long hair was pulled back and she was wearing white, not black. Martin felt a warm glow as he noticed this evidence that she was getting over her last boyfriend who had died in a motorbike accident a few months ago. Martin prepared to stand up so he could join her at the counter. He would speak to her today.

He froze. What was this? She had started talking to a man in the queue. The one who had come in just before her. He watched as she laughed at something the man said and placed her hand on his arm. They collected their coffees and turned to walk to a table together, still chatting. The warm glow turned to stomach clenching sickness when Martin saw the man’s face and realised that he was the driver of the red volvo which had dropped her at her apartment last night. Martin had assumed the man to be a work colleague, not a rival.
Martin shook himself, chasing the anger away. He remembered the satisfying crunch of metal against metal. He reassured himself that this ripple in his plans could be dealt with. With the tightness in his stomach slowly releasing he took a sip of his coffee and continued to watch.

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