Here's my submission to@VinMcCarthy 's latest flash fiction challenge, which prompts:
Write about a chance encounter. Focus on concrete details. Where is it happening? Who are these people?
To the left is Amanda. On the right, that's Nathan.
These people do not know each other; at least, they don't think they know each other.
And I guess they don't. They've never met, never shaken hands. But to Amanda, Nathan is familiar.
She realizes: she has seen this man, in the elevator. Of her apartment. He lives just below her, but they have never met.
Each night they contribute to the elevator button's greasy shine; each night they exit, Amanda on the 7th, Nathan on the 6th; each night, they fumble for the key; each night they push the lock; each night they close the door, once mud-brown, now closer to sandpaper; each night they hang their coat on the silver hook; each night they have a beer, Amanda a pale ale, usually, Nathan always a porter, and sometimes more than just one; each night they deposit the empty bottle into the recycling bin, the clink getting louder with each passing night of the week as the collection grows; each night they click the lock shut, Amanda's sticking slightly more than Nathan's; each night they draw the white shades, though Nathan tends to leave his down during the day.
Each morning they wake up; each morning they crack two eggs on the pointed countertop and into a hot, old pan; each morning they grind pepper for the eggs, though Amanda grinds more than Nathan; each morning they remove their coat from the silver hook, except when it's warm outside; each morning they contribute to the elevator button's greasy shine; each morning they shyly greet the doorman; each morning they drink coffee, Amanda black, this time, and Nathan something lighter.
Sometimes they go to the park. Today, they are both there.
After a moment, Amanda gets up and heads home. Soon, Nathan will join her, without knowing it.
These people have never met, never shaken hands.