I wave at my coworker from across the busy car park, and she takes it as an invite and makes a beeline for me. Wait, why is she carrying a motorcycle helmet? Because this girl isn’t who I thought she was. It’s that new girl who, admittedly, bears a slight resemblance to my coworker. But only from twenty yards. My bloody nearsightedness has betrayed me on more than one occasion, which is why I’ve gotten into the habit of not making eye contact with anyone. Generally I try to look like I’m lost in thought–better safe than sorry. For the eccentric artist there are many things to ponder, after all. But this time I was so… sure.
“Oh,” I say. “I thought you were someone else.” My feet carry me forward, compelled by convention, until we are standing between a row of cars and the bicycle rack.
“Your’re scamper, right? Allison.”
Allison the new girl. “I’m scared and I don’t want to talk to new people,” I explain to her.
“Everyone says, ‘you’ve got to meet scamper!’ Ha ha.”
I grimace. “You’re pretty,” I say. “I feel scared and creepy.”
She sets her motorcycle helmet down on the bed of a pickup truck so she can tug her riding gloves off. When she proffers her hand my heart stops beating for a moment, and then doubles its rate in order to catch up. “I don’t like to touch people,” I say.
She takes my hand and pumps it. “I’m going to be working with Rob,” she tells me. Rob is my supervisor. “So we’ll probably end up working together on one of these projects they’ve been talking about.”
“You’re happy and nice, and I don’t like people,” I say.
“You heading out for the day?” she asks.
“I don’t have any more words,” I say.