A mild annoyance
If you asked her what it was about him that irritated her, depending on the time of the day and what she had for breakfast, she would have an answer for you. The way his nose is, she would say some days. Nose is…you would prompt her to elaborate. The way his nose simply is, she would explain but not really explaining. Sometimes she would talk about the way he held his head. And how much it annoyed her to see it. On other days it would be the stubble on his chin. Or the way his slipper flapped as he walked. Or the intolerably infuriating way in which his hair was parted. You don't have to see him or even notice him, you know, someone once remarked. But I've tried so hard to ignore him, she replied annoyed at the suggestion it was she who was seeking him out, but he keeps coming in my way. I see him at the bus stop on my way to work and he's still sitting there on my way back. He even shops at the same supermarket as me. And worse, at the same time. You should see the things he buys…maddening!
Which was why she was surprised when he wasn't there that Monday evening as she piled her shopping trolley with groceries for the week. And he wasn't there at the bus stop the following morning. And not there to infuriate her that evening either. Was it possible that he'd taken ill? she wondered. Not that she was concerned about the welfare of a stranger. What did she care what happened to him. But when he hadn't made an appearance by Thursday, she wondered about alerting someone. But who? The police? And what would she tell them? That the man who used to sit at the bus stop no longer sat there? There had to be a simpler explanation, she reckoned. Perhaps he'd bought a car. Or changed his office. But something told her that it wasn't the case. She was irritated that he would get her so worried and just when she was about to give up, he came back. She overheard him telling someone over the phone that he'd gone home to visit his mother. He really should learn to speak softly in public and not holler for all to hear. How uncouth!