This is a good place to sit.
It’s nice and sheltered, so I don’t have to worry about the rain. It’s a halfway good area, which means not only that I don’t have to worry about being hassled by bums but I also don’t get mistaken for one.
Here I can sit, in relative comfort, and watch the world go by.
I watch people pass, and I look into their worlds. Just a quick glimpse; the teenage girl who doesn’t want her parents to know that she’s pregnant. The young man who still lives at home, and wishes that his mother would learn to knock. The old man who hasn’t heard from his granddaughter in almost three months; he thinks she doesn’t care, and is thinking of writing her out of his will.
I’m not guessing. I know all this. Nobody realises how insecure their web presence is, and that the minutiae of their daily lives can be delivered instantly to anybody who wants to know.
Ah, but there he is; the man I’m waiting for. He’s conspicuous by his online absence, his signal a blank box where everybody else’s is crowded with text and imagery. A man who knows his security.
And a woman who’s about to break it.
I stretch, check my watch, and sigh with a reluctant air before standing up and joining the crowd a few feet behind him. All systems are go, but while my software is buzzing behind my eyes all you’ll see is a tired woman in the crowd, not paying much attention to her surroundings, making her way home. My online feed shows as much, if anyone’s looking; I learned long ago that a cleverly faked presence raises a lot less suspicion than a blank one.
While he keeps to the crowds it’s easy, but I can see from the way he’s twitching and looking around that he doesn’t like it here; he’ll turn off onto a quieter street as soon as he can, and then I’ll have to be clever.
But I’m always clever, and I always get my answer.
So tell me. What are you hiding, Mr Avagnon?
© Kari Fay
(Author’s Note: This week for my #fridayflash I’m taking inspiration from a certain video game my beloved has been playing recently. Watch_Dogs is a very interesting looking game, and although I haven’t seen much of it I’m fascinated by the way you can learn names – and more – of all the random characters around you.)