Author : Gavin Raine

A small child came up to me while I waited in the park. Came right up to me, touched my colourless hair and ran his fat little fingers over the wrinkles on my face. When he asked me what they were, I told him that old father time had carved them with his knife, and then I laughed at his wondrous expression.

I would have talked with the boy for longer, but his worthless mother showed-up to snatch him away. She gave me a look that was pure hatred, though I’d done nothing wrong. Obviously, she understood what an old man is and why one would exist in the world of the young. There was no need to worry though, because it’s not the children that draw me here.

I come to the park to watch for Angela. I’ve been spending most of my afternoons here, since I found her again. She was my first and, in a way, she was the genesis of all my troubles.

All those years ago, our first date was a triumph. She laughed at my jokes, searched my eyes and seemed to like what she found, and even held my hand as I walked her home. When we got there, she invited me in for coffee. It was all perfect, right up to the point where the little bitch asked me to leave.

I was so angry! You don’t play the tease, invite a guy up, and then go cold on him at the last possible moment. So, what she’d attempted to deny to me, I took by force. I tried to say sorry later, but when I left in the morning, she called the police.

Now, they tell me that I’m a serial sex offender. I’ve served four jail terms, each longer than the last and all for the same offence – with various women. Through the last two sentences, my youth preserving treatments have been withheld. The last judge claimed that I’d left her with no choice. That the law didn’t give her the opportunity to impose a death sentence, but she couldn’t let me go on living and re-offending forever. She was another bitch.

Just after five pm, I spotted Angela walking back to her apartment building. I cut across the park and timed my arrival to catch the door as it swung behind her.

She was waiting for the elevator and I marvelled at how little she’d changed. Her trim figure, that lovely solemn face and the shine on her cropped black hair were all exactly as I remembered. I walked over to stand behind her and she caught my reflection in the elevator doors. There was a telltale widening of the eyes, some shock I think, perhaps even a little fear, but no recognition – not yet anyway.

Then the elevator doors opened and the connection between us was broken. Angela stepped forward and I followed.



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