Friday, December 15

A Lonely Face in The Crowd

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It was just about the right time for Mr Gray to leave home and move on to his office.  By nature, he was a very rude man who allowed nobody to come in his way.  Those that did come into contact with him all avoided him whenever he was around and it was quite obvious why; he was impolite.

     “Out of my way!”  He used to shout at passersby whenever he was getting late for work.  Of course, there was always one person who felt sympathetic.  In his case, it was Miss Joseina a young shop assistant who used to give him a smile whenever he passed by her shop every morning.   

      At the office, Mr Gray was on full form, as usual. 

     “Well, where are my files!  Who’s taken them?”  A young man who was new at the office appeared and replied,

     “I borrowed them Mr Gray, sorry.”

     “Silence!  You young university people think you all own the place.  Bah!”  He walked off, muttering to himself and slammed the door behind him.

     Because of his bossy attitude, it was quite all day in the office, until Mr Gray got up and left.  Only then, did everyone in the workplace open up and talk amongst themselves.

     “What a rotten man he is, Hester;  I don’t like him at all.”  Said Elaine, one of his secretaries.

     “No, neither do any of us, Elaine.”  Replied Hester, her colleague.

     Although nobody knew it, but whever Mr Gray arrived home late at night, he used to cry out aloud.  He was a forty-nine year old bachelor who was absolutely sick of his job and had nobody to talk with and open up his feelings at home.

     One night, however, his doorbell rang.  It was not a very common sound to Mr Gray’s ears.  He rushed to the door and opened it..  There stood a young lady who looked quite familiar.

     “Remember me?  I’m from the sweet shop down your road.”  She smiled at him.

     “What do you want from me at this hour?”

     “I’ve come here just to ask you a personal question.”

     “Well, hurry up then!  I want to get some sleep!”

     “Alright.  Why are you always so angry?”

     “I don’t wish to discuss my lifestyle with a stranger.”

     “Oh, but I’m not a stranger, Mr Gray.”  She gently caressed him hands.

     “Leave my house immediately, or I’ll…”

     “You’ll what?  Tell me to be silent aswell?”

      “Look, I’m not joking at all.  Leave my house!”

      “Answer my question first, then.”  Mr Gray paused in thought.

     “Very well.  It’s simply due to my loneliness.”

     “Do you mean to tell me that you live all alone in here?”

     “Yes.  Is that so strange?  Now leave me, or I’m calling the…” 

She interrupted him with a hand gesture and left abrubtly, slamming the door.  Mr Gray tutted and went to bed, mumbling. 

     During the night hours, he felt restless and the lady’s face kept appearing in his subconscious, crying.  He sat up, upset. and said to himself, “Maybe that lady was trying to help me.  Tomorrow, I shall apologise…”

     The next day, as Mr Gray approached the sweet shop, he walked in and smiled.

     “Good afternoon,  may I have a packet of jelly beans please?”  The lady looked at him, wide-eyed in a look of surprise with her mouth wide open.  “Oh, and I do apolologise for my rude behaviour last night.”

     The lady was quite for a moment,   And then, she burst out in a fit of laughter and embraced him tightly.  She could not believe that it was the same person.   

     As fate would have it, not only did they become good friends, but they went on to marry two weeks later and lived out their remaining life as a very happily married couple with children and lots of new friends.  Mr Gray’s entire life had changed over and he was no longer a lonely face in the crowd.



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