I took in the figure talking to me in a cold, measured glare. He seemed generally unobtrusive, smartly dressed in a well-made suit and tie. Balding a little, but covering it well with a half comb-over. Still, normal as he seemed, I found it hard to contain my rage.
“No”, I felt like saying, “Who the fuck is Kyle, and who are you?” But I didn’t, as that would be rude.
He continued anyway:
“He used to collect beermats from around the world.”
As if that would really help my remember a man I’d never met. Then again, I suppose it was an unusual character trade. Actually, as he said it, I remembered my friend Bob had done that when we were in school. I wondered if he still does, but dismissed the thought.
“Well, he’s getting married to this girl he met on a chatroom. Foreign, I think.”
“Oh, right. Well, good for him. When’s the wedding?” I replied. Keeping him happy seemed a good idea.
“Late October. 23rd, I think. Some time around then anyway. Are you going?”
“Well…” I decided to play it safe. “No, I don’t really know him well enough.”
“Aye, fair enough. I’ll tell him you send your congratulations though, ok?”
I agreed hastily, and watched gleefully as he departed the carriage. That had been some of the longest 37 seconds of my life.