… … …
He stops mid-sentence, his head whipping round to find the source of the familiar voice. He scans the café: A couple in a booth; a man on his laptop; a group of teenagers… Then he sees her. Her unforgettable red hair; the inimitable tones of her words as she speaks enthusiastically on her phone.
She's heading for the door, he realises, but he doesn't want this encounter to be over yet. He strides quickly past the tables, reaching the exit just before she does, and he pulls the door open for her.
She looks up at him as she passes and utters a 'thanks'; and he can't help but grin at her in response.
Stepping outside, she glances back, so he nods politely. He's missed the amusing frown that she's now wearing. He simply smiles, wishing he could speak to her but knowing that he mustn't - even if he is unrecognisable to her now.
"Nice bowtie," she remarks before she turns and continues on her way. Her phone call resumes and he laughs, heartily, as he hears her say, "What?... No, some guy in a bowtie opened the door for me… Yes, really. A bowtie…"
"Do you know her?"
He had forgotten why he was here; that there were people with him: His new friends. His latest friends.
His gaze remains on the path taken by his old friend, his wistful smile stays in place, and he answers Amy's question, "No. She doesn't know me."
… … …