Short story about taking night walks alone, the things you see during them and their outcomes. Written for a small writing challenge with friends under the theme "Missed Connections".
There's a certain charm in just walking through the city at night with no clear goals in mind. I've started doing it frequently these last few weeks, since it seems to calm me down when I need a break from everything during the day.
Honestly, it's not just walking around at night, though, that's somewhat the main part of it. It's become a sort of ritual for me to put on specific types of music while I'm on my walks. Though, when I say specific types I don't actually mean a particular genre of music, but rather a kind of mellow mood that runs throughout some types of songs of various genres.
At first it felt strange to me noticing the small things people do while they're walking somewhere, because when you're with other people, you tend to pay attention to the conversation, or, if not, you just prioritize their presence over other things around you. When you're free from those restrictions, the people you see passing by become some type of interesting short films you can observe and analyze.
Some things tend to repeat themselves, though. There's always a poor old man begging for your last coin around one corner, or a bunch of kids playing with a ball around another. If you go down the same route, you might even find the exact same people doing the exact same things many times over.
For that reason alone, last night I decided to take a drastically different route for my night walk. I figured monotony isn't all that good for me and took a bus to another part of the city. From there, I began backtracking to my house.
The part of the city was a bit calmer than what I used to. Some streets didn't have cars passing by and others didn't even have people walking by. Up until a certain point, the only memorable thing from my night walk had been a guy who dropped his phone down a sewage drain. The poor guy pulled his phone out of his pockets, glanced at it, smiled really enthusiastically and wrote a reply. When he tried slipping the phone back into it, he somehow managed to miss the pocket and dropped it at just the right angle for it to fall down the drain.
I felt really bad for that guy, especially given the fact that he was smiling just a second before it happened. Not much I could do though and I've somewhat decided to not intervene in anything during my night walks.
Around the time I began recognizing some of the buildings around me, I noticed a blonde in a hoodie walking in the same direction as me, but on the other side of the street. The hoodie covered most of her hair, but you could clearly see both her hair color and the earphones her hair was covering. This alone wouldn't really be a big deal in most cases, but there was something strange about how she was walking. It might be a stretch, but I could say that she was doing the same night walking routine that I was.
At one point, I noticed that I stopped paying attention to any and all of my surroundings, instead devoting all my attention to her. The beggars and kids just weren't interesting to me then. We reached a street full of cars, which blocked my view of her. Almost instinctively, I decided to go slightly off my route home and cross the street to her side. As I waited for the traffic light to turn green, I felt very irritated and impatient, feelings very unusual for my night walks. When I finally crossed the street, she was nowhere to be found. Swallowing the disappointment, I decided to just go home.
It's nearly sundown now and I'm already ready for tonight's walk. I know I said that I'd change the monotony and try different routes, but in this case, I feel like more of the same would be a good idea. Hopefully, if I take the same route as last night, I might get to see my fellow night walker, or even break the routine and talk to her.