The woman sitting next to him seemed to have fallen asleep, though her magazine was still open in her lap and her headphones were still on her head. She had given him a pointed look, her eyes glaring up at him from under her short eyelashes and plucked eyebrows, the moment he'd taken out his laptop, when the seat belt sign finally turned off. This was business class, he thought, what did she expect? But he'd remained silent.
Soon the woman was simply ignoring him and Guy's attention was on his laptop. He didn't do any work-work while flying, unless it was an emergency, because experience had shown him that he just didn't do his best work while on a plane. On his laptop wasn't work, it was another favour to Seb. He was proofreading Seb's latest article, because Seb was terrified of submitting anything to an editor that might have a spelling mistake in it. As his eyes read over it he found himself enjoying the quality of the writing. Seb could certainly write, not just the quality of his prose but the article also held his attention. If he told Seb this he'd only reply with a blush of embarrassment, so lacking in arrogance was he.
The previous month had been a nightmare of work. He'd spent his time scouring through the accounts of a New Jersey frozen foods delivery firm. The firm had recently been taken over by a large corporation and Guy's employers had brought him in to check over the accounts. As a forensic accountant that was his job, but this company seemed to be a mine of money scams.
He worked for an international finance company, dividing his time between London and New York. The company had offices in other countries, but he mostly worked out of those two cities, for which Guy was grateful. He'd spend a month or so in one city and then fly across the Atlantic to spend a month or so working out of the other office.
Mostly his work consisted of looking for fraud. A company or corporation would call in his employers if they suspected someone was defrauding them. Guy would then be sent in to comb through the firm's accounts and paperwork. Most times the fraud was easy to find, people rarely thought up elaborate crimes, but occasionally Guy had to search harder. Other times he'd be called in because one company had taken over another, as with the New Jersey frozen food firm, and wanted to clear out any corruption; but these jobs came along less frequently.
The stewardess, in a slow and purposeful walk, moved along the aisle and passed his seat, checking on the passengers as she did. She was young, but weren't they always? She looked to be in her early twenties with her blonde hair pulled back in a tight bun on top her head. As she walked away from him Guy found himself wondering what her life was like. Her accent was English, did she live in London? Did she have a lover?
With a slight shake of his head he returned his attention to his laptop. He found himself doing this a lot when he flew, wondering about the lives of the cabin crew. Despite flying regularly he rarely seemed to see the same cabin crew twice.
When he first started his job, he'd felt isolated and lonely. His employer rented him an apartment in New York, though smaller than his own flat in London, which was comfortable and he'd been in easy reach of the rest of the city. But he soon found himself falling out of sync with his whole social life. Being away for a month at a time he soon lost touch with his London friends and he wasn't in New York long enough to form any lasting relationships.
He was seriously considering leaving his job when he met Honey. He enjoyed the work, but the loneliness was growing too great to bear. Then, at a gallery opening, he casually met Honey. It wasn't an Earth-stopping moment, not love at first sight, he just found himself talking to a tall woman with a mane of blonde hair. She was bright and informed; talking with her was refreshing and interesting, certainly more than the lacklustre paintings all around them. When she had suggested they go get something to eat, he'd happily agreed.
YOU ARE READING
The People of the CityShort Story
A collection of twenty different stories that all share one thing, the central characters all live in a city, but that is all they share. These are twenty different stories with twenty very different themes, about twenty different people.