“Oh, hi Steve. Productive day?”
“For the most part Fred. Listen, you want to tell me what that was about in the lunchroom? I don’t play mind games Fred, why don’t you just spell it out for me?
Fred looked him up and down as if he couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You know what I meant Steve, we were both there.”
“We were both where?”
Fred shook his head. “Come on Steve, what’s this about? At Harvey’s last night, you remember. You were at the bar ordering. I came up to you and said hello and you gave me a look and then snubbed me. Frankly it was rude Steve. All I want to know is why you did it.”
Steve felt a chill run through him. “Fred, I wasn’t at Harvey’s last night. I went straight home after work.”
The elevator doors opened and they stood there staring at each other. “Okay, Steve. Whatever.”
Fred left abruptly and hurried outside. Steve stood in the lobby for a minute trying to get his head around what had just happened. So he hadn’t been seeing things then. Fred had seen his double too. Only his double didn’t know Fred. Of course he didn’t, how could he?
So now the evidence was clear. Someone who looked just like him was running around San Francisco doing…what? Nothing as far as he knew. Was it all just a coincidence? Someone new to the city that happened to look enough like him to pass? What were the odds that both he and Fred would have seen him?
He headed for the garage and pulled out into the traffic still thinking about the situation. As he drove home he found himself studying everyone he saw, both on the street and driving. This whole thing was messing with his mind. As soon as he got home he grabbed a beer from the fridge and sat down on the sofa to mull it over.
The phone rang and he picked it up. “Hello?”
“Hello Steve. I was wondering if you’d sorted out the mortgage yet.”
“Oh, hi Sara. No, the lawyer is still working on it. I’ll call him tomorrow. Should be done soon.”
He really didn’t want to deal with his ex-wife right now; he hoped she’d keep it brief. He fought the urge to just hang up.
“Okay, it’s just that I’d like all this to be done, you know?”
“Yeah, me too. Is that it?”
“No need to be rude Steve.”
“No, never. Bye.”
He couldn’t take it. He’d pay for that later but right now he just had too much on his mind to deal with her crap. He drained his bottle and went to the kitchen another. There was probably a reasonable explanation he decided. Maybe the two encounters were just coincidences. Except that he didn’t believe in coincidences.
He thought about where he had seen the guy and the location of Harvey’s. They weren’t that far apart. Did the guy live in the area? Work there? If either was true he could probably find him again. Tomorrow was Friday; he would hang around the area after work. Chances were good his double would be out on the town.
He watched a couple of shows and then got ready for bed and called it a night. Tomorrow might well be an interesting day.
Part 3 Tomorrow