Thinking about you

In the bathroom at work, I encounter a colleague who is hand-washing after exiting the toilet. ‘Hey!’ he says. ‘I was just thinking about you a second ago!’

There is a short silence.

‘I mean,’ he says, ‘like 20 minutes ago. Not …’ He glances at the loo door. There is a longer silence. We are trapped by his embarrassment.

‘I’m just going to get a cup of tea,’ I say, as gently as I can. I’m not, but only I can free us from this. I walk away. He is still washing his hands.