Tonight, and for the next few nights, I'll be posting fiction. It's one story, Novak Nohtche, broken up into five parts. Here is part one.
It was said in the office that someone new had appeared on the sidewalk; a lady walking her dog. She was fair-haired, of medium height, and wore a white hat. The hat was not a large hat, but not a small one either. It wasn't a bowler, bonnet, or a beret. Indeed, there were so many things that it wasn't, that it was hard to say what it was. The going opinion in the office was that it wasn't even a hat at all. It was more than a hat. It was a chapeau.
Novak Nohtche, looked down from his office window, far above the traffic and noise, and waited for the woman to pass by. In a river of black, blue, subdued browns, and other late fall colours, she stood out. Her ensemble was always head to toe white, including the sunglasses, and gloves, to say nothing of the dog, also white. Of the thousands that flowed past Novak's office each day, all seemed dark, dull, nondescript, except for her.
Every morning, for several weeks, stories below, a small puff of white, dog in her wake, whisked by. She always seemed impervious to the ebb and flow, and noise of the traffic. It took her eight minutes on average, from the time she appeared across Novak's concrete horizon a few blocks down, waited for the signals at each intersection, then passed around a corner and out of sight for one more day.
Novak stood at the window, waiting. Behind him, the sound of footsteps and a polite cough.
"You're vibrating," said John.
Novak turned around and took a mobile out of his pocket. "Sorry. My alarm. It's ten o'clock."
"Have an appointment?" John, asked. "Meeting?"
"In a sense. Just taking a break, really."
John sniffed, and nodded his head. "You know, I was talking to some of the art direction guys, and they were laying bets about you. Any idea what that's about?"
"Possibly," Novak replied.
"They say you got a woman in your life. Is that true?"
Novak looked out the window, searching. He felt a twinge of panic for the space of a breath, and then he found her, waiting on the corner for the light.
John stood beside Novak and looked down through the double paned window. Twenty stories above the ground, neither could hear any of the sound from the tumult below. All that was left was the hypnotic pattern of flowing movement, shifting about. A random gathering of disparate elements, with the collective purpose of a living being, if only for a few moments.
"She there?" John asked.
"In the white." Novak replied. As the light changed, he watched her move through the crowd, a steady elliptical shifting, left to right and always forward. "See? Just across the road."
"I think I saw her before," John said. "Yesterday, when I was going to Starbucks. She looks like she's got some money."
"I wouldn't know." Novak tensed up just slightly. "Never met her."
"She's probably married to an investment banker." John smiled.
"Anything's possible." Novak turned away from the window as the puff of white slipped around a corner and out of view.
"Is that why you're going after her?" John stared at Novak for a good long second, waiting for a response. "The part of a lady-killer doesn't really suit you, Novak."
"Who says I'm going after anyone?"
"Then why are you here?"