She glanced back. Yes, he was there, still smiling, a tall, brown haired man, wearing sunglasses in this weather. She could see his green turtle neck from under his beige Mac. The dog looked wet and a bit sad, maybe he wanted home already. She felt her own dog jerking the leash to turn around. The guy's dog must be male.
How bizarre, she thought, there, on the bank of the Seine, under the pouring rain, these two strangers decided to walk their dogs. There was no one else around, no passerbys. Was he following her? She knew she'd seen him somewhere else but where? Maybe in the park,but now she really saw him : tall, taller thant her but just the perfect size. Where did that thought come from? He was quite good looking, square chin, brown hair, but she chouldn't see his eyes.
He was comming towards her, she could hear his footspteps on the wet pavement. And there was no one else under the rain. She was intrigued. Strangely enough it didn't even cross her mind to be afraid, she was actually fascinated by this guy and his dog.
The man's smile didn't falter as she half turned towards him. She started walking towards him then. He stopped. He was now looking at her with his brown, soft eyes, still that smile on his lips as if he knew her. She wanted to ask "Where? Who? Why?" but she found herself smiling as well.
She was now looking straight at him. She did know him, she'd known him for a while now. He also lived on the Rive Gauche, perhaps somewhere on the other side of the square from where her flat was(why it was called a square when it was round, she didn't know).
She'd seen him in the street, probably going to work, always fashionable, sometimes in a hurry. She knew he was French, but she never knew his name. How many times did they cross eachother in bakeries and tailor shops? How many times did they walk the dogs in the same park, sat on the same bench, at different hours, different days. How many times did they almost meet?
"On se connait?"
*Samaritaine is the name of a famous Parisian Department store, bigger than La Fayette and Le Printemps, it was the place for fashionable and expensive shopping before it was closed for "rebuilding" in 2005. Actually it was a move to restructure the personnel and transform it into office and apartment building so this fashionistas' paradise never reopened. These pictures were in the window of the shop in summer of 2006.