Only the camera never lies
A bulky blue anorak framing an orange scarf topped with a brown hat and glasses, Paul stood at the bus stop like he had been clumsily assembled by someone who didn’t like him very much. He had been there for a while, sometimes sitting, occasionally reading his Guardian. Just another fat 24-year-old Londoner whose pace of life was dictated by public transport. His frequent looks in the direction the bus was expected hid his true intent – observing the client’s husband as he sat twenty feet away.
His mum had convinced his shifty stepdad to give Paul a job at the small private detective agency he managed. In the four weeks he had been working for him, this was the third married man he had followed and so far, he had established that the guy had two kids, liked his coffee from Costa, stayed no more than the required number of hours at his boring office job, and habitually picked his nose. Also, his girlfriend lived in a ground floor bedsit in Islington, but he hadn’t told anyone that.
Paul sometimes wished he had gotten into computers, or invested in Bitcoin, or robbed a bank, or anything that would not require him to follow and record the movements of these reliably duplicitous dullards.
As the bus arrived, an old woman who reached the door first was knocked over by a Mongol horde of teenagers disembarking.
“That’s gotta hurt!” murmured Paul, amused as he went to her aid, but she was up and onto the bus before he got there so, waiting for his mark to board, nasally excavating as ever, he followed, redrafting in his mind the note he would deliver to the fornicating old fecker’s work address tomorrow, along with some of the compelling photos he had taken in Islington.
© John Petrie