Nick walked along the sidewalk the way he always did; not looking at anything. Head down, eyes on the sidewalk in front of him, never looking anyone in the eye. His goal was his destination. It was the same every day. But this was no ordinary day in Nick’s life. He just didn’t know it yet.
As he hurried along seeing only what lay directly ahead, he stepped to the side to go around the person in his path whose shoes he could see. He hesitated when the person stepped to the same side. He’d experienced this before, though, when strangers would do an awkward little dance before finally going around each other. They both stepped in the other direction, then back again, the stranger moving his feet just a fraction of a second after him. Not wanting to continue this, Nick stopped and raised his eyes to look at the man.
He originally just planned to glance up to see what this person’s problem was, but what he saw held his attention. It took a minute to register that the man standing in front of him was… him. A perfect copy. A twin. His doppelganger. As Nick took in the sight, his world shifted. Literally. The ground seemed to move under his feet and his vision blurred. The last thing he remembered was the man speaking to him, but he couldn’t hear him. Then his world went black.
Nick opened his eyes to find himself in his apartment’s bedroom. He tried to remember what day it was and if there was somewhere he needed to be. Glancing at the clock on the nightstand, he realized it was early evening. He had slept all day? Was that normal? He ran his hand down his face, trying to wake himself up. Throwing the covers back, he sat up on the edge of the bed. Glancing down at himself, he realized he was fully dressed. The only thing he didn’t have on was shoes. He tried to remember if he had gotten drunk but couldn’t recall. He made his way to the bathroom where he relieved himself, brushed his teeth and splashed water on his face. His stomach growled so he walked down the stairs towards the kitchen.
As he reached the bottom of the stairs, he heard water running in the kitchen sink. One thing he did remember was that he lived alone, so he tiptoed around the corner and peeked through the kitchen doorway. The water had stopped by this time and what he saw was himself leaning against the sink, arms crossed, looking back at him.
“Bout time you got your ass outta bed. They didn’t tell me you would be out this long.”
Nick eyed the man warily, trying desperately to remember a twin brother. “Sorry. I seem to be having a hard time remembering things today.”
The man grunted as he pushed off the sink and opened the refrigerator door. “They said you’d be hungry, are you?”
“Yeah.” Nick watched this man walk around the kitchen, pulling out things Nick didn’t remember buying. He laid out bread, slices of roast beef, cheese and mustard on the kitchen island. Then, grabbing a bag of chips from the top of the fridge, a couple of Cokes and two plates, he motioned for Nick to sit. “Who are ‘they?’”
Keep reading A Familiar Stranger, and get Dead Memories, a bonus collection of short stories by 5 different authors FREE.
Bambi Sommers has been writing most of her life, small things like lyrics, poems and jingles. In December of 2017, a publicist’s writing contest helped her take the plunge and write her first romance novel, leading to eight more by the end of 2020. During this time, she started an editing business, wanting to help other writers make their words as good as they could be. She also met a few other local writers and helped form a writing group. This led to the writing of Dead Memories, the first book put out as a compilation of ideas from the entire group. Although writing romance is her normal genre, she took a step outside to write her short story in this book, which she hopes is the first of many. Connect with Bambi at twitter.com/BambiSommers1 and on her website Website: bambisommers.com.