Harry would enter the ATM branch on the corner of the street with the best bagel-shop in the entire city center every Wednesday around midday. Silvie knew that. She had been watching him for the past couple of months. But he was not aware of it.
Silvie worked as a security guard and was responsible for monitoring all action in the ATM room from the cameras situated at every corner of it. There was rarely something suspicious going on, but it was always better to be safe than sorry. The last time something out of the ordinary occurred in that specific branch, the security guard had stepped out for a quick smoke and missed the masked man entering and dropping a smoke bomb which mystified the cameras and allowed him to blow up an ATM and run out with the cash. It took three weeks for the police to find him. And the security guard was re-assigned to another post. He still cannot forgive himself for the incident and like everyone is very thankful no-one got hurt. He now quit smoking.
Silvie, however, was much more diligent. And she didn’t smoke. On Wednesdays she would not even get up from her seat until Harry would appear. Of course she did not know his name. She didn’t know anything about him. Simple that he was elegant and charming and always came in wearing a freshly pressed suit. One time he looked up at the camera while he was waiting for an ATM to become available and Silvie blushed.
Her colleagues made fun of her. They even encouraged her to go ask him out herself. But she was more traditional. She preferred to charm him and get him to want to ask her out. So she persevered and continued to admire him through a screen.
One Wednesday though, Harry stood staring at the camera. He was looking straight at it and Silvie felt that he was looking right at her. She felt the need to fix her hair and began to feel on edge. What happened? Harry kept staring. He completed his weekly ATM ritual and before leaving the room, he once again looked back at the camera.
Silvie was baffled but simply forgot about the incident.
To Silvie’s surprise, however, just a few hours later Harry appeared right outside her glass door. Silvie almost fell off her chair and had to rub her eyes and even pinch herself to make sure she was still awake. She opened the door with a trembling hand.
“Hi, I’m Harry Woodstaff,” he said, extending a hand. Silvie shook it and in her bedazzlement managed to utter “Silvie Goldtie”.
She couldn’t help but stare into his chestnut eyes. He smiled. She blushed. She offered a drink. He politely refused. She was disappointed. She thought that would have done the trick to keep him there a bit longer.
He began to tell her that he goes to that specific ATM every Wednesday (Silvie was about to shout “I know!” but managed to suppress it). Harry continued that today as for the past two weeks he has noticed something strange about the camera that is facing the door. Silvie was alarmed. This could raise an alert. She jumped to her desk and took out a notepad and pen ready to record any irregular sign witnessed.
“You see,” said Harry, “it’s been there for quite a while now, and I didn’t pay any attention at first, but now it’s been growing and it’s actually hard to miss.”
Silvie’s eyes opened wide and her heart began to beat faster. Did someone plant something in there on purpose?
“It’s this gigantic spider,” said Harry in all naturalness. “I am not really afraid of them, but it is strange this one is there and to be honest it is a bit unnerving, so if someone could come clean it out, it would be great.”
Silvie smiled, noted down “spider” and reassured him that it would be taken care of. “Don’t worry,” she said, “it will be gone by next week when you return to the ATM”. Harry looked at her and smiled. She was either a really good and attentive listener, or a stalker. Either way though, her smile had won him over, and as he turned to leave, he said “would you like to go out for a coffee sometime?” Silvie was ecstatic. Mission accomplished. And to think she didn’t even like spiders.