Amanda was so focused on researching for ideas for an app that she didn't hear a man clearing his throat to get her attention.
Finally, he spoke up, "Uh, excuse me?"
Amanda looked over her laptop monitor. It was Mr. Businessman. It took her a moment to recognize him. Unlike his clean-shaven, business look she was used to seeing, he was dressed casually and had a well-trimmed beard. She wasn't sure what to make of the moment. She could yell at him to leave, but what would happen then? So she just sat there, and waited to see what he would do next.
She didn't know what to do so she just sat there, waiting to see what he was going to do next.
"Listen," he said. He appeared to be nervous. "My name is Brian Lane and… and I want to apologize. I was being harassed by this man and he threatened the life of some of my close friends. I really didn't know what else to do at the time."
Somewhat relieved that he wasn't here to finish the job, whatever that was, Amanda tried to respond. He raised his hand to let her know he wasn't done.
"It's not an excuse," he continued. "I did have the opportunity to call the authorities before it got out of hand, but I didn't and for that, I'm sorry." He gripped the chair opposite of Amanda as if to keep himself from fidgeting too much. "In hindsight, that was what I should have done. I was stupid."
Amanda noticed a stern-looking man watching them. Brian followed her gaze. He looked back at her and said, "That is my parole officer. It took a lot of convincing to get over here to apologize. He was completely against it."
Amanda nodded and took a deep breath. She wanted to tell him about how he triggered the migraines and possibly the hallucinations. She wanted him to understand that she pretty much stopped trusting anyone afterwards. What's more, she was now angry that he had thought that whatever problem he had, it came second to another person's safety.
Instead of going off on him, however, she closed her laptop and stood up. He did make an effort to apologize. Perhaps he was sincerely sorry.
"I have enough problems in life right now to dwell on the past." She sighed. "And it's difficult to make good decisions when you are afraid."
"So you forgive me, then?" Brian asked sounding hopeful.
"Maybe later," Amanda said sullenly as she put her laptop into her bag, "I really don't want to see you… Right now at least."
She saw the parole officer step forward to intervene but Amanda put her hand up to stop him.
"I wish you luck," she said to Brian as she pulled the strap of her bag onto her shoulder. "Maybe if our paths cross again I would have already moved past it."
Brian nodded understandingly and stepped aside to let her pass.