Fiction: “Double Take” by Jessica Francis Kane
Six weeks after his college roommate died, Ben thought he saw him in London: the square jaw and pale skin, the round eyes and devilish grin. But it was only a stranger in the crowd on Oxford Street. In the weeks that followed, Ben saw lots of people who reminded him of Mike. It seemed the city was suddenly populated with dozens of men who shared his fondness for gray parkas, cheap tight jeans, baseball caps and bargain boots.
Of course, Ben didn’t know if these items were still in Mike’s wardrobe when he died. He hadn’t seen him for two years when he got word that Mike had drowned off the coast of Fire Island. He was just remembering him as he’d looked at Yale.
Ben flew in from London for the memorial service in New York. He couldn’t take any time off, but with the time difference he was able to make the trip work. He left Heathrow Friday night and arrived in the city an hour before the service Saturday afternoon. Saturday night he spent with college friends. A few of them took Mike’s mother, Maryanne, out for dinner -- he remembered a quiet Italian place -- then Sunday he woke up early, went to a movie with friends (one they told themselves Mike would have liked), and caught a late afternoon flight back to London. There was a mishap with the car service and he rode to LaGuardia in a long white limo only perfunctorily cleaned from its stag party service the night before. Back in London, he took a cab straight to work. It was a whirlwind, but he was glad he’d gone.