Sitting in the window of the cafe, I saw her turn into the street and walk along it towards me. As she got nearer, I realised that she was looking directly into the cafe and even making eye contact. I looked away. She came in, sat opposite and addressed me by name. I looked at her but didn't know her. Simultaneously, she started speaking and stopped making sense.
"We haven't met yet so it is alright for me to talk to you. I want you to deliver a letter for me."
She put it on the table, a sealed envelope with a name, an apartment number and an address in another part of the city.
"There are only two of them here. They are both watching his building. They don't know I am here and they won't recognise you. Go inside, press his buzzer, say you have a message from..." - she told me her name. "He will let you in. They won't know which apartment you have gone into."
I thought: Alright. She's crazy but I don't mind delivering a letter. This is sufficiently intriguing. Maybe the guy will explain more.
I asked, "How did you know to find me here?"
"You will tell me."
We spoke briefly but I could not keep track of the conversation. She said we would be friends, smiled and left.
He let me in but kept me away from the window. He read the letter, nodded and said, "Congratulations. You are the only person from this period to see inside this apartment while I am here. Only her name got you in. She must have wanted you to know something."
I was beginning to notice details like a very strange wall map of Europe with a "Wiser Federation" occupying the British Isles.
I asked, "When are you from?"
He did not tell me a date but said, "I'm from Solway City, there," pointing to the North West of England on the map. "She's from the High Ones period much later. She had some difficulty getting into the twentieth century..."
Seeing that I did not know what to ask next, he continued, "Several groups are operating in your period which is a crucial turning point but every period is, of course. They can't change definitely known events but they try to influence longer term tendencies. Our friends outside..." - he nodded towards the window - "...would prefer if the Irish were less willing participants in the Federation because that could affect events later, but they won't succeed."
"...of Welsh, Irish, Scottish and English Republics. That is probably as much as I should say."
I thought he looked Irish but with something different. Neither North nor South but something else.
"If she said you will be friends, you will. Leave as you came."
I did. All I know now is that some day she and I will meet.