Monologophobia

Before leaving for work, I kissed my wife, still sleeping in our bed, goodbye.

“I love you, good night”, she said softly. Weird, I thought, attributing it to her still being half asleep.

There were fewer cars on the road than normal but luckily no accidents and no traffic. Nothing seemed weird until I went into the Dunkin Doughnuts for coffee.

“I’ll have a large coffee, cream and sugar, and a coffee roll.”

“Thank you, that’ll be $4.31”, the cashier replied. I handed her the money but she wouldn’t take it.

“Uhhh, I’m trying to pay here.”

“Thank you, that’ll be $4.31.”

“Yeah, I know. Here’s the money.”

“Thank you, that’ll be $4.31.”

“What the fuck is wrong with you, lady?”

“Thank you, that’ll be $4.31”. There was no one else working so I couldn’t ask for a manager. She simply stood there staring into space, never blinking.

“Fucking weirdo!” I shouted as I walked away.

At work, it happened too.

“Good night, see ya in the morning”, my co-worker said over and over again.

“Good night, Jim”, my boss repeated.

“Get home safe”, the receptionist looped.

This has to be an elaborate practical joke, I thought. Every single person I encountered repeated the same line over and over again. No one cared if I touched them, screamed in their faces, or jumped up and down like a madman. Their expressions were blank and unresponsive.

Driving home, I figured my wife would be the person to yell surprise and end the stupid joke.

“Honey, the weirdest shit is happening to me today. Everyone is being super weird.”

“I love you, goodnight” was her response.

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