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"Hey, Foggy, its good to see you again. How’s it going?"

The speaker was a girl - a woman really. She was pretty; early 20s, with long blonde hair worn down, carefully styled. It looked like an expensive cut, but it wasn’t at all distinctive. She wore a sun dress, white with a printed flower design, just short enough for him to find his eyes drawn to where they shouldn’t be. She had a large bag slung over her shoulder, full of books. A student, then. Did they have a class together? She was smiling warmly at him.

"Oh, hey. Yeah, pretty good thanks. How're you?” He tried not to frown as he cast his mind back. She obviously knew him, but from where?

Foggy tore his eyes away from her legs and glanced at her feet instead. People tended to change their shoes less often than their clothes. She wore black sandals exposing tanned skin. He didn't recognize them at all.

The girl did frown, she covered it well, morphing her expression into another smile and ran a hand through her long hair. “Yeah, good.” she said. “Well, I should go. I have an assignment to finish.”

“Right,” Foggy said. “Yeah, me too. Um…” he smiled. “Bye.”

The girl turned and walked away in the other direction.

Foggy pursed his lips and exhaled through them with a whistling sound.

“Well,” Matt said. “She seems so much nicer when she’s sober.”

Foggy turned to look at him. “Yeah?” he said. Instantly, he began to think of girls he had met in bars, when he and Matt had been out together. He drew a blank. Or, more specifically, there had been so many over the past few months, drawn to them by Matt’s irritating girl-magnet powers that he couldn’t decide which one it was. Of course, this one had come over to talk to him and not Matt, so…

“Foggy?” Matt said.

Foggy gave up. It probably didn’t matter anyway. “Yeah?” he asked.

“You have no idea who she was, do you?”

He shook his head. “You’re telling me you do?” he asked. “I’m shaking my head, by the way, but it’s more in disbelief than as a way of saying no.”

Matt laughed. “Okay. Yeah, she’s that girl from the other night. Kelly something. Or Keely? We met her on the way back to the dorm on Saturday, she gave you her number. You must remember, you weren’t that drunk.”

“Shit.” Foggy balled his hand into a fist and drove it into his forehead. “Damnit! I really liked her, too. I was going to call her, I was just playing it cool. Now she thinks I’m an idiot.”

“You are an idiot,” Matt told him. “Don’t worry, it doesn’t stop me hanging out with you.”

Foggy ceased his attempt to insert his fist into his own brain. “Wait a minute. The girl the other night was a brunette, wasn’t she?”

“No idea,” Matt told him,

“Right, well she was. This girl was blonde. Can’t be her.”

Matt shrugged. “Ever heard of hair dye?”

Foggy ignored the question and continued to walk in the direction they had been heading before the girl had appeared. “How do you know who she was anyway?” he asked. “You can’t even see her.”

Matt followed after him, sweeping the ground with his cane as he walked. “She was wearing the same perfume,” he said. “And her voice was very distinctive. Nice accent. The real question is why didn’t you recognize her?”

Foggy shrugged. “I’m just not good with faces, that’s all.”
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“Will you just let it drop?!” Foggy said.

He was laying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling, a forgotten text book laying next to him. Matt was sitting at his desk, chair kicked back onto two legs like a naughty kid waiting to be told off by his parents.

“No,” Matt told him. “The other day in class, Jon McKenzie was talking to you about the assignment, you didn’t relax into the conversation until he noticed me there and assumed I didn’t know who he was. As soon as he said his name you suddenly started asking him how his girlfriend was.”

Foggy sighed. “Why do you remember that? I don’t even remember that.”

“I don’t know, it just stuck in my mind for some reason.” Matt let go of the desk and for several moments the chair stayed absolutely still, balanced on two legs. He grinned, then allowed it to fall forward onto the front legs.

“Well, maybe I just chose that moment to ask about the girlfriend for another reason.”

Matt turned around and switched on his laptop. “I don’t think so. It’s happened a few other times that I can think of.”

Foggy picked up his textbook and opened it to a random page in the centre. “Yeah, well like I said, I’m not good with faces. It’s not like you can pretend to be a freakin’ expert at them either, is it?”
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It was three weeks before the subject came up again. Sitting on a bench drinking post-lecture coffee, Matt noticed Foggy tense beside him. “What is it?” he asked.

Foggy shifted uncomfortably on the bench next to him. “There’s a guy waving at me,” he said in a low whisper that sounded as though he wasn’t moving his lips as he spoke. “I’m waving back, but… oh shit, he’s coming over.”

“Okay, well think about it. Is there anything familiar about him?”

“Uh… Generic hairstyle, blue hoodie, Nike sneakers… No, nothing.”

Matt smiled. “How about you look beyond what you can see?”

“Look beyond what I can see? That doesn’t even make grammatical sense, if I’m looking… shut up, he’s nearly here.”

“Hey guys,” said the new arrival.

Matt nodded in his direction. “Hi Mikey, how’s it going?”
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“Seriously, I don’t get it. Are you sure you’re blind? I mean, there’s no chance the doctors were wrong and you just decided to play along? Because that right there? Ridiculous.”

Matt laughed, because there was no other possible response short of getting offended, and it was Foggy, so, “I’m pretty sure,” he said.

“Okay, explain this one, because it makes no sense to me.”

“Did you notice that smell as he came over? The one like he hadn’t bothered to wash for a week?”

Foggy smiled. “Yeah, actually. He was a bit stinky, must have just come from the gym.”

“Maybe,” Matt said. “But he must go there a lot, because he smells like that every time I talk to him. It’s probably the most distinctive thing about him, especially if he’s as generic looking as you describe.”

“Gross,” Foggy said.

Matt nodded. “Yeah, but something to bear in mind in the future.”
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“Hey, Foggy?” Matt asked one evening. They were in the library studying for a test into the small hours. Most lesser students had long since given up and gone home to bed, but Foggy and Matt studied on.

Foggy grunted in response, all his energy expended on the action of reading and turning pages. He was fairly sure none of it was going in any more, but if he failed there was no way anybody was going to be able to say it was for lack of trying.

“Is it just faces?” Matt asked him. The braille display on his laptop refreshed and suddenly Foggy wondered whether he was even studying. “Or is there anything else you don’t recognize?”

Foggy closed his book and rested his head on the desk. “I think it’s just faces. It’s not even all faces, Just people I don’t know well, or when they crop up somewhere I don’t expect or with different hair or something. Come on, its time to pack up. I think we’ve both had enough of this place.”

The braille display refreshed again and again, and, head still resting on his book, Foggy closed his eyes.

“Matty, quit researching me,” he said. “I know exactly what it is. They call it prosopagnosia. They also call it face blindness, but knowing an actual blind guy I’m not sure that’s a fair description. It’s a brain thing, I just can’t store faces in my head, soon as I look away, they fade from my memory. It’s annoying, but it’s not worth wasting valuable exam study time researching.”

“You should tell people, “ Matt told him.

Foggy forced one eye open to look at him. “Don’t need to,” he said. “Not as long as I’ve got you. You’re like my seeing eye person.”

Matt snorted as he closed his laptop and shoved it back into its bag. “Yeah, that’s the most accurate description of me I ever heard.”

“Hey, give me a break,” Foggy told him. “Didn’t I just tell you my brain doesn’t work right? Pity me, damn you!”

“Sleep deprivation’ll do that,” Matt told him. “Let’s call it a night.”
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“I was just thinking,” Matt said one night. They were both in bed, the lights turned out and Foggy on the verge of being asleep already.

“Dangerous,” Foggy muttered.

“I was just thinking about eyewitness testimony,” Matt continued.

Foggy turned over in bed. “I was just thinking about Marci Stahl. I think my pre-sleep thoughts are more interesting than yours.”

“I was just thinking,” Matt said again. “You’d actually be worse at IDing a criminal than me.”

“Yeah, but a jury’d be more likely to believe me than you,” Foggy told him. “Ridiculous, right?”
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“Hi Foggy, wanna go get a drink or something? I’m bored.”

Foggy tried not to frown. She was pretty. Short hair, a killer smile. She obviously knew him.

He stepped a little closer. “Hey, Marci. When did you cut your hair?” he asked.

She touched the recently cropped blonde pixie cut self consciously. “Yesterday. Do you like it?” she asked. “I’m not sure. I think I’m going to grow it again.”

“I love it.” He grinned. “By the way, I also love your shampoo and your perfume. Don’t switch brands, okay?”

Marci looked puzzled, but shrugged. “Wasn’t planning on it. So, drinks. Coffee or beer?”
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“If you tell people when you meet them, you won’t get the awkward moment the next time you see them,” Matt said.

Foggy didn’t like that idea. There were too many times when he met people and it wasn’t appropriate. “Hello pretty girl,” he said. “My name’s Foggy. If I ever see you around campus, I probably won’t recognize you. It’s not because I’m ignorant, I’ve got a neurological disorder.” He laughed. “I can imagine that going down really well.”

“Well, maybe work on your phrasing,” Matt suggested. “Or wait ’til the second time you see them, instead of trying to work out who they are, just ask them.”

Foggy snorted . “Ow! You just made milkshake come out of my nose!” He retrieved a kleenex from his pocket and blew his nose, the tissue was brown with chocolate. “Matt, don’t take this the wrong way, but we sighted people tend to be vain enough to think that if we’re memorable, people should remember the face as well as the scintillating conversation. You get away with stuff like that because nobody expects you to recognize them. If I try it, I’m just rude.”

“It’s not rude, it’s honest,” Matt told him.

“It’s honest to tell Mikey Davison he stinks of B.O. It’d still be rude. People think being memorable means their looks as well as their personality. I’m actually jealous that people walk up and identify themselves to you. It’d be great if they’d do that for me. But, you know, without the going blind thing because I do like looking at the pretty girls.”

“That never bothered me,” Matt told him. “I suppose it’s because I lost my sight before I started to notice other people in that way. It’s other things I miss. Like colors. Or the sky.”

Foggy shifted his position uncomfortably. “Shit, man, I’m sorry. Did I cross a line saying that?”

Matt shook his head emphatically. “Not at all,” He laughed. “I’m not sure that is what you’d miss most though. Honesty, see?”

“Does it bother you?” Foggy asked. “Not seeing, I mean. Do you think about it much anymore?”

“Almost every day,” Matt told him. “But there’s nothing I can do about it, so I try not to waste too much time on it. Hey, how about a t-shirt?”

Foggy frowned, confused. “What?”

“You could get one printed up asking people to tell you who they are. Problem solved.” He grinned.

“You’re an idiot,” Foggy told him.

“Okay,” Matt said. “How do you feel about a pin or a button?”

He didn’t notice the ball of paper flying across the table in time to move out of the way without it being too obvious that he was avoiding it. It smacked him on the forehead. That was okay, he probably deserved it anyway.
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“Dude, Professor York has it in for you! Seriously, I couldn’t believe the questions he was asking you in class today. He was making out like you hadn’t done the reading, but honestly, nobody knew the answers! What a douche, seriously!”

Foggy shrugged. “Yeah, but I wouldn’t say nobody knew. Matt answered them without even thinking.”

Matt blushed, just slightly. “It was just a coincidence; I was reading that chapter last night.”

“Right,” said the mystery speaker, blue jeans, black sweater, designer stubble. “I should go read that shit. I’ll see you guys later.”

He headed in the direction of the library. Foggy watched him go until he disappeared into the crowd, then he turned to Matt. “Well?” he said.

“Well what? Matt frowned.

“Who was that guy?”

Matt shrugged. “Must be in York’s class with us from what he was saying. Beyond that I have no idea.

“Oh.” Foggy shrugged. “You really don’t know?”

“No clue,” Matt told him.

Foggy frowned. “Some seeing eye person you are.”
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They managed to find a relatively quiet bar. It wasn't difficult at that point during the semester, most of the students were busy actually studying. But it was Foggy’s birthday, which counted as enough of a special occasion to take a night off. So they found themselves in a booth in a usually loud and raucous bar.

“Is it warm in here?” Matt asked.

It wasn’t. At all. In fact it was downright chilly. “Only if you’ve got your beer jacket on already,” he said.

Matt unfastened the zipper at the front of the hoodie he was wearing. He took a sip of his drink. “Yeah, that must be it,” he said.

It took Foggy a moment to notice. “Hey, what the hell?” He reached over and pulled the hoodie open. “Seriously?”

“You said you didn’t want a shirt. You never said anything about me,” Matt told him.

It was bright red with large letters in black print. “Public service announcement. When talking to Foggy, say your name first.”

“I hate you so much right now,” Foggy told him.

Matt laughed. “You love me really,” he said. “Happy birthday.”

“Yeah, whatever,” they clinked glasses and took a long drag of beer each. “You burn that when we get home, okay?”
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They had been interning at Landman and Zack for a little over two months. It was okay. Not a perfect fit, but it was getting more comfortable with every week. The dress code was a problem though. Not the wearing of it, even though it did require him to cut his hair a little shorter than he would have liked, but the fact that everybody else wore it too. It wasn’t quite as bad as a uniform, but it was close.

Women were easier, they tended to have different hairstyles and more unique shoes, and they were more likely to wear perfume, which was a godsend. Men though, there were a few different haircuts and colors, there were a few men who were easy to tell apart by their age. For the most part they were identical.

The door opened and one such clone poked his head inside the room. “Hey, guys,” he said. “Oh, no Matt?”

Foggy shook his head. “Coffee run. He’ll be back in a few.”

“Okay, sure,” the man said. He had sandy brown hair, probably late 20s. His voice wasn’t distinctive. There were any number of people he could be. “Can you find everything we’ve got on these cases.” He handed a piece of paper to Foggy, “Murder cases a few years ago, I think there might be something there that’s relevant. Just bring it all to my office soon as you can, okay?”

Foggy swallowed. He nodded. “Sure, no problem.”

The man nodded then turned to leave.

“Hey, one thing,” Foggy said.

He turned back, curious.

Foggy took a deep breath. “Please don’t take this wrong, but who are you? I’ve got this face thing, I just don’t remember what people look like.”

The man frowned. “Danny,” he said. “Danny Michaels? We were talking at the bar after work the other day, you were telling me you were supposed to be a butcher.”

Foggy smiled. “Danny,” he said. “Yeah, of course. I remember people, just not what they look like. So, I’m probably going to keep doing this to you, no offense.”

Danny shook his head. “None taken. That’s kinda weird though.”

“I know,” Foggy told him. “But nobody ever accused me of being normal.”

“Right, well that’s good to know. I’ll tell you who I am next time,” Danny told him. “So, files?”

“They’ll be on your desk by lunchtime,” Foggy said.

Danny disappeared though the door. As soon as he left, Matt arrived accompanied by the smell of coffee. He handed one cup to Foggy and sat down, placing his own on the desk in front of him.

“You finally did it,” he said.

“Did what?” asked Foggy. He took a sip of coffee. “This is disgusting, by the way. Where the hell did it come from?”

Matt ignored the second question and focused on the first. “You told someone, and it was okay,” he said.

“So far,” Foggy said. “’Til he starts spreading it around the office and people start messing with me.”

Matt shook his head. He took a sip of his coffee and shrugged. “This is fine. You’re a coffee snob. And if they mess with you, that just means they’re comfortable with you.”

“Maybe, maybe not. I guess it’s not like I had a choice in a place like this anyway. Everyone looks exactly the same. Seriously, dude, you wouldn’t believe it, I swear they’re clones. If we ever start our own practice, name badges. Even for the clients. It’s the way forward.”

“I can imagine that going down really well,” Matt said. “So, what did Danny have for us to do?”
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They had an office. If they could even call it that with no equipment and hardly any furniture, but they did have their first employee. And desks. Chairs too. They were moving up in the world.

He opened the door to his office and peered out. She was still there. As inconceivable as it seemed, she hadn’t yet changed her mind and left. He walked through the door and smiled at her. “Hey, Karen.”

She glanced up. She was sorting through a pile of mail addressed to the previous tenants. “Hey,” she said. “I think the last people to rent this place might have had a sideline in prostitution.”

Foggy rolled his eyes. “Nice,” he said. “Maybe their old clients will turn up here looking for them. They’re probably the kind of people that need legal representation, right?”

Karen laughed and dropped half the letters into the trash.

“So,” Foggy said. “Since it looks like you’re going to be hanging around here for a while, there’s something I’d better explain to you, to prevent you thinking I’m an asshole if you see me out and about…”