She stepped out in front of me at a car park.
Long red hair flashed in the failing day. Straightened to a fine sheen, made-up but gradually coming down. I figured she'd come from some classy business function, what with the little black dress, the clip-clop high heels. Not so dignified though; her every other step slipped a little, wavering closer to the roadside.
She threw her bag over her left shoulder. I've seen a lot of handbags make a lot of women but never a tope bag. A bowling bag. A bag with Michael Ball on it.
I tried to keep an eye out for oncoming traffic as we crossed the road but I was hypnotised. Her perfect posterior popped with the uneven paving.
She led me past Dong Dong, the Oriental Superstore and all the failed betting shops. She swept back her hair somewhere around Tesco. For a moment it seemed like she was going to detour inside but I knew better: she was far too sophisticated to enter the market area.
Still I had no idea why she used the pelican crossings that I used, why she made her way under the same viaduct.
We passed an IMO car wash, Kobane Restaurant, a Texaco petrol station.
I almost lost her for a second: two young lovers came between us, holding hands and dangling empty banana skins from their free ones. When those crazy kids disappeared into the Slubber's Arms, I wasn't surprised.
The true puzzle remained. She led me further up the hill. Michael Ball stared at me from the bag, his open mouth smile mocking me. He was going to sing a sad little song for this sad little moment.
Around Birkbees Nursery, she finally noticed that I was still behind her. I wanted to say "Hey, lady, you're just going my way" but I was wearing my headphones and besides didn't have the courage.
We shuffled up Halifax Old Road with its Jamaican takeaway and monumental Mosque and yet I had yet to see her full profile. She yanked the handle of the bag further up her sleeveless shoulder. Never before have I been so jealous of eco-friendly luggage material.
I arrived at my gate and she was still going on. I hung around as long as I could see her but not once did she turn back. Considering the distance we had crossed, it seemed to me that the smallest glance of acknowledgement would have been a courtesy.
And yet she marched on towards the traffic lights. I briefly wondered if I should have raced ahead, said something meaningful.
Then I realised she was probably a Michael Ball fan.