She came. It’s getting to be a routine, our little run-ins. I stepped out and smiled for her.
She looked up from her phone. Those eyes.
“Is this your umbrella?”
They sparked. “Oh, yeah! I was wondering where that had gotten to. God! Where did you find it?”
“Over there, near the bushes.”
“Oh, wow. Thanks.” Her phone chimes at us. “Sorry, just gimme a sec. Could you hold this?”
She passed it back to me. I turned away and gazed over her shoulder. The bottom of the cobbles. Five magpies forming a ring. Closing.
“Oh, hi, babes! Yeah, I know, I’ll be along in a minute. You know the path up from the back of the station? What? No! We came this way three days ago! Remember now? Well...”
Three days ago. Here. Him. I clutched the gilded handle. Fake metal on tightening skin.
“Chat soon! Bye!” She closed her phone. “Right then. Where were we?”
I raised the umbrella. Light. Quick. Cheap. The gold flaked away and revealed a bare shine. Nothing but metal. Nothing but silver.
I like to think she didn’t feel it much. Just the right amount. I brought her home. I carried her all the way.