She was sat on the bonnet of my car when I got home. I walked past her.
“Hey,” she said, as I reached the door, and the key stopped in the lock. I stared into the knocker, where I could see my reflection, bulbous and golden.
“Hey,” she said again, less assertively.
I turned to look at her and she was stood now by the car, both her arms by her side, her feet close together, and at the end of the garden, stood like that, she looked like a gnome, in her red hat and bright blue trainers. I couldn’t smile. I wouldn’t be misconstrued like that.
We stared at each other.
“Hey,” she said.
She said it like she used to say those quiet words, the whispered words, words reserved for the cold, night-time walks, or the warm, bed-time slumbers. Her silent mouth wandered all the way up the path and tickled my ears, even here, in the wet mist with a wind blowing down the street so hard all the red leaves are circling her toes.
“I’m sorry,” she said.