When the trucks are loud and heavy on the bridge above me, and there is too much sharp light from the metal bodies of so many cars flowing in front of me, I lean back into the shadows of the cool cement wall, close my eyes, and feel I am sitting by a river.
Mariam parked in her usual spot in front of the martial arts studio, a short way down from her father’s apartment block. There was secure visitors parking underground and away from the chaos of the main road, but she’d stopped using it some time ago.
Bad people live in the house across the train tracks. That’s what Ma says. She says it’s chock-a-block full of druggies and neglected children. Sometimes when we drive past Ma flicks her hand and says, Now there’s a bad lot. I don’t want you playing with those kids, do you hear?
It was only after he got back on the bus that would take him the long road home that he began to realise what he’d accomplished. It had started that morning with an unexpected phone call from an ex-girlfriend whom he hadn’t seen or heard from in almost two decades.