It was when I realized that I'd have started my story exactly the same way
The worst was how I reacted when she said:
“Please don’t just walk past me.”
The flash of thought that she’s “a normal person,”
not exactly what that might mean –
in clean clothes, posh accent? A woman
allegedly: escaped domestic abuse; can’t
find relief in any open church or mosque;
has an aunt somewhere far off.
The breaks: “Please, I’m sorry to interrupt you,”
rehearsed; back, no pause, to narrative’s rouged breast:
“Is there anywhere you know I can go?”
and so apologetic: “Please, don’t walk away.”
So many traits “a normal person” might have used.
And then: “Please, do you have any change?”
6 months ago