Sunday, April 18, 2010

On the Red Line

Where there was one, there are now two.

Whatever she's lost, the girl can't find it anywhere. It ought to be small, and precious, and nowhere on her body or in her backpack. The boy she's sitting with suggests more places, and her fingers scramble.

The thought echoes that he is far too young to be her father, even though there is something of the paternal in the way he looks at her. His hair recedes, true, but then no one's hair in this country seems to resist the siren song called from widow's peaks. His nose is softly pointed, and skin too smooth - he must be her brother.

And she, for all her youth, commands him; she can't be Lear's Cornelia. She had made him sit and stands nearby, light brown hair jutting through the crown of a red cap, brown eyes flaring yellow as she searches through pockets and zippers. Whatever she has lost has utterly disappeared.

He reaches a hand, so much larger, into the backpack in his lap, and she impatiently draws it out with both of hers. She zips his jacket's chest pocket open, peers inside, and then shut again. He tries to mollify her but she responds in the terse tone of an individual pissed off and just barely in control.

Mature for her age, that she could keep herself in control, and refrain from any tantrums. He stops trying to comfort her. He zips up all of the sections of her bag, and they exit at Lubianka.

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