Numbers Game, part II

“Hey, lady, watch it!” the waiter growled as he nudged past her in the narrow aisle. She had expected snobbery, but this place was as aggressively unpleasant as New York!

She put her emotions aside with practiced ease. She could do this. Had done it for years. It was all mechanics.

“Monsieur!â€? She tried to catch the waiter’s attention but, in the near distance, the screeching subway drowned her out.

She sank back in the uncomfortable metal chair on the cold sidewalk in the chill air, wishing for a hot cup of tea. She watched as the subway, really an elevated train or “Lâ€? they called it here, stopped for a while then left.

“Not that one,â€? she thought.

Seeing the train recede into the distance made her feel cold and alone. She pulled the scarf closer to the bare skin of her neck. Protocol dictated her next few moves. One more train and she would go. Empty-handed.

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