Hurriedly packing his gear, Christophe’s intention was apparent well before he realised that she was not alone. His physical reaction was immediate: his stomach churned, and his temple thumped. But he kept walking toward her, not knowing whether to look at her or the child beside her. Her eyes never left his face. He sensed her assessing his reaction.
He could simply walk on by. He knew her not, but knew there were complications. A bus turned the corner and eased down at the waiting queue. He could walk on by and shuffle into the queue. He fingered the ticket in his coat pocket. He made a small shuffle jump to avoid a middle-aged woman with a trolley heading toward the bus.
He took a deep breath and continued. Kneeling down, he retrieved a piece of bun the child had dropped.
‘Hello, I am Christophe.’
She took his proffered hand.