by L. F. Roth
strawberry and lime cider
I happened to find myself at the station this morning, where I overheard a remark that made me prick up my ears.
‘It’s her birthday today.’
The words came from a woman carrying a bag that spelled fashion. I made out the word Flip K.
‘It is?’ The person beside her, older by some years, slowed down. Her canvas tote bag was somewhat the worse for wear.
‘Sixty-five, they tell me.’
Her companion shook her head.
‘More than that, I would have thought. She must be well into her eighties.’
But the other disagreed.
‘Oh, no. Have you looked at her eyes? They are the eyes of an eighteen-year-old.’
‘And the way she moves. Her shoulders. Her hips.’
‘Like a young girl.’
They proceeded past me, but out of curiosity I followed them.
‘You have to look beyond the surface, though,’ said the one with the canvas bag. ‘Her poise. The aura that surrounds her. There is wisdom. She’s no sixty-year-old.’
The one with the bag marked Flip K clearly took offence. She swung it around as she boarded the train, almost hitting her fellow traveller. I stepped back to avoid being caught by it, but as they disappeared, I thought I heard a name. It was yours, of course.