Not a Nice Lady

The car speeds past. I hold the girl’s hand. The mother finds us, gets in my face.

‘Mummy, you were gone.’

She shushes the girl so she can have a go at me. No hope of me mentioning I held the girl back before she could run into the road. Not that she would believe me.

‘Mummy,’ the girl whines. ‘I got scared when I couldn’t find you. The nice lady…’

‘Antonia, it’s a tramp, not a nice lady.’

She pulls the girl away. Within a minute, she’s on the phone again.

The girl looks back and waves at me.