A shoulder brushes against hers, silk slips across her wrist. On the steps, she stops and grabs the rail with both hands. Lavender. The memory slips under her ribcage, clutches at her heart, and twists. It was lavender.
“Excuse me, err, miss?” A hand on her back. “Are you okay?”
“Do you need a doctor?”
“Not the kind you’re thinking of.”
“Don’t worry,” she says, standing up straight. “I’ll be fine.” She looks him in the eye until he feels uncomfortable. His eyebrows turn upward. He looks up the stairwell. Little lines of worry form.
“There’s no need to wait on me.”
He offers a blank look. Not worry. Not at all. Confusion?
“Who are you looking for?” she asks.
“Oh, I’m not. I just thought I saw someone I knew, that’s all.”
“From a long time ago.”
“They usually are,” she said.
He smirks, either in agreement or amusement. “You are okay though?”
“More than,” she says. “Someone’s perfume overwhelmed me, that’s all.” She works to iron herself out, push out the person she’s supposed to be.
He doesn’t take to it. “Coffee?” That smirk again.
She clutches her bag tighter, locks her fingers together. At the bottom of the stairs, a silk scarf flutters.