Wind slapped her cheek, stinging. Sidda appreciated hard feelings. She liked sharp feelings, sharp slaps and rude awakenings. Soft glances and daintiness made her weary. She lived within soft edges, and the occasional corner made her tingle.
Sidda twiddled a bent, crinkled card in her hand. She'd found it on the sidewalk: an advertisement for Le Royale. She flipped it over with her thumb and finger, then flipped it back. Over, back. The edges curled and split.
Lu rounded the corner. He threw a glance over his shoulder, to make sure Ms. Li hadn't followed him. His fingers dug into his pockets, pulling at the skin beneath the thin cotton. His shoulders twitched. He glanced at the sky, blue today. Slush crowded the sides of the sidewalk.
Sidda leaned back on her hands. Her fingers dug into the slush, melting the watery snow so it dribbled through her gloves. She glanced at the sky, grey earlier.
Sidda didn't feel Lu step on her hand. The pressure felt good: the numbness felt.
"Oh!" Lu gasped. He knelt beside Sidda, then hesitated. "Uh, are you okay? I mean, uh, are your fingers okay?"
Sidda's lips curled. "I couldn't feel it, anyways," she drawled. Lu's brow wrinkled. Her accent startled him. Unfamiliar.
Lu noticed the card beside Sidda. He wrestled a hand from his pocket, and slid the card into his coat pocket, for later.
Sidda stood, embarrassed now. Lu stood with her, and nodded tersely. Sidda turned. Lu hesitated, then turned back towards his shop. Dead leaves swirled in the breezes around their heads.