For many weeks, before Christmas, there was a young woman who got on the bus a few stops along from me who, despite her softly rounded features, neat plaits and pink hair clips, always seemed regally self-possessed. Perhaps it was something in the straight-shouldered way she carried herself, or her complete lack of interest in the other passengers.
But one morning he was not waiting. She looked intently out the window, turning in her seat as we passed, but there was no sign of him. She lowered her head and stared at her phone, fiddling with it, still studying it as she got off at her stop as if she were willing it to send her a sign. The next day, and the next and the day after that he was not there, though every morning her head turned.