The hat was cocked jauntily to one side, hiding the face so I could not see what I knew was there: the green blue eyes of Claudia. It could be an Italian hat, I found myself extrapolating. Her style. Her second home where she had the luxury of retreating too, after her husbands death. I never knew him. Hat matching shoes, I notice. Those thin ankles.
At that moment she met someone she knew and her hatted head became animated as they embraced each other as friends do. I caught the line of her nose, Roman, aquiline. We imagine hands moving, but I was surprised how much her head moved, especially when she laughed. She always knew how to laugh, she’d wooed many with that carefree, complicitous giggle. Including me.
Was I jealous? Then. But now, oddly I could not feel a faintest touch of that pit of stomach, knotted mind feeling that so betrayed me all those years ago. Now I watched her as I’d watch a film. I turned, and with my stick to support, walked away.