Almost (fiction)

"Guess?" Her bag dares me. Its logo stares out at me and I repress a smile.

Crisscrossed in bold stitching, the bag is the colour of homemade vanilla ice cream. Its zip and edging are a faux gold and copious amounts of chain and studs decorate. An embossed pendent dangles at the end of a gold chain and it too demands that I "Guess?”

Its question mark teases. “Guess?” That mark came at a price and must be noticed.

Music blares from her earphones and she is oblivious to me – her observer - as her opulent earrings sway to the rhythm of the metro.

I return to my book, but not before I watch as she answers her leopard skin and gold studded mobile, brushing back her bolt straight hair, her silver dotted nails tap a new rhythm as she speaks. 

"Oh my god!" Her Finnish is punctuated with this phrase, not once or thrice but maybe four times.

The metro chugs on, its passengers in various shades of winter, brown, grey and black, me, with my nameless bag and forgettable book – but she, she shines in orange. I believe it’s called bling. 

We exit our orange tube at the same stop, temptation tickles as we trundle up the escalator.

Her bag teases – “Guess?”

I tap her on the shoulder.


She shakes her head, startled.

The escalator deposits us at the top, and just as we part I ask. 


I watch her scuttle away, giggle and revel in my anonymity.

(Inspired by a true story)

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