Children rush past me on their way to some gathering that means the world to them. Their laughter makes me smile even though I’m hungry, and when I’m hungry, there’s no lifting my mood until food works its way into this greedy, should-know-better belly of mine. I keep seeing her from the corner of my eye. She’s skipping down the street singing her songs and then she’s with me in a store pulling on my arm begging me to buy her something nice. I can see her beginning to frown, and then comes the flaring of her nostrils and the temper tantrum that won’t shift until we kiss on the bus journey home. If I close my eyes, her scent lifts my bones up into the sky, and from there comes a feeling that stays with me all through the night. At times like these I don’t know where I am, nor if I’m happy or sad, but what I do know is that I’ve witnessed beauty, have held it in the palm of my hand, and for this, I’m truly blessed. Far behind me now the group of children rush into the road then flee into the park chasing after a ball that’s been kicked with adolescent fury. Watching them as they dash this way and that, I rub my temples and look for someplace to grab a bite to eat. Further down the street is a fried food place. Walking towards it, I inspect the menu plastered on the inside of the window and decide upon some chicken and chips. And a can of cherry cola to wash it down with, too. When I’ve placed my order and am impatiently waiting for the goods, I turn and see her in the corner of the room, balancing on the tips of her toes. She’s got that same look on her face. That irresistible, mischievous grin, and when she takes a few steps towards me, it’s like she was never gone. My dirty little secret. My girl in the river, and when she slides my hand into hers and leads me on yet another merry dance, the scent of that perfume stays with me until the next morning when I wake on the sofa wishing so much that she was still by my side.