I see her every morning standing outside the apartment building on the pavement at the bottom of the marble steps. She’s waiting, not young, not old, bobbing the baby up and down in a sling on her front.
She strokes the baby’s hand and whispers to it. Its legs kick back and forth against her hips. It’s 7.45 a.m. Suits trot down the steps fresh from the breakfast table, plugged into headphones, wearing trainers to commute. She pauses every time one appears, looks expectantly hoping that it’s him.
And then it is him, and he swings a rucksack onto his shoulder. Freshly shaven face, suit, black brogues. He isn’t young. He isn’t old either.
She smiles intensely. He lets the baby lock its hand around his finger. They talk for a minute, he glances back at the doors. Today he hands her an envelope and she pretends she’s going to refuse it before tucking it into her pocket. I lip read and I think she says ‘you don’t need to.’
When a minute is up he kisses the top of the baby’s head and puts his hand on the woman’s shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze before walking away. I watch the whole affair from the bus stop. It’s the same, or similar, every morning.
Picture credit: City AM