She turned to her companion and smiled.
‘Nearly there,’ she said. He nodded solemnly. They were nearly there – only two stops away now – but that wasn’t what she had meant.
‘Yes,’ he said. It was an affirmation, she felt, not only of her assertion but of the strange, unknowable bond between them. “Yes” – the undiluted positive, a simple, breathy syllable of agreement. Deceptively simple? Perhaps.
‘Have you got my ticket?’ she asked, already knowing the answer. How much of life was about asking questions you already knew the answers to, she mused. Yet the ritual had to continue. The world spun on its axis.
‘Yes,’ he said again. It sounded the same as before, this sibilant word that fell from his mouth, but it meant something subtly different, she couldn’t help but feel. What? She couldn’t say.