Klara and The Sun

Read in August 2023.


Then the gap between the taxis grew wider still, and I saw she was with an AF after all – a boy AF – who was walking three paces behind. And I could see, even in that small instant, that he hadn’t lagged behind by chance; that this was how the girl had decided they would always walk – she in front and he a few steps behind. The boy AF had accepted this, even though other passers-by would see and conclude he wasn’t loved by the girl. And I could see the weariness in the boy AF’s walk, and wondered what it might be like to have found a home and yet to know that your child didn’t want you. Until I saw this pair it hadn’t occurred to me an AF could be with a child who despised him and wanted him gone, and that they could nevertheless carry on together. Then the front taxi slowed because of the crossing, and the one behind drew up and I couldn’t see them any more. I kept watching to see if they would come over at the crossing, but they weren’t in the crossing crowd, and I could no longer see the other side because of all the other taxis.