“The one in Trafalgar Square is much bigger, I saw it yesterday, ”Ahmed said. “And people throw coins in it so that they return.”
“In that case, here’s a pocketful,” and Laila emptied the front pockets of her jeans into the fountain, each coin glistening before it splashed through the surface and sank. The boat rocked.
“Save some for a beer,” a dishevelled looking Karim warned. “We’re all going out tonight before Ramadan starts.”
“I read your latest article,” Laila told Karim. “Here’s a beer for it.” She passed him a cold green bottle and thanked Sayed the barman who replied by telling her in English that his wrist was now healed so it must be safe to come back. “But that’s not why I left,” she said and turned to look at the adjacent wall where shadows acted out the motion of the footsteps behind it. Those look like Karim’s feet, she thought. Where is he going now? She assumed they must be reflections from the opposite wall out of which everyone had come. Making sure no one was looking, she kicked a corner in the floor to raise the pattern off it and make steps for her to climb. Up after Karim.