Margo stops me in the hall. As usual my heart rate speeds up.
"Mackenzie. That's a lovely blouse."
She means my Egyptian cotton shirt.
"It's a shirt, smartass," I say, hoping that I come across as witty.
"Shirt, blouse, whatever you say," she says, smiling. I'll bet she has brothers, she slips into this 'taking the piss' mode very easily. "Listen, umm, not to get all sappy or anything, but about last week with that crazy guy..."
"Right, Todd." She looks uncomfortable. "Anyway, Gail's a really good friend of mine and when I heard about the shooting and they were evacuating everybody I couldn't find her and --"
Her eyes glisten a little and she clears her throat. She brushes a bit of hair out of her eyes.
"You know what?" I say. "It was nothing, really. Keith actually --"
"I talked to Keith, he said you tackled him."
"I think we're splitting hairs here. It was a team effort."
She punches me in the chest, not hard. "Listen, I'm trying to say thank you, okay? Just be graceful and say you're welcome and let me get out of here."
I smile, chagrined. "Okay. Okay, you're welcome. I just don't think it was a big --"
She holds up a finger. I shut up.
"Okay," I say.
"Okay," she says. She goes in for a quick hug.
For a fleeting second I smell her - lavender and suede and shampoo. I feel her hair brush against my cheek.
Then she's gone. I watch her go.