Yeah she can walk. There she is carrying her leather soft bag and a huge file stuffed with papers, each group of papers with its own section, she is also good at classifying her papers, and the people that she meets.
A hurried crossing of the road in the middle of the day, under the heat of a burning sun, she closes her eyes momentarily as she passes in front of one of the tall entrances of the old downtown buildings, the fresh breeze that crosses her face from the air conditioning encourages her to increase the speed of her pace, promising herself a cold cup of water and the cool silence of the booth, once she reaches it.
She doesn't like to walk in haste, but in this heat it is a necessity. She recalls those winter days when she used to talk long walks within downtown with her father God rest his Soul, she used to walk with his hand holding hers in her favorite red dress, she was really young and he really made her feel safe, so whenever she traverses the same places alone in the winter, a familiar cold hand gives a brief squeeze to her heart, yet she smiles because she believes that every passing moment of happiness is a good memory, that should not be ruined by sadness, even if sadness stands in the way between them good times and this passing second.
She could be late for her appointment, she glances at her wrist-watch after removing the sleeve of her Grey suit, and it is almost 15 minutes to showtime, her heart races a little, and some drops of cold sweat start running down her fairly taken-care-of face. Then she realizes two things at the same time: She is so thirsty, and the coming alley represents one of her childhood's most sacred moments, the red carbonated sweet drink that only "Amm Ismail" sold out of an ancient Grey metallic fridge in that alley, always in the shade, never saw his face without a smile, and never saw her father giving him something less than a 10 pound bill with a huge smile and a pat on the back.
It didn't take her much to decide, and to her surprise, the fridge stood as the pyramids do, but the alley got stuffed with much more other decorations of satellite receivers' shops and cheap Chinese electronics stores. Yet under the same street light, the same fridge, the same tin bucket with huge chunks of Ice inside. The alley was surprisingly cool - or was it her living inside a childhood winter moment - yet her eyes were swiftly searching for the good old man.
No, he wasn't there! As she approached the bucket with the puddle of drying water around it on the asphalt of the sidewalk, there emerged a small girl with a red Jalabeya, clean face and curled angry black hair, dark-brown wide eyes and an emotionless expression on her face. The girl fixed her with a sheepish glance, although she was a very good speaker - her job mainly - she didn't quite know why she stuttered while deciding to ask her for a drink of that red sweet liquid.
Maybe she didn't know what the drink was called, maybe she wanted for some reason to ask about "Amm Ismail", it was easy for her as a kid to ask her father for a bottle of "el pepsi el a7mar", but now she could feel so awkward uttering something like that in the middle of the street, which made her in a split second consider the idea of missing the spontaniety of childhood, but it faded away before it started.
The transaction was really simple, the drink was absolutely something totally different, an experience that she didn't have in years and years. Living a memory out of taste is something that we don't get to live every day. When you taste something that you've only tasted when you were 6 years old is another world on its own, so let's not elaborate much on that.
What happened next was surprising in a way, yet very normal in a way. If you understand how much she loved - and still loves - her father, this would seem like common sense to you, but if not then it would be a very weird action from a formal pretty lady in a downtown alley. As soon as she finished her drink she gave her wrist-watch another quick look, opened her purse to retrieve her wallet, took a 100-pound bill, knelt down so that her face was at the same level of the small girl and tipped her the bill, and before the kid could say anything, she reached out and put both her hands on the girls' shoulders, looked her directly in the eye for a few seconds, patted her on the shoulders calmly, then so swiftly got up and carried on with her walk, she could be seriously late now, and the booth is waiting.
As she finally reached the huge Ministry's building, as she was climbing the stairway off the pavement she paused, looked back at the street, then faced the doorway again and prepared her ID.
Yet she never understood why those tears left her eyes into the open that moment.