Waiting for the car ahead to ease into a left turn, the stance of a girl on the street to the right diverted his attention. Inquisitive, he abandoned the Mini challenge and wove cautiously through the traffic towards her. She was leaning against a street-light pole, head down, her face half-hidden by a floppy hat brim. He braked and coasted slowly. Foreign emotion and a curious awareness bubbled. Some of his sister’s postures flashed before him; he sensed uncertainty, loneliness. Embarrassment?
His gut churned, tingles rippled through his trunk and limbs. New compulsions; he wanted to hug her. To comfort? To protect? His bike veered towards the footpath, seemingly under its own volition.
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