She reached toward his face again, but he deflected her easily.

But he wasn't smiling in good fun anymore-he was tired, possibly annoyed. She hesitated, and then backed into the masses again.

She just wanted to play. Maybe they were too old for that nowadays.

It was easy to watch him from afar, especially as his back was to her, and he didn't seem to feel her eyes on the back of his head. She waited peacefully, unable to see beyond her people. No one else talked to her for a long time; they were elsewhere, in another time and place.

She would rejoin them eventually.

Until then, she would be contented with her daydreams that rose above the din, eyes flickering from the back of his head and back, wondering what he was thinking, if he would ever turn around-

If he missed playing, too.