"I don't like villains, push them away, take care of all of them."
The young man stared at the girl who had said it with a wave of her hand. It was a casual flick, un-matching he thought, of the strength that had been in her voice.
"I can't just push them away, it doesn't work like that."
"What doesn't?" Her voice was high, commanding, yet the eyes he thought were so soft.
"Everything. We're not superheroes." He realised he didn't even know her name. But he kept still and waited for a reply.
"Of course not, what a ludicrous idea."
He thought she'd almost laugh, but her lips just once again drew thin before she spoke.
"But there are villains out there and regardless of whether there are superheroes or not, I don't like it and I want them gone."
"Well you'll have to do something about it yourself."
Without another word he made up his mind and turned around. He'd be a madman if he stayed, pulled into some kind of hoax or funny dealing. She had just stopped him on the street, a young woman in a white blouse, so mesmerisingly that he'd almost missed her first words to him. It had been polite of course, general how do you do's and then she had come out talking about villains.
He shook his head, villains didn't even exist anymore, they were for idle stories. Crimes did sure, he knew, but they weren't villains. All they wanted was a new T.V. not to take over the world.
"You know it's rude to walk away when someone's talking to you, especially if they're asking for something."
He felt an arm link into his and looked to his right to see the lady keeping pace beside him. The edges of her brown knee-length skirt brushed against his leg as she pulled herself closer.
He stopped and took his arm out of hers.
"Look I'm sorry, I don't know what you want but frankly I don't care. To me you're just a pretty lady with a crazy head."
She looked at him sharply, but didn't seem too offended by his words.
"You really must learn to not be so crude, it won't do you any good." She took up her position again in his arm and pulled him along.
"What do you want?" He moved along cautiously.
"I've told you what I want, really you must learn to listen otherwise you won't be able to do a thing. A crude man that can't listen is just too much hassle to bother with."
"Then don't bother." It quietly, but it came out with all the exclamation of a shouted comment.
She looked over at him.
"Oh it's already too late for that."
They walked along in silence. He knew the streets well but soon found himself confused in the head. A woman that he had just met was taking him by the arm and he had no idea why.
"Can I ask your name?" He said as they stopped at a set of traffic lights and waited to cross.
"Edith," she said simply.
He had expected something suave, something that went with her impeccable and impenetrable look. But Edith he thought was plain, if not old fashioned.
"That's nice," he muttered softly, and he was sure she heard.
They continued walking and soon enough she stopped in front of a coffee shop where she unlinked her arm from his. For a moment he felt the urge to run but decided she would just find him again.
"Let me buy you a coffee."
They went inside and sat at one of the tables by the window. The coffee shop, fairly plain with the modern look was warm and he thought about taking off his jacket. Thinking that he might have to end up making a quick getaway he kept it on.
She put two cups of coffee on the table and sat down.
"So will you help me?"
He looked down at the coffee.
"I still don't know what you want."
She sighed and flicked her hand at the window.
"Look outside there, what do you see?"
He looked obediently.
"I see people, cars, all the normal stuff."
"Look past it. Look past idle stories."
He looked again. He saw the people walking by and the cars tearing their way up the street. And he saw a man just about to take a step from his position resting against the building across the road. Just about to take that step into the path of a woman in a red coat with her wallet protruding so temptingly from her pocket. And he was up from his seat, jumping out the door and across the road, running so seemingly into this man.
"Sorry," he apologised.
And the man, looking at the figure of the woman moving off into the crowd gave him a stare and walked the other way.
He looked back to the coffee shop where the women he had just met was sipping her drink so delicately and he was sure there was a smile behind the cup.
"I'll push them away for you," he murmured.
And he smiled himself, as he saw the lady in the red coat stop to pull out her wallet and buy a magazine.