Holborn at 3.24pm

‘ . . . there were like two hundred thousand killed. It was really bad.’

‘You mean in Pakistan?’

‘No, no. It was like really bad. Like it was one of those big disasters. Some big thing. You know, one of those really big disasters.’

‘What? Like in what happened in America?’

‘No! You must have heard it. It was everywhere. Like three hundred thousand people lost everything. It was one of them black countries. Sort of Africa or something.’

‘No. I don’t remember that. What do you mean they lost everything?’

‘They lost like half of families were like killed. Kids with no parents or aunties. Everything was destroyed. Completely everything. And because it was one of them black places, like African, it was like there was nothing there. It was like they had nothing.’

‘So if they had nothing then they had nothing to lose. Apart from their lives. That was all.’

‘Sometimes I think you’ve got no heart!’

‘Oh, come on. I’m joking you. But serious if they had nothing then what did they have to lose?’

‘Well they had brick houses and stuff. And they had like families and you know . . . ‘

And they fell out of ear-shot. A tall woman in high-heels walking beside her boyfriend or possibly work colleague. They were very London. Very gelled up. Very giggly.