She was elegantly dressed, in form-fitting clothes that showed off her curves to great effect. She was standing on a street corner, chatting with a friend. Her skin was dark – was she West African? That would have been my guess.

As I passed, rushing, her eyes met mine. There was a forwardness to her gaze. It was a challenge. Maybe even a dare. But it was warm. She was smiling at me broadly.

For a moment I wondered – was she a working girl? It would be beyond odd if she were. It was 11 in the morning, on a busy street corner in an upscale shopping district, one in which, if working girls ply the streets EVER, it’s news to me.

But there was her forwardness. It was… off. Just a little more forward than is culturally appropriate.

I’ve traveled in West Africa, and I know that women are often more forward there than is customary here. Was this that? Or something else?

I’ll never know.

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