all he ever did was to walk over to that crying woman sitting by the bench and timidly offered her a packet of tissues. startled from her tears, she stared blankly at him before shaking her head, trying to convey her refusal through the physical, for all words deserted her hours/minutes/days/weeks/months/seconds ago. he never knew, but it did not matter. her refusal was polite, awkward, tinged with embarrassment – just like the dying notes of her perfume, clinging desperately to her bosom as the sun threatened to set. he could not say anything, for speech deserted him since time immemorial, so his hand stayed put, outstretched, holding that packet of tissues. another strangled sob escaped her. defeated, she began rummaging for some spare change, but quickly he shook his head. no, no, take it. he reached out for her hand and pushed the packet into her grasp. shyly he smiled. her gratitude was conveyed when she pulled out a tissue, and dabbed at the corners of her eye with it. there. she tried to smile in return even as her eyes welled up again, but he took it as a sign that he had done all he could. nodding, he left.