Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne
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11

Not me. For some reason I was too shy. Besides, I’d only

recently come to work on the site. When she put my soup

or main course in front of me I didn’t even look at her, I

only ever saw her from a distance. The other guys had

known her for a long time. She’d gotten used to having her

braid pulled. I won’t lie, I liked the look of her from the

start. And she knew it right away. One time she leaned over

to my ear and whispered, You should tug on my braid too,

see what it feels like. I didn’t. But I decided that even

without that, she’d still be mine. When the right moment

came I’d tell her. For the while I didn’t let anything show. I

never even said to her, You look nice today Miss Basia, or

Basieńka – Barbara was her name. Though everyone said

that to her every day. When she brought me my plate I’d

say, Thank you. That was it. Other guys, they wouldn’t have

been able to eat if they hadn’t pulled at her braid or at least

said, You look nice today Miss Basia, or Basieńka.

Sometimes she’d spill the soup because someone tugged at

her braid before she’d had time to put the bowl down. Plus,

some of them had hands twice the size of yours or mine,

rugged and strong. She’d even break a plate at times trying

to free herself from a hand like that. A good few plates or

bowls got broken because of that braid of hers. Same when

she was clearing the empty plates away.

One day she was carrying plates with the main course on a

tray, six plates if I remember correctly, when someone

grabbed her braid, even though she wasn’t going to his