Abbey parked the little white hire car on the boulevard. It was spring, before the crowds of summer families filled Castillo, and there was still plenty of space. Across the road, a row of shops and cafés faced the sea. Abbey crossed and walked a little way along. Café tables, round, simple and encircled with empty chairs, sprinkled the pavement. Abbey entered the first café that she reached.
‘Hay servicios?’ she asked the waiter. Her Spanish was terrible, she had just memorised a few words and phrases really. Still, it was enough to ask crudely for the bathroom. When she came back out into the sunlight she was feeling considerably less hurried. Impulsively, she decided to have coffee. It was a very small café, with maybe half a dozen tables set out under colourful umbrellas that flapped and fussed in the warm breeze. She sat down at one of the empty tables and ordered her drink.
It was late in the afternoon and around her the other tables were empty, except for one man. She hadn’t noticed him when she hurried in. She sat back a little and tried to watch him without being noticed. He lifted a cup to drink, turning slightly towards her. Had he seen her? She could not turn away now, that would be too obvious. Abbey’s eyes drifted down to his hands. In one he held an open book. A trickle of blue smoke rose from a slim cigar in the other.