By Barry Maitland

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No, I got an HD. ’ Luce smiled. ’ I thought so too. We went to a coffee shop and chatted. Luce was doing a Bachelor of Science, majoring in biology, Anna sociology, and I’d hit on the one subject they had in common, statistics. It seemed the two of them were old friends who’d been to the same school, and I sensed Anna’s resignation that I was clearly more interested in her friend than her, as if this had happened many times before. But I didn’t pick up any hint of competition between them, and felt that the slight belligerence that began to surface in Anna’s manner was rather protective of her friend, as if she was used to fending off the attentions of unworthy males like myself.

Luce’s hair was drawn up in a simple ponytail, while the back of Anna’s head looked rather untidy, as if she’d had a go at cutting it herself. From where we were it was difficult to see the lecturer’s podium, far below us. He strolled in ten minutes late—this was the Faculty of Management, after all—turned his back on the audience and proceeded to mutter inaudibly at the formula he began to scrawl across the board. ’ Anna hissed to Luce. ’ Luce shrugged with a movement of her head that revealed the most beautiful ear I’d ever seen.

He’d always stepped in when our group needed a bit of leadership, but now I had the impression that he didn’t wait to take charge. ’ He slipped a business card out of his top pocket. ’ I said, noting the name of a big law firm in Martin Place. ‘Yes, I gave up on science the year you left, concentrated 26 Bright Air text 26 16/6/08 10:26:15 AM Bright Air on law. Commercial mainly, up your street. ’ ‘BBK, a German bank . ’ ‘I know them, they’re clients of ours. So you’re working for them in Sydney now?

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