Mike had taken the split second decision to leave the station rather than go back down the escalator. But the cold is fierce, and he regretted it immediately.
He turns down Kingsway and walks briskly.
If he still had his thick coat he’d be fine. But David had offered him a tenner for it (piss-taker) and he’d had to accept.
It wouldn’t take long to get to Waterloo, though, and then it’s only a few stops from there. It’ll be warm on the train.
At least now he’ll be able to get a coffee. Old women always carry cash, and her wallet feels like it’s got something in it. He’ll check in a minute, when he’s further away.
But a stab of preliminary anger pricks the back of his eyes as he imagines opening it and seeing nothing but change.
He needs to know now.
He ducks round a corner and parts the battered clasp.
A few pound coins, and old photograph, laminated, an appointment card for Guy’s Hospital.
A twenty pound note.