The first time I saw Nadia she was shouting on one the backstreets in the old quarter. A boy on a scooter had snatched her bag and she was begging passers-by for help. I didn’t stop; like everyone else I thought she was part of the scam. Two days later I saw her at the airport when I was leaving. She turned and smiled at something and her full lips, painted red, stretched to reveal the gap in her front teeth. I knew we would be seated next to each other, but what I didn’t know was that within a year Nadia would be dead.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a Friday Fictioneers story because I’ve been on holiday and life suddenly became very busy. On 1st July Our Endless Numbered Days won the Desmond Elliott Prize – an award for debut fiction, and I’ve been doing quite a bit of promotion including writing this article on being a debut author over 40, for The Guardian.