Jerry let his left foot slide back into the carriage, placing all his weight on his right. He considered his options. He wished he had some. Reluctantly, he reached out to shake Gareth’s hand with great enthusiasm.
“A pleasure,” he lied. “Have we met before?” Jerry stepped forward, awkwardly close, but back on the platform. The oblivious commuters studied their phones and books and papers.
Gareth’s grip was warm and firm. It suggested, correctly, that he could have his hand back when Gareth was finished with it and no sooner. Gareth smiled again, like sunshine.
“Spare some change?,” barked the scruffy man accosting them suddenly. Jerry moved to check his pockets. Gareth released his hand. Jerry pulled change and bills from his pocket and let them tumble to the ground. The scruffy man rushed to grab them, momentarily intruding.
It was the only chance he was likely to get. Shoving the old man hard against Gareth, Jerry bolted back towards the steps and ran like his life depended on it.