Alone, she would be three lights ahead and going sideways between a lamppost and a garbage bin to get ahead of that slow-moving family.
Instead his arm is a leash and when she tries to hurry at the end of the walk signals his disparagement has her ashamed at scurrying out of consideration for others. Never mind personal safety, or respect for the rules of the road.
She should not be so proactive about trying to move the two of them out of the way of people’s pictures. She should not try to pull him back from a map when others are trying to look too.
This way he sees her half-assed, and cringing against her own instinct for speed, for politeness.
He isn’t there when her quick, slender ankles are flashing, her chin up and eyes scanning. Anticipating when the lights will turn. He doesn’t see her turning adroitly to get through a crowd, or skirting two girls taking pictures on the bridge, without breaking stride. Zipping down the stairs into the park.
He doesn’t know what she is like when she is walking without him.