Her whispered response still rings in my ears as I walk home briskly, wanting to lock myself in my room and savor the knowledge of her continued love for me.

Raucous laughter from further down the street floats to my ears. I frown as I take in the shadowy forms of a small group of men, light glinting off of something.

Glass. Bottles, I realize as I near them.

Drunken louts.

They laugh, making remarks that should never be made in public.

I tug at the collar of my coat, flipping it up as if it could ward them off.