People saw what they expected to see. Jenny had always understood that.
She had understood it when she was nine, and she had dirtied her skirt climbing trees in the park and playing football in dusty alleys.
'The boys pushed me!' she would say, and instead of punishment she would get a pat on the head and gentle admonishments not to play with the boys, they were too rough.
She had understood it when she was twelve, and her brother had done the mending while she chopped the firewood, and they changed places when they were almost finished, before their parents got home from the shop.
She had understood it when she was seventeen, and on her days free from work in the shop, she dressed in her brother's clothes and stuffed her long hair under a cap to go out, and people talked to her and looked at her in new and different ways. When she kissed a girl in a pub and people laughed and called her a canny lad.
She had seen it so often from the inside out that it was easy enough to spot it from the outside in. The woman who came into the pub and asked too-casual questions caught her attention at once. There were plenty of reasons to cover your face and hands, but Jenny couldn't match any of them to her manner. Something about the way she moved. Too careful. Jenny was intrigued.
When she followed her, she didn't quite expect a sudden knife at her throat in a dark alley, but she wasn't surprised either.
'Are you following me?' the woman asked, her voice almost a growl.
'Yes,' said Jenny.
* * *
People saw what they expected to see. They both understood that. A reclusive lady and her maid, for most. An eccentric adventuress and her assistant, for a few carefully chosen others.
Not many saw the pink-skinned woman and the green-skinned woman who shared a bed and their thoughts and their work and their lives.
That was all right. Not many needed to.