April 2008

Robert sat in the rain.

“Why am I sitting in the rain?” he wondered. “This is a daft thing to be doing.”

He looked up, at the big clock on the building across the road. It sat roughly where it had when he'd checked a minute ago. This was not, Robert had to admit, much of a surprise.

As he looked up, a small rivulet of water ran down off the back of his hat, splashed into his coat collar, and ran neatly straight down his neck. Robert moved uncomfortably and shivered. Misty rain drifted into his face.

His phone buzzed quietly in his pocket. He took it out, holding one hand over it to keep the rain off. A message. The weather was horrible—well, no need to tell him that—so she'd decided to stay at home. Try again tomorrow maybe?

Robert sighed. It was a deep, long-suffering, beaten-down sigh, and it made him feel, strangely, a lot better about the world. He sighed again, to see if the effect was cumulative. It wasn't. He stood up and started the long walk home.