It was one of those days where the rain hit the top of my head and eroded my mood until it slipped out of my skin and puddled in my lakely shoes. I tumbled onto a bench and let my eyes rest on the slate being flooded clean, watched Mother Nature sweep and sweep until the remnants of cider and young ideals were cast into cast iron drains. The rain eased off, its patriotic protest made, and still I sat. I sat and I dripped. I dripped and I drooped, limbs heavy with the sombre dregs of a mood long since passed.
He was a taser gun. A sharp, caustic shock to my nervous system, nervous as it was. He exploded in front of me, a sudden, full, sensory overload. He was upon me immediately. His arms round my shoulders, the rankness of sour lager, of urine, of death. It took several moments to process the smell alone, as his damp and corroded hands reached up to pet my hair; unwelcomingly paternal. I wept.
A moment passed and I clung on too. I clung to him, I thanked the clouds for spitting him down to me. He pulled away with a ambered grin and I couldn’t help but smile back, small, suddenly very aware of how small I was in the world and how self indulgent I had been being – swept up with the rain, swept away with my mood. He pressed a twenty pence piece into my palm, it was sticky. He righted himself and weaved away, waving to blank faces in the crowd. I stayed on my seat, looking at a twenty pence piece, and I smiled. It seemed like the first time all over again.