Rendezvous by Christopher Moore

No sooner had he made the resolve to venture out, had the rain seemed to come on even heavier. Intensifying in strength, it felt as though all the water of the world were teeming down on the city streets. As though, like him, this was a moment of opportunity that wouldn’t come around anytime soon, as though it were now or never, and the clouds wouldn’t have the chance to open like this again.
        The deluge had him soaked through to the bone within moments as his feet splashed through the network of puddles passing for a footpath, making his clothes cling to him like damp rags lifted straight from a washing machine. His hair matted to his forehead, rain water pouring down his face and stinging his eyes with its insistence, seeping into his shoes and making every step feel like he was wading out to sea. Somewhere in the near distance, thunder rumbled, a few seconds after a flash of lightning lit up the sky, and he gave thanks that he didn’t have too far to go. That was the frustrating irony of the situation. Her accommodation was only a few streets around the corner. But, in this downpour, it only took seconds to become drenched.
        He couldn’t complain. The last time they’d been able to do this, she’d pressed through street after street of knee-deep snow, ignoring the chattering of her teeth and the shivering of her skin, to make it to the apartment he’d been staying in. Before that, he’d gone halfway across another city in a heatwave, and had been rewarded with blistered skin on his arms for not having the forethought to apply sun protection.
        Before that still, she’d braved one of the dampest autumns on record and crossed an obstacle course of a city carpeted by leaves slippery enough to risk a broken neck.
        And the less said about his own experiences with slipping and ice the time before that, the better.
        So, it didn’t matter that right now, his body felt like it consisted only of freezing water. That the sensation of being dry felt like a distant, imagined dream, that there was only rain, and being wet, in the world. In the morning, he’d be back to normal, resting in a warm, dry bed, safe from the, if the forecast was to be believed, monsoon to come. And he’d be lying beside her.
        That thought alone made him press on. Push through the shower cascading down around him like a waterfall. And hurry the rest of the way round the block, each step bringing greater anticipation of his destination.
        And then, at last, there it was.
        Her hotel.
        A new chance for memories that would sustain him for months.
       No. He hadn’t wanted to go out on a night like this.
       But, there had never been any other choice.

Christopher Moore is a graduate from Queen’s University Belfast, with an MA in TV Fiction Writing from Glasgow Caledonian University. He is an alumnus of the Curtis Brown Creative novel-writing course, and the Fireworks programme for young writers with Tinderbox Theatre Company. More recently, he has had short fiction accepted for the Nightingale & Sparrow literary magazine (2019), The Mark Literary Review (2019), and Naked Frank Theatre’s ‘Tales of the Monsters in my Head’ event at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London (14-16 August 2019). Follow him on Twitter.

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