James pulled the edges of the hood tighter around his face and wished that he had listened to the little voice in the back of his mind that was humming ‘wear a coat… wear a coat…’ when he left the house that morning. It was the first real rain of the autumn, and the hoodie that he was wearing provided almost no protection from it for the first five minutes after he left the office, let alone now thirty minutes out, trudging along the Wokingham Road towards home.

Susan was already at home, her text message short but certainly sweet;

‘Am home, need cuddle. Love you, S x’

As he took step after step through the standing water from which there appeared to be no escape, his feet becoming more and more drenched in shoes completely unsuited to rainy weather, he focused on the idea that very soon he would be in his warm, dry home with his arms around her, and the weekend stretched ahead as a partial cure to the week he had just endured.

Sales was never where he had been supposed to end up; selling copiers was the worst.

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