I left a little late this evening, to go to the now-customary pub quiz with some friends. It’s a regular occurence with a rotating crowd, so you’re never quite sure who will be there each week. It’s a loose affair, with no arranging or checking beforehand. You just turn up. But this week I turned up and no one else was there. I had a quick scope round the whole pub before walking back out to consider my options.
Sitting alone in the pub didn’t seem like a very good idea, as I’d read almost all of the newspaper I had with me and I’d look a bit sad alone on pub quiz night. I could go home, but my parents weren’t expecting me back until half past eleven, and it seemed a shame to waste these precious hours of total freedom. I do find it curiously freeing when no one knows where I am or is expecting me to be anywhere. It’s like going out without my mobile phone, meaning no one can contact me and I feel liberated from all social obligations.
I decided to walk home. It’d be a long walk – up to three hours – but I needed the time to think. By this time it was spitting a little, but I decided to sod the rain and walk anyway. I stopped off at Tesco’s to buy some plasters, as my shoes were beginning to pinch. I applied them liberally and began to walk home, following the bus route I used to take to school. Not only did I know the way well, but I would ensure that I was never too far from a bus stop should I get tired or bored.
Very soon, it was pissing it down. The rain came down in torrents. I was soon drenched, despite my attempts to walk mainly under the trees. I began to feel chilly. As if I wasn’t wet enough already, a bus roared past and the spray soaked me from head to foot. I was feeling thoroughly miserable and lonely. I passed a few people, but they just hurried on to shelter. Then, one wonderful young man walked past and offered me his umbrella. I weakly tried to protest, but he insisted and I took it with profuse thanks. I cried a little, I was so happy. I never thought people really did things like that. The human race isn’t a total loss.
I walked to the next bus stop and caught the bus home. It was warm, if a little draughty. I finally made it home two hours after I’d left the pub, wet and with pinchy shoes. I lied to my parents, saying I’d left early because someone else did and offered me a lift. The bus-drenching had happened near our house, as had the umbrella thing.
I desperately want to find that man, to thank him. I can hardly remember his face – it was very dark. It’s a black fold-up umbrella with a white recycled sign on one panel. He was wearing a grey coat, and had sandy coloured hair. I sent a message to the “Spotted!” section of the local paper (where people send in such missed connections) but I have no idea if they’ll print it or if he’ll see it.
Anyway, I am cold and tired and going on holiday tomorrow.
Lots of love,