Jack sat in his car. His warm car. His warm, dry car, he corrected himself. Sainsbury’s carpark was the usual assortment of badly parked vehicles, but even more so now it was near the terminal end of the Christmas shopping madness. The scene through his windscreen was of hurriedly scampering shoppers clad in the regalia of winter in Wales, collars pulled tightly against gusting, rain-laden wind, shopping bags clutched possessively to their breasts, scarves knotted, beanies pulled skin-stretchingly tight against raddled cheeks and tingling ears.
He could hear the wind slapping ferociously across the undulant car-park, whipping up lake-like puddles into leg soaking spray and the intermittent huffs and puffs of passers-by as they gasped expletively at the blessing of living in the Western part of this island of ours.
Not for the first time, he doubted his rationality for returning. London would be dry now he assured himself, but as always he doubted and sought i-Confirmation from his constant companion. He examined the screen, touched an icon and there it was: five degrees, clear sky. It didn’t say “warm duvet, warmer girlfriend, hot coffee bubbling away in the kitchen”, but he thought it. The thought reminded him regretfully: “warmer girlfriend” was now a thing of the past. Instead he was living in a parent’s house, camp bed, careful with the language, no Xbox, lights out at ten, sherry trifle world, but at least it was only until Boxing Day. Then it was back to London and the emptiness of an apartment for one.
He smiled ruefully at the turn of his thoughts and added, “Damn you, Jesus. Why not July 25th?” Then prepared himself for the fray.