When it came to talking to girls I took my cues from all the wrong places. Like sit-coms and gossip mags. And stupid old pop songs.

She waited at my stop every morning but her nose was always in a book. It kind of got me off the hook ’cause I wouldn’t have known what to say.

Until one day an unexpected shower had me reaching for my umbrella—I always came prepared. From under it I saw her looking wistfully my way, her book shut against the raindrops. Bus stop, wet day. My big chance.

‘Would you like a bit?’ I said, realising immediately I’d blown it.

She laughed politely and said, ‘No thanks. I like the summer rain.’ And she stood under its filmy shimmer until the bus arrived.

We said nothing more until a few months later when a sudden storm descended. Before I could put my brolly up she’d raised one of her own. So I kept mine down and let the rain soak me instead, maintaining a stoic smile until she asked, at last, ‘would you like a bit?’

And much as I liked the summer rain I relented.

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