Rain, part the firstThe smell of cigarettes hung in the air, sicking and sweet, so fresh and new that it was almost possible to see the little cancer trails of smoke still hanging in the air. The night air was cool and calm, the heavy rain bathing the world in blue and grey hues. The evening was young, cars were still caught in rush-hour traffic as Alex walked home, umbrella in hand. Everyone he passed shared the same downcast stance, as if the cobblestone streets were a woman's eyes that could not be avoided without recieving the shame of examining the remainder of her flesh. He was almost home now, almost to the inviting couch that he passed out on every night, alone in the dark, almost to the slight chill of cold air passing under the doorway without inhibition, almost to the oppressive silence of the place he most loved and hated to be.
And she too, was almost home, though she did not know it yet.
Alex had been at work all day, at the coffee shop that he considered his office, writing his weekly repor