A walk in summer rain is something completely different from a walk in winter rain. Summer rain refreshes and excites – invigorates. Winter rain seeps through to the bones and makes every part of the body ache. It chills and shakes the bearer. Coats, hats, scarves. gloves, boots- all need to be dried. Even jeans and jumpers. Winter rain has a way of finding everything dry and completely reversing the condition.
Dorie never forgot that wet June day when she had walked and walked and simply loved it . She loved the day. She loved the rain. She loved the thrill of being in love. She loved Adam. She would always love Adam. Nothing could change the way she felt about Adam. It was over now and she accepted it. She didn’t like it but it was what it was. As she walked home from work on a wet and windy December day she told herself that there had been so little chance of their relationship lasting, she wondered why they had ever got together in the first place. But on that rainy day in June everything was perfect – short-lived but perfect. For years Dorie had known that she could be happy with Adam, and she knew also that Adam was happy in her company. They had known each other at school and found that they had so much in common. There was a major difference though. Adam was Jewish and Dorie was not. To Dorie this was not insurmountable. To Adam it most certainly was – and his mother had made this quite clear to Dorie – and any other non-Jewish girl who came within kissing distance of her firstborn.
This rain was neither refreshing nor exciting. It was, however, invigorating in a strengthening sort of way. Who would have thought that winter rain could have a positive effect on one so alone as Dorie. True, when she arrived back at her flat she had her little dog for company and her sister was only a phone call away but sometimes Dorie felt so lost. She hadn’t moved forward. She had stopped developing as a person since her break-up with Adam. He was the man she had always wanted, the man she had loved. She could work, she could meet friends, she could enjoy family occasions but she could not move on. It was as if she had been bound to the memory of days such as that rainy day in June. Now here she was, on a rainy day in December. She was aching with cold. Shaking even. Yet there was some magic in the rain. The feverishness which was brought on by the winter chill seemed to be firing her up for the future. It was as if Dorie had been given special dispensation to lay the ghost of the summer, with its walks in the rain, beach barbecues, late evenings in the garden and grasped chances at happiness. It wasn’t the Christmas lights or the incessant music from the shops which was making a difference to Dorie. It was the rain. Dorie had walked out of her summer self and, bearing the awful damp in December, she made an assessment of Dorie James. Spinster and okay with it. She was not merely going to put the time in to stay afloat. She was going to take every experience, like a walk in winter rain, and make it work for her. Each time she felt anything at all, she would relish it , she would revel in it, she would regard it as her right. There’s a lot to be done before Christmas.
Dorie is at her front door. She looks for her key. A car horn sounds across the street.
“Not for me.”
It sounds again. Dorie turns to see Adam waiting in his car on the other side of the road. He grins and waves to her. Dorie waves back, smiling, then goes inside to dry her coat, hat, scarf and gloves. She put her boots next to the boiler.
“Nice seeing Adam again – but no more pain, thank you Adam. I love you but it’s time to move on.”
The dog settles down to wonder at this strange person scraping food into his bowl. Head on one side, he expects an explanation.
“It’s fine Bobby – it’s me, Dorie. Well it’s not fine really Bobby, it is in fact raining, but the rain is wonderful. In fact, we’ll go out for a walk in it in just a little while. The rain is different today. You’ll see, Bobby.”