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A Walk in the Rain

by Tanya Shliahov  
3/17/2020 / Short Stories

Dania Kruger had arrived to work late…thirty minutes late to be exact. She was an itinerant worker working at different places every day, whenever companies required a replacement worker for a sick employee. Over the years of her employment, she had become an expert at finding out-of-the way locations, but this facility had been a particularly tricky one. It was placed directly beside another establishment of the same business, except this facility was located around the back of the previously mentioned establishment and had a sign the size of a manila folder signifying its presence.

On arrival, she quickly parked her car and slid out of the car door. Hastily grabbing her bag and name tag, she locked the car doors and made her way to the main entrance of the building. Dania hoped the facility would be staffed with a team of lenient employees, and to her relief, she found that her absence appeared to have gone unnoticed.

“Hi” Dania said to the first staff member she came across. “I’m Dania, the relief worker, sorry I am so late, where will I be working today?”

“No worries” the worker whose name tag read ‘David Howe’ replied. “It’s my first day here, so it might be best to ask someone else.”

“Your working here” another team member called out from behind him. “You and David go to room 39. She’s easy. She won’t take long.”

Dania and David made their way to room 39. This was quite unusual, placing two new employees together Dania thought, but she decided to make the best of it and besides, Dania had been struck by David’s physique the moment she had seen him! He was average height and slim with black hair, brown eyes and bronze skin. So, she didn’t want to appear hard to get on with in front of him.

“How long have you been in this profession?” David inquired.

“I’ve worked in this field for 14 years” she said, as a device that was very easy to operate sprung out of her hands. “Hmm” she thought to herself. “That’s the last time I tell someone how long I have worked in my field!”

“And what about you?” Dania returned the question.

“I’ve only just finished my training course”.

“Oh” Dania said with a confused smile. “This will be an interesting shift!”

Dania didn’t really mind though. She enjoyed working with new workers and students. She tried to be patient and gave them hands-on experience, instead of making them just stand and watch. She still felt sore about how she had been treated by more experienced colleagues when she had just been starting out and so not wanting anyone else to have to endure the hazing that she had gone through, now that she was experienced, she tried to be the opposite, as the Bible said ‘Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them’.

During the shift, it became apparent that Dania had not been the only one who had felt attraction at first sight! Shamefully, conversation had seemed to flow between Dania and David, but their conversation had unintentionally excluded their clients. Such was their attraction though, that rather than being upset with this rudeness, the clients had listened in, exchanging bemused smiles and knowing looks.

It turned out that David was quite an interesting person. Culturally, he had an exotic background, he was a Christian and recently, he had been through a rather hard time.

As their shift came to an end, David said “So, you mentioned that you are an itinerant worker. When are you likely to be back here again?”

“I have worked with my company for four years, and this is the first time I have come to this facility. Very often, I don’t return to the same place twice. There’s a big chance I’ll never come back.”

“Oh” David said wincing and shifting uncomfortably in his seat. “It would be a shame never to see you again…is there any chance we could meet up some time?” he ventured.

Dania smiled. This was a surprise ending to a day that had started out so bad.

“Sure! I usually go for a walk after work to keep my blood pressure down. You would be welcome to join me.”

“Cool!” David grinned, a look of relief flooding his face.

As they walked the streets of the semi-rural town of Logan Village, gravel crackling under their feet, Dania became even more intrigued by this person who went by the very simple name of David Howe. A bird tweeted, cicadas buzzed, and the wind made a soft sound of ocean waves as it ran through the leaves of the eucalypt trees, which dotted a field adjacent to the road, but neither Dania nor David heard them.

They walked past a terracotta-coloured, tartan racing track, belonging to an expensive school on the other side of the bitumen road.

“I used to do that” Dania said, pointing to some runners who were stretching and sprinting at intermittent intervals. “At school, I used to win every race until I reached the regional level. Then, I would come second or third.”

“Impressive” David replied raising his eyebrows. “What else did you get up to?”

“Nothing worth boasting about!” Dania laughed as a creamy-yellow school bus with green, blue, yellow and red boomerang shapes on it drove past. It broke the quietness of the back road they were treading down with a loud hissing noise, which brought their attention to the sound of hammers on wood, coming from within a shed on the school premises.

“That was me” David said. “I took manual arts at school. I was pretty clever at woodwork. I never won an award for it though”.

“I hope some one sane gets in” Dania said, nodding her head at some ‘Vote for Me’ signs that had been speared into the ground, next to a house with a letterbox that had a menacing gargoyle on top of it.

“That’d be good” David grinned joining in on the joke. Local government elections were in two weeks’ time, so the town had been inundated with ‘How to Vote’ cards in their letter boxes, door-knocking candidates and signs with slogans on them.

“Well, this is when I usually turn around, the twenty-minute mark. Then, I walk back to my car and drive home. That brings it up to forty minutes of exercise per day.”

“Nice! Well, would you want to do this again some time?” David asked.

“Sure!” Dania smiled wide. “You don’t seem too crazy!”

“You don’t seem too crazy either!” David replied gently digging her in the ribs with his elbow as a shower of rain began to bucket down.

Matthew 7:12 NKJV

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