It was raining. I set out without an umbrella because I wouldn’t be able to carry it with groceries. The rain had become heavy by the time I left the store. Several tributaries swept the wide sidewalk. A swiftly flowing stream filled the gutter. Hard rain drops sank into my trench coat. I wondered how long the brown paper grocery bag could hold out.
A man appeared beside me, keeping my pace, holding his umbrella over us. I glanced up at him, expecting a friend or acquaintance but he was a stranger. His umbrella was not oversized, just barely big enough for the two of us. He was close, our sides touching. I looked at him again, directly up into his face. He was tall. Black hair, short, a little cowlick in the front. His complexion was pale and luminescent. I said “thank you” and introduced myself. He told me his name: Ozzy. We shook hands. “You’re like an angel,” I told him. He didn’t respond. “How far are you going?” “Straight for a while,” he replied gently.
“Are you coming from work?” he asked.
“Yes, I just needed to pick up a few things.” We came to my block. “I am turning down here.”
Ozzy smiled, “Have a nice evening.” I wished him the same, thanking him again, and turned into the rain.