And, without knowing how, I was left standing beneath an entrance porch in the centre of Madrid in a torrential downpour wearing nothing but the shoes on my feet and a small bag over one arm. I looked down at myself: what would anyone think if they saw me standing here? What would anyone who knew me think if they found out about this?
The air was cooler now and very pleasant, but still warm enough despite the rain. Still, I crossed my arms tightly over my chest, as if covering my nipples would make all the difference.
It seemed like an age had passed and I began to fear that Mia was playing a trick on me, that she would not be coming back at all. I turned and anxiously pressed the buzzer to Mia’s apartment. There was no response.
I stepped backwards out of the doorway and almost collided with a middle aged couple with an umbrella between them. They looked me up and down, mumbled something to each other and shuffled quickly along the pavement. I was going to kill Mia when she came back down. I pressed the buzzer again and heard a click.
“Mia!” I almost shouted.
“One minute,” she said. I breathed a sigh of relief: at least she was coming back down. I turned and faced out towards the street again, watching sheets of rain bouncing across the pavement and forming rivers in the gutters. At least I was dry under the canopy, and I was getting angry again. It seemed to give me strength.