Because they must

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A couple wander through quiet streets and in the darkened night of early winter a storm creeps in overhead. The wind dashes leaves and litter against buildings, rattles them off glass, heralding the change. Swirling eddies race each other across puddles and fingers of icy cold wriggle through gaps in clothing.

They pull their jackets tighter, clinging to each other in warm embrace. They should be inside, they know, but on they walk. Braver now than before, happier and content with each other, relishing raw emotions that still sting as pellets of rain splatter their faces. They knew this was coming, they knew the forecast, but still found themselves eager to be outside. Neither fully understand why but press on if only to remain on the journey.

For the briefest of moments the wind changes direction but soon returns, probing down necklines and through buttoned down coats. It is a strange night to be out in the cold, in the wind and rain that seems determined to invade their every moment but, for now, they don’t care. It is a simple journey, complex by turn, easy to see but hard to navigate, so on they walk, avoiding puddles as best they can and all the while holding each other tight, fearful a gust of wind will snatch the other up into the night, into the dark and beyond.

They utter no sound, offer no competition to the howling of the wind or the constant snare of rain. They are mute with no need to repeat words once spoken, preferring to remember in the hope that memory will lead the way. On they walk.

The rain is heavy now. He pulls his collar tight as she turns and leans into him, closer still, stepping before him, taking her turn to lead the way.

A sudden flash blinds them as a car races past, slick tyres slice through puddles to offer a glance at the road beneath the water, but the tide turns quickly and soon the surface is scarred by jagged lashes.

They wander through the roaring streets, through the explosions in the air that scatters rain and leaves all around them. They should be inside, they know.

But they’d rather be here.