*Wordcount: 410 words.

The rain pelted the concrete, leaving drop-sized spots of moisture that grew into small puddles. The parking lot was devoid of life or activity. The metal roofs put up to give some shelter from the heat did little for the encroaching puddles, and composed a lonely song together with the rain.
Cars passed by below, their headlights struggling to cut through the downpour and the sound of their engines muffled by the same.
A man walked out from a staircase, and looked around before deciding he was alone and walking towards the only shelter the lot provided.

Under the metal roofs he was dry, or dry enough. Or, at least, not currently getting rained on. The man had nowhere else to go.
He used to love this kind of weather. When he was a kid he would watch the rain patter at the window, and sometimes run outside to jump in puddles and feel the cool rain on his skin. His mother would catch him and scold him, but he would just do it again later.
Of course, these days he hated this weather. The rain and the cold were a lot less enjoyable when you had no choice but to be outside.

He curled up on the floor, and pulled a ragged blanket out of a ragged backpack. He covered himself as best he could, despite the holes and frayed edges, and tried to go to sleep.

He dreamt of his mother, of his father and his brother. He dreamt of a home he no longer had, and friends who no longer cared. His dreams weren’t often like this, but he relished it. Perhaps the warmth and love from his dream could bleed over into waking life, just for a little while.

He woke, suddenly.
“Hey man! I said you have to leave!”
The security guard looked down on him. “Get up! Go!”
The man stood up and gathered his things, silent. He listened to the rain (which had died down to a drizzle) for a few seconds before stepping out.

After the warmth of his dream, the cold rain was jarring. He didn’t think about it, and the dream was starting to fade anyway. The warmth stayed, and it cheered him up while making him sadder than ever.
He walked down the sodden road, shivering and longing, stopping for a moment to look at his reflection in a storefront’s glass.
He couldn’t tell the rain from the tears.


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