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Cars, vans and buses sloshed around, extra noise coming off the back of the downpour. Everything seemed double loud. Brake pedals, horns, tyres skidding. Robbie enthusiastically groped his selection of bracelets worn today for the luck they might supply. He grew more nervous with each tentative step, clouds formed and grew in his belly. He shook erratically. And he tried to avoid seeing himself in prosthetic shop fronts – fearful the image of himself would remind him of all that had gone wrong. So he dodged and balanced, giving the local kids an easy focal point.

As well as the bracelets, Robbie felt unusually hefty carrying his charmed bear and rainbow eraser. Approaching the perfect bus stop, Andrea was forcefully coming into view gazing at him with a weird knowing look. A thing more than familiarity? Andrea’s handsome features struck into him then, incredibly clear against brutal greyness. This pleased him although he did not know why, so he just half-smiled and upped his pace to meet her. Within seconds, the two met and silently waited for their Arriva carriage together.

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