Rain started to fall.
Softly at first, in such a way that she didn’t notice until the ground was already damp and smelling like musty clothes, mothballs, and partially rotting leaves.
She quickened her pace, pumped her arms faster.
Halos appeared around streetlights, like perched angels guiding her way home.
Light reflected off the pavement, creating a warm glow.
Water soaked through her cotton sweatshirt and made contact with her skin.
She could see her breath now, every exhale snuffed out as quickly as it was born.
Her shoes squelched on the pavement, over grass, in and around puddles.
She realized her head had been bent over in an effort to shield her face.
She looked up and broke into a run.
Hands formed into fists.
Her hood flew back.
Droplets streamed down her face. Into her eyes. Over her cheeks.
She took the concrete steps two at a time.
In one fluid motion, she extended her hand, grasped the doorknob, turned, and shoved.
She was home.