The man makes no sound as he walks slowly down the paths of Hyde Park. In fact, there is silence, spare the busy patterings of the rain, rain that has been falling relentlessly for two days now, shrouding London in a flickering haze and turning busy squares into motorways of bobbing umbrella tops.
This man carries no umbrella; he barely seems to notice the fact that his suit and overcoat are soaked through, that his hands are shaking (from the cold, surely).
He just makes his way, slowly, slowly, to wherever he is going, stopping occasionally to remind himself how to breathe.
The rain caresses his cheeks and whispers comfort in his ears.
The man walks for a long while, eventually stopping at a great monument in the centre of the park. Silver writing crawls across the black marble, listing five hundred or so names with a gloomy determination.
His eyes, underlined with black circles, comb the list, landing on a certain name near the base of the monument. He swallows. Then he bends and lays down a single flower.
There are no passers-by, no-one to notice how his skin is too pale, how the whites of his eyes are far from white.
No-one to see more than rain running down his face.
The man stands for an hour or so, still and silent, never taking his eyes off that name.
The hand in his pocket twitches for another.
After a long while, he closes his eyes and takes a deep, deep breathe. Then he turns and takes a step away from the monument. Then another, and another, until he is walking away, leaving Hyde Park alone with the rain and himself. . . just plain alone.
The rain falls steadily, stopping long after the man has left and leaving all in the park shining and dripping; from the sighing trees to the single red rose that lies at the base of a monument.
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