I decide the ominous-looking cloud isn’t about to unburden itself. Tupperware in one hand, book in the other, I set up camp in my favourite lunch spot: near the bins. It’s not long before the sun appears, and with it, Colleague.
He smiles, comes over, and sits down next to me on the steps. This is probably the most romantic thing that’s ever happened to me
We chatter away, discussing our respective neighbourhoods, driving tests, books, bedroom decor (don’t ask). There’s something about him: he’s funny, in a gentle, understated way. He has a way of talking which puts you at HCG ease; and everything he says is interesting. My book lies forgotten beside me.
Eventually he gets up.
‘Enjoy your lunch.’
I glance at my watch; I have two minutes before I need to be back at the counter and I’ve barely touched my lunch. Ah well. I rise and wander in the direction of the kitchens.
That afternoon, there’s a run of tiresome clients at the counter. Apparently.