by Ben Monopoli

As he leaves his house, not forgetting to lock the door behind him, testing it once then twice" secure in the knowledge the door is locked he walks the street. The terraced houses, with condensation laden windows, steam emanating from the rears and rising up as the morning people take their showers and welcome the day as best they can.

Stray cats follow him along his walk as one drops off another joins, different breeds and different ages, the curious mammals do little to impress him instead they unnerve him, unsure why, he quickens his pace. The sooner he gets there the quicker they will go.

Alone now, away from any cats, no unwanted purrs nor intrusive company he is alone waiting for his bus, just him and his thoughts. He has forgotten his IPod today, out of battery and having not charged it the previous evening the mp3 device actually ran out of battery the previous day. Whilst riding the bus home from his daytime occupation the IPod stopped playing, upon inspection he realised the battery had gone but he kept the earphones in" the reason? Does there really have to be one? Who else knew the earphones where no longer transmitting sound? So what little does it matter?

This particular morning is a cold one, colder than it's been for quite some time. A friend had mentioned arctic winds heading towards the east midlands "this must be them" he thought to himself, "bloody global warming I presume".

As his bus approached he checked the timetable, the usual six minutes late today's driver was Graham. Out of the five different drivers that man the line Graham was probably his second or third favourite driver, he was smartly dressed and courteous as four out of the five usually are. He handed your ticket and change directly to your hand which three out of the five do, but the other two certainly Amid (his favourite) go that extra mile for their passengers.

The ride was a smooth one, Graham negotiated the busier parts of the town with consummate ease, gentle braking smooth turns and no jolty movements, he completed the dual carriageway section of the route in a rapid and relaxed fashion, finally calmly passing through the more tranquil village courteously making way for oncoming traffic as and when he had to.

It is only when he thanks graham and bids him farewell, disembarks the bus, crosses the road and heads towards his workplace that he realises just what has happened to him. He realises just where he has been for these five minutes as the world passed him by without even knowing or caring he existed.

In his mind it is night though it is not dark, darkness exists but it is in the background, he leaves the building in which his is staying and stops" he is not alone, he has company and he is pleased. Love envelopes him.

She is beautiful, she stands there smiling, her eyes oceans of the kindest blue cry out to him, she smiles and takes his photograph. They walk down the street gloved hand in gloved hand, the hats are donned, he has leant her his big furry hat, and it suits her, to him anything suits her she is perfect.

The pilot said it was minus 13 degrees when they landed. Yet they didn't feel too cold, they are warm" it could be argued that this is due to the well insulated garments they are wearing, yet Topshop and HM standards aren't probably the most reliable of items at minus 13 temperatures, anyway it was an hour and a half since they landed, it was more than likely colder now.

They look at each other and constantly reiterate where they are "Prague" he says "we are actually in Prague" they both say in disbelief, a trip they have both wanted to make for some time but before they could do it they had to meet and fall in love" this has happened.

For him it happens every day, the morning they woke up bright and early to catch the appropriate bus to the airport (allowing sufficient time for a trip to the shop to purchase some chocolate) he fell in love with her all over again.

He wakes" in the Prague hotel room where he fell peacefully asleep the night before residing next to the most beautiful human being he has ever laid eyes upon, she is still there and wakes only moments later, bare faced, with no make-up or any superficial mask, she is more beautiful than ever, he has fallen in love with her once more.

They put on some clothes and head down to breakfast he watches her the whole time. Although only 5ft 10" (arguably), he feels 10ft tall floating above his human self in what can only be described as a state of bliss, it may be early, he may be tired but he is in the most beautiful city with the most beautiful girl, grabbing on

Holding on as tight as he can, the bus hurtles round the roundabout and into the business park "not this stop, but the next one" he plans his departure from the bus.

He gets through his day of work, she is on his mind. He gets the bus home and on his mind she stays, he keeps her there locked in and kept safe. He is excited, tomorrow he goes to work again, tomorrow he will fall in love with her again, tomorrow he will return to Prague.

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