August brought the rain, unexpectedly after the searing heat of July. A heat that was as exhausting for its intensity as it was for its consistency.

The locals had something else to bitch about now. Far from the cooling relief, they complained about it raining ‘again’, fickle as they always were.

As she walked home, Simone had more to think about than the ups and downs of the weather, for August brought her crisis fully into focus. This was the month she’d had ringed in her calendar all year.

The month when it would finally come to an end.

For most people, almost exclusively mothers like her, there was a heady mix of fatality, excitement and the fear that goes with both, in this month of all months; year of all years.

The first time she would be home alone for a long time was nigh.

Her phone rang that annoying Nokia trill she’d set. The one that the old 3310 had, much hated and yet so recognisable, that when she had the choice with her more up to date, cleverer phone, she made it her choice.

That was who Simone was.

“Darling, how are you?” Her caller spoke chirpily. “Robin calling!”

“I’m doing just fine.” Simone replied, putting aside the challenges of her feelings for a moment.

“A little bird tells me you’ll be having a lot more free time, come next month.” Robin continued ploughing his insensitive trough.

“Yes.” Simone replied. And those sensations returned again, as she thought they might. They were very close to the surface.

“Well, I might have a little something to get you buzzing.” said Robin.

For a moment, Simone was a little taken aback, for the call was completely out of the blue. She hadn’t spoken to Robin for over ten years. Since she left the agency. Since she was about to give birth to Alex.

“What sort of thing?” she finally blustered.

“Well, let’s say we meet for coffee, as its right up your street, I think.” Robin was evasive, and teasing her at the same time.

In that few seconds, Simone switched her feelings from a fear of life without any of her three at home at long last, to the excitement of new beginnings.

Of feeling wanted for who she was for herself, instead of being the fixer for the kids and Mark.

Of being truly valued.

Robin needed her for her skills, after all this time.

“Costa. By the park off Ainsworth Avenue. 10 work for you?” she said quickly, before he might change his mind.

“See you there, darling. I’ll bring your gun.” Robin signed off, laughing.

Her day. Her future. Her life. Just got a whole lot better.

August eh? Simone sighed. And smiled.

Just then, the sun came out.