The air is thick and sticky. A woman in a summer dress covers her eyes from the searing sun beating down. Waves of heat permeate through her sandals as it simmers up from the hot, black, hard earth. Her feet feel like she is walking across burning coals. Quickly she steers to the nearby scraggly trees carrying the sweet scent of desert flowers. She walks from one shade to the next trying to avoid the sun’s rays. She prays for even a small breeze to abate the sweat beads dripping down the middle of her back.
She clutches a bulky, manila envelope to her chest avoiding the lizards that scurry by. She needs to get back quickly to get water, her mouth feels dry and hot like the ground. She looks up and notices in the distance dark grey clouds. A humid breeze rustles twigs along her path, bringing the sweet scent of rain to her lips. Rain was finally coming. Birds twitter furiously, a hawk leaps from a nearby branch and soars away almost as if to escape the electrifying atmosphere brewing around her.
A lightning bolt flashes above and as if on cue the wind picks up swirling her dress and hair around her. She hurries on, her footsteps pounding along the ground. She doesn’t try to stick to the shade anymore as the clouds gather and rumble above her shaking the earth. Her eyes widen as she sees the glass building in the distance. This is no normal rain storm, this will be a downpour and the earth around her will soon be flooded. She needs to get to the building before the storm catches her and sweeps her up in its torrential downpour. She walks a little faster, the envelope bouncing on her chest. Suddenly, she trips over a rock, the envelope falls to the ground.
A fat rain drop hits her hand as she jumps up dusting the sand off of her dress. Her knee scraped and bleeding she ignores it and hurriedly snatches up the envelope as the rain drops fall heavily around her. The glass door looms in site but she can hear the whooshing of heavy rain following her. She glances over her shoulder to see a sheet of rain gaining on her. She runs to the glass door, swipes her badge and yanks it open rushing inside just as the downpour hits, thunder cracks and shakes the building.
Bent over breathing heavily, she finally catches her breath. She stands and sees a woman with dark framed glasses watching her and smiling.
“I told you not to go the long way to get the mail Aida.”
Aida smirks. “I know boss but I just love how it feels outside right before it rains.”
Her boss’ eyes furrow as she points to Aida’s knee. “I saw your spill out there. Looks like you got some black top in that cut. You ok?”
Sheepishly she looked down at the bruising knee and waves it off. “I’ll just go wash it off and get the first aid kit to patch it up. My feet hurt more from that hot pavement. Why they did black top instead of concrete, especially here in Florida, still boggles me.”
Her boss nods, “Was it there at least?”
Aida smiles and hands over the envelope. Her boss smiles and takes the package immediately ripping it open, she flips through the pages quickly then hands them over to Aida. “Looks like everything is in order. It was worth the trip for you, if you’re good with everything we can proceed.” She sticks out her hand.
Aida flips through the paperwork and smiles. “All looks good boss.” She grabs her boss’ hand.
“No Aida, you mean partner.” They both smile and shake hands.