John stepped out into a bright sunny day, the doctor's sympathetic smile still in his mind's eye. Around him, the sounds of the city went on, indifferent. Trucks grumbled by. Cars swished past. A bird twittered in the clinic's willow tree. In his chest, a cacophony of thoughts bubbled and fizzed. He felt unbearably light.
There was Jessica in Paris; Samantha in Wales; and Yuriko in Japan. Jesus, how to... which one had... John turned onto Fleet Street, and felt an red hot iron ball of shame in his chest. Christ, there's no why I can...
Above, a small fluffy cloud made its way across a clear blue sky – a beautiful summer's day.
John made his way to the riverbank, where willow trees arched their branches into the passing water. It was May, and their leaves were a new, spotless green. Children played between their trunks, running between their dappled streamers.
But, it was all dust.