There had been women, certainly. But Harold never lost his distance, and the closer someone drew him the more aloof he seemed to grow. Invariably it would end, and sooner rather than later.

Most of them had talked about the weather before ending things. “There’s a cloud hanging over you,” Andrea had said. “I think that, when it’s gone, you’ll make someone very happy.”

“I need a little blue sky every now and then,” he’d heard from Hailey “I just don’t see that the way we’re going.”

“I heard once that we all have to cry a certain number of tears before happiness find us,” Beatrice had said. “The way a rainbow follows a thunderstorm.”

Harold wasn’t sure how he felt about that last one, implying as it that he’d soon be shedding tears over Beatrice and keep doing so until he met some mythical true love. But the more he thought about her line, the more he liked it.

Before long, Harold was using it on others.