**This story is a challenge prompt from @Amiyarivers. Check out her inkett page to get in on the fun!**
In the pouring rain- a short story
Drip...drop. Drip... drip... drip
The rain is just starting. It’s tapping against the window as if it wants my attention. It has it. I accelerate the gas as I drive forward.
I turn, just once, to look behind me. Too late, though. I’ve driven far enough that I don’t see the blue house with the dirty white shutters anymore. The house that never felt like mine.
No matter that all her stuff was gone, shades of her remained like a ghost in the walls. It was their house. Never ours.
Maybe if we had started fresh. Perhaps if we had gotten a place with shades of him and me echoing through the halls.
Maybes are fruitless. I know this.
The rain is coming down faster now. It’s fitting that it would rain today.
I’m walking as fast as I can. The rain is only getting heavier. I trip over my goddamn heel, and it breaks.
I slip it off and continue down the road barefoot. A car sloshes up alongside me. It slows to a stop, and the window comes down.
“Excuse me, miss?” A handsome man is looking out at me. “Are you alright!?”
“I’m fine,” I lie as I stand there soaked. I’m only wearing a tiny cocktail dress and clutching my heels in my hands.
“Are you sure about that?” He questions as he lifts an eyebrow.
“I ran out of gas. The gas station is just ahead,” I yell over the noisy rain, “thanks for your concern.”
“It’s at least a twenty-minute walk, and you’re already sopping wet. Why don’t you let me give you a ride?”
“I’ll get your car soaked!”
“This piece of junk? Who cares? I don’t.”
“I don’t even know you,” my protest is weaker this time.
“What if I promise I’m not a serial killer?” His tone is teasing, and I laugh loudly despite being cold and wet.
“That’s exactly what a serial killer would say.”
A soft smile touches my lips and then fades. A single tear, not unlike the raindrops on my window, slides down my cheek.
It’s the first tear I’ve let out in some time. I’m not sure when I went numb and stopped crying or when we stopped fighting.
We should never have stopped fighting.
A bolt of thunder cracks through the sky, and I jump.
“So, picnic in the park? Did I do good, or did I do good?” He asks as he carefully spreads out a blanket for us.
“A bit cliché, but cute,” I offer teasingly as my eyes flicker playfully.
He turns and looks at me, “wait till you see my efforts before you judge.”
“I’m watching,” I offer.
“Better be. I worked hard on these,” he’s also grinning. He sets out two sandwiches to start.
“Peanut butter and jelly?” I ask.
“Only the best for you, princess,” he agrees. Next, he sets out two bags of flaming hot Cheetos.
“Best date ever,” I declare as those appear.
He dips his head back and laughs heartily. I love his laugh. It’s my favorite sound in the world.
“I knew you’d say that.” He’s now setting out a box of cheap red wine. Two plastic cups follow it. He fills them each with wine.
“My lady,” he makes a gesture towards the blanket. I giggle as I sit down on it.
“This is adorable,” I commend his efforts, “I love it.”
“To many more dates like this, cliché and otherwise,” he offers.
“Here, here,” I agree, and we press our glasses before sipping.
A heavy cloud darkens the sky suddenly. A loud crack of thunder sounds like it splits the sky open. The sky opens then, and it starts pouring down sheets of rain.
“Oh shit!” He’s laughing as we both stand up.
The cute little picnic lunch he packed... totally ruined now.
What a lovely idea anyway.
“I’m so sorry. I had no idea it was going to rain today.”
“It’s okay,” I’m laughing too, as I brush my wet locks back from my face. “We met in the rain. A rainy first month anniversary seems fitting.”
“It does, doesn’t it?” He steps closer, and my heart picks up.
“Yeah, it does,” I whisper now as he closes the distance between us.
“I wanted to tell you something today...” he’s whispering; our faces are so close. The drips from the rain are splashing off his cheeks unto mine.
“What?” I ask in a breathless voice.
“I love you,” he says.
“I love you too,” I manage to choke the words out.
Our lips meet in an intense and wet kiss. He’s gripping my damp hair for stability, and I’m clinging to him like a lifeline. The storm rages around us, and we don’t care.
My tears are soaking my face, unlike the rain pouring down my windows. I need to stop for gas.
I need to get my shit together too.
Memories are like a weapon sometimes. I thought I was okay. I thought if anything, it’ll be a relief. No more tension. No more sleepless nights.
A fresh start.
We both need it.
I pull up to the station. It’s coming down hard now. I’m getting soaked through as I quickly fill the tank. I run in to pay and run back out. I nearly slip as I race to the car. I manage to use the car door to catch myself just before I fall.
“Careful, love! You’ll slip”-
Too late; it’s already happening! I brace myself for the impact, but it doesn’t come. Instead, I’m being scooped up, sopping wet dress and all into his arms.
He’s carrying my wet, and I’m sure heavy self carefully to the door.
“My hero in the pouring rain!”
“This is a thing with us, isn’t it?” His lips are close to my ear. His words warm me up in this cold, wet rain.
“Fuck!” I scream into the night sky.
“Fuck, fuck, FUCK!” My voice goes raw. I scream so loud.
Suddenly I wish I did fall just now. I wish I had fallen and melted into the rain. Became a part of the puddle on the ground. It’s sure as hell how I feel right now.
I can’t do that, though. So instead, I get back in the car.
I haven’t mourned us yet. We just went about what to do next when we said let’s end it. We found me a place. I started packing my things. We just went with it.
Why didn’t we fight?
The rain outside is relentless, and so are my tears.
I keep driving much faster than I should be in these conditions.
Drip, drip, drip, drip, it’s beating down on my windows now. It echoes the sound of my broken heart.
I must keep going.
I can’t stop now.
Memories flood my mind like a bathtub left on. They are overflowing, filling my body with emotions. I can’t control it. I can’t shut it off.
“I hate my job,” he says as he picks at his food.
“Since when?” I look up from my plate. “You’re always so full of passion when you talk about it.”
“I don’t hate it. I hate that it starts so early,” he explains. He looks out the window. Little raindrops have started decorating it with splatters of water.
“I can’t risk bad roads. I need to leave soon after dinner,” he adds, and I worriedly nod.
“I wish we didn’t live an hour apart.” I slump in my chair, “I can never wait for the weekends when I can crash at yours.”
“What if it didn’t have to be weekends only?” He’s asking, and I feel my heart start to flutter.
“What are you saying?”
“Move in with me.”
The blue house with the dirty shutters. I recall the hope this house once filled my heart with the day I moved in.
I park in front of it once again.
This time my heart aches with something much deeper, much bigger than hope.
I open my car door and step out into the pouring rain. I stand there and stare at the house.
His house. Never mine.
Except that’s not true, is it? It was mine. He and I built plenty of memories here. Those are ours. It is my house too.
The door opens, and he steps out.
“What are you?” He pauses and takes a step out the door. He’s barefoot and in his pajamas. “You’re back?”
“I.. I.. it started to rain and”-
Words fail me as tears start to stream down my cheeks. He moves, then bare feet and all, and he’s running towards me. I move towards him at the same time.
We meet in the middle of the driveway, and our lips collide in a desperate kiss. I cling to him, and him to me. It’s just like the first night when we declared it. When we first declared the feelings that never went away.
Our lips are needy as they sloppily claim each other. Our hands are desperately grabbing whatever they can. Our wet bodies mesh as one.
The rain continues to soak us until finally, we part, our eyes locking at this moment.
“I can’t leave,” I finally say in a teary breathy voice.
“Good,” he says.
“We never fought,” I say, my hands resting on his wet cheeks. “That’s not right. We are worth fighting for.”
“Damn it, woman, I know,” he cries out. His face is wet with rain and tears, as is mine. “I’ve been in there beating the hell out of myself for letting you go.”
“I didn’t get very far,” I’m sobbing as I speak, “the rain... it made me think of you, of everything.”
My voice breaks up at the end, and I can’t say anything.
“Shh, it’s okay,” his voice is soothing, “we’re going to figure this out; it’s okay. We have to figure this out.”
“So, it’s not over?” I sniffle that hope creeps back into my heart.
“It was never over,” He’s crying as he speaks, and I brush away his tears fruitlessly as more follow. “I love you. I can’t lose you.”
“I love you! I love you so much.”
Our lips crash together again, and simultaneously, a bolt of lightning flashes across the sky. We let the storm rage on around us as our lips make promises of better days.
I’ll never leave him again.
My hero in the pouring rain.
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