Waiting for rain

Zane Zinkl, Variety & News Editor

“You’re late.”

The rain was coming down in sheets around them, pouring out of the inky sky.

“I can’t keep doing this,” she said.

“Doing what? Smoking in the rain?” 

He chuckled to himself, taking a long drag of his soggy cigarette with a sigh.

“I just can’t. I can’t keep seeing you like this,” she said.

“Well then tell me to leave, and you’ll never have to see me again.”

The girl shifted uncomfortably through the mirror of water, her form shimmering in the dusky glow of the streetlight.

“But you can’t, can you? Because some part of you knows there’s nowhere else you’d rather be than standing here soaking in the rain with me,” he said.

The man handed her a cigarette with a shrug, deftly flicking it alight with a tired-looking Bic.

The girl shot him a look of distaste masking unrequited longing, yawning and yearning to break free. Now it was her turn to sigh on a soggy cigarette. She shivered bitterly in the chill. 

Watching her shaking with no one to warm her hurt his heart. His icy hands felt vain and useless.

She smiled sadly at him. “How long will you haunt me?”

“As long as you want me to,” he replied.

“I always want you.”

“I know, it hurts my heart too.”

It was quiet, save for the rain dripping down in dreary drops all around them. Cigarettes sparked and crackled jaggedly. He breathed in deeply through his nose, his eyes closed in deep concentration.

The girl flicked out the cigarette. She sat down on the curb in defeat.

“Will you at least hold me?” she asked in a daze without even looking at him.

He sat down on the curb and pulled her into his embrace, his arm arched around her shoulder. She shivered again. He was colder than the rain.

“Is this better?” he asked.

“It’s not worse,” she said. She burrowed deeper into him.

“How long can we go on like this?” he asked the emptiness.

“You might be around forever. I might not make tomorrow,” she told him morosely.

“Don’t say that.”

“Why? It’s true,” she said.

“Still, you shouldn’t say it.”

She giggled gently. For a moment she glowed. “What a pair we are. Fire and water. I want you so badly, and all you can do is snuff me out.”

He whispered in her ear, “I wish it was any other way.”

“I don’t.”

She kissed him gently on the nose, “I love you just the way you are.”

“God only knows why.”

“You know why.”

He nodded his head. “I know why. I just wish you didn’t. But I’m so fucking glad you do.”

She squeezed him tighter. “It’ll be fine. We’ll be fine.”

The rain faded to a mist. The lights of a car flashed by. Sirens and gentle rumblings echoed out from the tired city all around them. 

Time passed by miserably quickly.

Her eyes were closed tight. She almost looked peaceful.

He leaned in and kissed her neck. Goodnight brushed up against her ear in a sultry whisper.

The rain stopped. It felt like the whole world froze for just a moment.The girl looked up, and he was gone.

She was alone.