Today is full of him.
Days pass where the memories are distant, fleeting, almost gone.
But today there is rain and it splashes into my mug and my skin and my shoes, and I remember it all.
The raindrops hitting the roof of my car sound an awful lot like raindrops filtering through impossibly tall trees, pattering against the roof of a tent.
And I’m supposed to get sushi tonight, something for which I honestly cannot wait.
But even there, even chopsticks bring memories.
I’m smiling. That half-smile that means I’m far beyond the point of control. I don’t want to be the girl who laughs at every joke or finds all the words that tumble from his mouth absolutely charming, but I am. I’m that girl, and I half-smile because I cannot keep a straight face, and why should I? He’s lovely and his hand is on my knee beneath the table like a secret, and when his thumb moves against my skin, a full smile breaks free. I give in. Let go. Get lost in it.
“Can I bring you two anything?” the waiter asks.
“I’ve got everything I need sitting across from me,” he says.
My eyes roll so dramatically that we all laugh together. But as I toy with wooden chopsticks, my cheeks are a sudden and betraying shade of crimson.
I’m not fooling anyone and even the waiter knows it.
Today, I’ll wonder where that went. And then I’ll think, Maybe it was just the rain, the fabled rain of the northwest. The rain that fell exactly as I imagined–quiet and steady. Soft, tender in a way. Like the sky barely breathing against the earth. And calming as it seemed, too much of it spilled from the clouds, down to the ground and into our bones.
I laughed at it. Felt it with my fingers, tilted my head back and laughed. We’d been so careful, so prepared.
But somewhere, deep in the forest, it crept into him and washed everything away.
When you’re given no explanation, you construct your own answers. Fumble for reason where there is none. Trick yourself into dangerous thoughts, and finally, after you’ve exhausted the endless possibilities and broken yourself into tiny pieces only to come up shattered and empty-handed, you settle on something as enchanting and innocent as rain.
It wasn’t anything you did, because it happened too quickly. You didn’t have time to make the necessary mistakes. It wasn’t anything that happened because all that really happened was…
Well, somewhere in the delicious fog of cigar smoke, you silently and secretly fell in love with him. And it rained. And the rain is the explanation to which you cling–tightly. You’ve settled on it because it feels so ludicrously out of your control. It’s safe. Sent from the heavens. A small flood that came between you. An act of God.
A catastrophe that affected nothing and no one but you.
And it was just a little rain.
But it was your undoing.