Rain

Reflections of red and green danced in the falling rain. She hugged herself tightly as she walked. Nothing could stop the chill seeping in through her sweater, but it was the only comfort she had.

Lights from behind. A revving engine. She turned sharply, ducked down a narrow alley and just kept walking. The car didn’t even slow.

She kept walking.

Water poured into her shoes. Thunder rattled her bones. She leaned against a wall, trying to remember how to breathe. She stared up at street signs trying to make the letters into words. And then she was in front of the building, not even knowing how she had arrived.

She stood on the sidewalk for a long time, then turned back toward the road. The asphalt sparkled, faintly in the cold darkness. She climbed the steps and knocked.

Nothing.

She knocked again, paused barely a moment, then knocked again furiously. Sharp pain in her numb fingers as her knuckles wrapped on the wood.

A light sprang to life in the apartment. No sound.

She knocked even harder than before until finally the door opened. Her sister’s face, haloed by warm, steady light.

“Penny?”

“I don’t know where to go.”

* * *

Story by Gregory M. Fox

Rain

Don’t think I haven’t been faithful or even happy.  Because I have.  All I’m trying to say is that I’ve never been able to love my wife with my whole heart.

When I was eighteen, I went out into a field during the rain.  I danced, splashing in the mud.  There was a girl walking through the tall grass and singing a sad, slow song.  And she kissed me once before going on her way.  When the rain was gone, so was she.

I loved her.

But I never saw her again.  A month later I met the woman who would be my wife.  She came like a ray of sunshine and illuminated all of the dark recesses of my heart.  It was in her that I first knew myself, and her warmth helped me accept all of the wild shadows I had never realized were inside of me.  She was comfort and stability.

We were happy.  We have always been happy together.

But whenever it rains, I remember that kiss beneath the clouds.  I remember the taste and rhythm of untamed passion that fell into my life.  And for a moment, my wife does not have all my love.

     *     *     *

Story by Gregory M. Fox
from A Breath of Fiction’s archives
originally published November 4, 2010