I love the rain.
I always have. The silver fingernails against panes of glass, and creeping down collars. I don’t know, it’s horrifically poetic, but that’s exactly what we were too.
You were the opposite. You always said you were only walking for pathways too hot for bare feet and red noses, peeling with sunburn. I never understood why you had such a desire to live your life in the sun, especially considering your winter flower predicament, and especially since we lived in the dreary urban cities that knew as much about sun as the buses here knew about being punctual.
So we were at a bus stop, hiding from the rain you hated all so much, but still completely distant from the stormy world we were in. Even with my fingers numbing and each individual strand of hair on your head dripping beads of rain, we were in the middle of continuing our conversations we had started over our date. It was your treat to me for helping you through all the trips to your therapist so far. The fact you were happy was rewarding enough, but I did enjoy a good candle-lit meal and in depth chats about nothing in particular.
Other people waiting for the bus beside us pretending to text or read their watches, or anything to give us a bit of privacy. They didn’t understand that wasn’t how we worked. We never once needed one day and one date to feel in love, and spend that time shoving it down other’s throats. Every single day in this world was brimming with a sort of unconditional, fairy tale love that made life flow easily like rain. I think that’s why later that night I asked you to move in, because everything just felt so easy with you. I never once believed in fate, but it was like our life was meant to be. Almost as if everything was - and always would be - perfect.
“Tell me something.” I whispered.
“Tell you what?”
“Anything, I just love hearing you talk.”
You looked around, and tried to find inspiration to go on unraveling your thoughts for me.
“There are two kinds of people,” you decided, “With a different kind of curtain each.”
I laughed at your wit, and your ridiculous sense of storytelling, “Curtains? Alright, go on.”
“There are the people with heavy blinds and all that, like those up there in that apartment. They are in it for the long haul. They believe they will live past this awful storm, both metaphorically and literally - since it’s bloody freezing - and go on living until summer where those ugly blackout curtains will be useful, when after working a dead end job until they’re ready to drop they can comfortably shut out the beautiful afternoon sun and fall asleep until the next day starts. Their life repeats again and again. They believe this is it for them, and that they’ll live in moderate comfort until the end of time. But then there are the others. The ones without thought-ahead plans. The ones who can’t look into the future. They’ll have a temporary beauty in the pretty laced curtains with cream floral designs. Especially old people, and the people who have a habit of feeling hopeless. Those people aren’t looking into next summer because they’re not sure if they’ll make it. They would rather live in the moment.”
“So old people think they’re going to die? I thought they just had a lesser sense in fashion.” I teased.
“Well there’s a difference between those two people as well. Two kinds of people with laced curtains.”
“See, the hopeless ones seldom close their blinds.”
“Really. Because they would rather watch their lives go by in flashing cars and rainfall after rainfall. They don’t close their blinds because they’re always looking out. Looking for a sign.”
I looked into a window across the road. A young woman with pasty white skin and bloodshot eyes stared out at us, almost as if she knew what we were saying. But before I had the chance to judge her life, she turned away and turned off the lights, never once touching the wide-open, lacy white curtains.
“Do you think this bus will ever come?” you said.
But I didn’t answer, because that wasn’t the question you wanted to ask. Your mouth was just trying to pry your mind away. Your eyes were locked on where that woman stood. Almost as if it were a crystal ball warning us off, showing us the danger our life would bring us to.
And then the storm cleared off, and the bus came.
A few days after a woman with pasty white skin and bloodshot eyes was on the front page of my newspaper, lying on her bathroom floor. But I’d like to think that didn’t matter. She wasn’t a crystal ball, or a sign, or mirror into another multiverse. Just a woman who sat looking out, for something that she ended up finding defeat in. Anyway, if you wanted to tell our future you only needed to unravel us. I think our fate was evident from the start.
We seldom closed our lacy curtains. We loved the sunrises all too much.
You know I always think you’re right. About most things, at least. But you got that wrong for sure.
There is a different kind of person. The kind of person who buys black curtains to replace the ones his girlfriend bought the house, because he couldn’t stand letting the light offend him by mocking the days long ago where two lovers lay side by side, watching the sun rise and fall again. I’ve been meaning to open them again, but I haven’t gotten around to it quite yet. I couldn’t stand watching my life go by in flashing cars and rainfall after rainfall without you here beside me, but it has nothing to do with my job, or my life, or any of the things that force me into the streets day after day.
And anyway, I stopped looking for a sign long ago.