It is a quiet rain.
Rain that stops and starts in between glances.
Rain that allows so much sun to shine through I think this must be how a mirage begins
One night we danced, the rain falling. Dishes in the sink, it didn’t matter. He took my hand and quickly we were outside, he pulled me in, closer. Easily he made me laugh, as drops landed, all around, the rain a sweet percussion to the melody he hummed in my ear. Water streaming our faces, I spoke softly—
“Don’t leave me.”
“I know how to love you,” he said immediately, “please let me.”
Inside again, the linoleum gleamed under the fluorescent light, our faces flush, our future here somewhere. We turned in tandem to the sink, my washing, his drying, our task made easier by the togetherness of the moment.
I peered past the accordion style doors of my not walk-in closet to see him intently messing with the alarm clock, when from it burst a rhythm that instantly made me want to hear every note, every lyric, breathe in every beat of this unexpected music.
He was immediately in front of me. Feet close to mine. I pushed my toes under his. What a feeling this was.
Try it sometime. It throws you just off balance just enough—you have no choice but to lean in, hold on.
I leaned in.
I held on.
I felt his steady heartbeat pick up just slightly and his hands on the part of my arm just above my elbow and we moved together, to each other, to this new rhythm, to this song we’re hearing this time, for the first time, and I felt a small part of my hurt, my pain, my sorrow….I felt just the tiniest part of it heal, regrow, as if it were part garden lizard that had just lost its tail, and the tail knew, but not the lizard, not only that it could grow back, it would.
We danced there, between the closet doors, as the song thankfully repeated itself.
When I looked up to his eyes, there was a softness. I could sense his fear, afraid I might grow tired of this closeness. I leaned back just enough to throw us both off balance causing him to stumble forward and knock us both against the wall. I wiggled quickly away and ran to hide in the close kitchen, hopeful he would be soon behind. When his footsteps didn’t appear I peered cautiously around the corner only to shriek at his immediate and intentional silly-scare.
I pushed him playfully and once again I was in his arms. We returned to our dance and my tears came gently, staining the light blue of his shirt, small shields of a happiness never expected.
In those early mornings he would wake me with kisses on my head, soft whispers of “good morning beautiful” and “I love you so much.” Now, years later, these moments are also prayers, sweet verses memorized from a lifetime before, soft remembrances bookended with an embrace that pulls us back and propels us toward another five minutes safe from the world and its worldliness.
It hasn’t always been this way.
I could say a lot about the way it was before, but
I wonder what good it would actually do.
But it’s true,
it hasn’t always been this way.
I remember one time he proposed to me on a 3×5 card.
Once in a voicemail message I didn’t listen to until three weeks later.
Again after an episode of The Office.
And that time when we were just staring at each other a little too long.
I said of course,
And I said no because…
it hasn’t always been this way.
And when one is accustomed to things being not the way they are now, one is certain things are destined to be once again in just a different state of not being the way they are now, even if the new way is a different version of the old way.
It makes sense.
Somewhere between the orchard and the ocean everything changed.
I found myself carefully organizing his lunch box so he would see the small heart I drew on the lid to his salad bowl. I bought the chocolate he liked and I didn’t eat it all when he wasn’t around. I stopped watching the next episode of our favorite show until we were together. I learned how to bake zucchini bread so he would have something additional on which to smother his butter; I pretended not to notice when he used too much. I learned how to back into a parking space because he told me it was safer. I watched every Star Wars movie just to learn the references and then casually use them in our conversations. I tried to be a morning person. I cleaned coffee grounds from the french press without making a big deal about it. I bought the gum he liked from Amazon after not finding it in all the stores around town. I read the book he suggested. I let him teach me how to make eggs when I thought I already knew.
I started telling him things that mattered.
I told him how my heart seemed to never stop hurting
in the very small parts you were never supposed to ever feel.
I told him that maybe I could never be free to love again.
I told him I didn’t think we could ever be free of all our everything.
He stayed. He kissed my forehead.
He told me I would be free to love again
and he wanted to be here when I could.
And he was right
because it did happen
and that night, when most were running from the rain that fell all around,
we stood still
and enjoyed the reminder of our dedication to something greater than ourselves
and I knew that he knew that I knew tonight he would ask me his question again.
It is a quiet rain.
A rain that stops and starts in between lifetimes and
decisions and possibilities and wishes of maybe a time
when there would be no rain.
But that would be silly,
to have no rain.
It’s the rain that brought us here.
The rain giving us life.
The rain on our side.
The rain making