I hated rainy days. Until that night.
It was quarter past nine yet the night boasted a promising feeling as I traversed the drenched streets with my umbrella on my right hand and my left hand in my pocket. The night seemed calm and reassuring with the soft croaking of frogs as its background. The streets were adorned with sepia tones and the leaves dripping with the kiss of rain. It seemed a perfect orchestra. Wearing a jersey and pants folded at the seam, I stepped on the flowing waters at the roadside perplexed as to whether I should appreciate or hate this scenario. The chilly winds whispered on my nape as I clung tightly to my umbrella. I walked slowly tiptoeing on the street lest I might wet my toes. It was a night covered with rain and my umbrella was helpless.
Cars whirred at the mercy of the water oblivious to the passersby. Though the rain sang noises on the streets as they dropped from the dark heavens, I was oblivious to it. All I heard was the faint noise of my own footsteps and the drowning notes of the piano as my earphones hugged my eardrums. The Muses were singing in my ears while the world was surrounded by the spattering noise and the silent humming of the waters cascading their ways to the cemented road and the dark watercourse.
I had to stop for dinner and I ended in one of those lonely resto placated by dim lights and music of the 80’s. I hated rainy days like this when you were forced to sit and submit to your hunger. Hunger that often lead you to a dingy place or a fast food chain. Yet there I was, still hoping for a promising night. I just hated days like this.
The soup arrived after a short notice and I drenched my throat with its warmth. It overwhelmed my frustrations and I began to compose myself as I removed my earphones. The soothing piano disappeared and was replaced by the music from a kvetchy stereo. It was this time that I scanned the place where in three tables were occupied- with one table occupied by a grouchy old man. Perhaps we shared the same sentiments- the rain conniving with the gods to spoil our evening. The gods must be bored. I gratified myself with a bowl of soup while I occasionally glanced at my phone. So much for a promising night, I quipped to myself. The gods must be taunting me. I resigned to my fate.
It was then that you entered that door. Your wet clothing clung to your body while I visibly saw the water cascading its way from your hair to the tips of your fingers. Your hair and face glistened as the moisture trickled on your face. It was like the dew of a cold morning when the sun glimpsed on the east mountains and the clouds sang to herald the new day. I was caught by your beauty. It was then that I heard the smirking silence that I realized once more that we were not alone. You sat on the table adjacent to me and you threw an innocent glance at me. I caught it bashfully. I smiled at you and nodded. You nodded in return. It was like watching a classic painting brought into life when you smiled back at me. It was beautiful and hurting at the same time. There we were – strangers at a strange place in this strange time.
You started your dinner while I began to finish mine. Sometimes I caught your eyes swaying their hues on me coyly. We were like that – smiling and warming ourselves without the pressure of talking. I could feel you reaching for me, or was it only my presumptuous self? Sometimes when you looked at your food, I stole observing glances at you and I found out that you still wore your wet clothes. I couldn’t help but admire and be sorry for you at the same time – I could feel you shivering but you remained unfazed.
Time and silence kept on taunting us but neither of us submitted to this opportunity made by the heavens. Perhaps the rain brought us here to have our lives intertwined. Yet Destiny played with us coyly. I finished my dinner and you sat there anxious – or was it me painting this silly thought? It was like waiting for the last drop of rain to fall. I called for the bill and paid it silently. I was hoping for the rain to continue pouring heavily – for you to come to me and to share the shelter offered by the umbrella hooked on my chair. Our eyes met for the last time as I reached for the doorknob and heard the clinging sound of the chimes. I stopped on the doorsteps hoping you’d call me. Seconds seemed like eternity and I opened my umbrella. I reached for my pocket and kept my phone to the deepest part of it. The rain trickled in soft drizzles and it was then a thought dawned to me – it was a wonderful, a promising night after all. I closed my umbrella and felt the rain hugged me. I hoped that the same rain that hugged your body would embrace me tonight.
I hated rainy days. Yes, I hated them. But not that night.