KYOTO

“Staring down the rain won’t make it stop.”
“I know.”
“Then come on,” he says, holding out a hand toward me. I look at it, then force my eyes to meet his. I search through the fog, through the thunderous gray, but the only hint of emotion I see in the eyes looking into mine is vague impatience.
I run headfirst into the rain without taking his hand or giving him a warning. It doesn’t take him long to reach and then pass me by. Droplets of water spank me, ruining my hair and getting into my eyes, blurring away the world into a desperate, soggy mess.
“Wait!” I yell after him, but his body gets farther away from mine each second; blurring even more. I lift up a hand as if to grab him, but all it seems to accomplish is blurring him further into the horizon; like charcoal on paper.
I lift my leg feebly to run after him, but find my strength gone, and slump on the ground as a heap of defeated misery. Closing my eyes is a relief, and only then do I realize how long it has been since I have been bathed by nature. With my eyes closed, the sound of the water hitting concrete seems the only sound there is to be heard– the caressing water feels like a part of me, as much as my own blood. My lips part and I taste myself in the water. There’s no make-up to be molten, no hair to be spoiled, no clothes to be ruined; there is nothing but me and the world, and nothing between us.
“What happened?” His voice seems to slap me back into consciousness. “I’m sorry. Come on, let’s find some cover.”
“No!” I notice how crazy I must seem, and then repeat myself in a lower voice. “No.”
“Are you okay?” He asks, holding out his hand again.
This time my eyes find his effortlessly, and lose him just as easily; a pair of dots in the vast skyline. We forget running and simply walk with the sky above us and the world before us; our guardians and arbitrators. A grin tugs at the edge of my lips as I reach a hand out toward the rain, trying to grasp it between my fingers as if we were sharing some sort of inside joke or secret. I wink in the general upward direction, and take the striking thunder as a good enough, if slightly enthusiastic, response.
“Never better.”

-2014-

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