.: Chasing Umbrellas :.

(BPM)

-1-

The Routine

This was becoming a predicament-a repetitive predicament. It was 9:30 late in the afternoon when I heard a loud scratching at my door. It was hard to keep myself from smiling seeing her standing there or rather leaning against the door frame with her purse brushing against the ground as she swayed.

Her blue dress shimmered against the yellow moonlight and although she was heavily intoxicated, she was beautiful. My eyes followed down to her legs covered by panty hose and...

"Where are your shoes?"

"Where are your shoes?" She giggled and lightly tugged at the sash of my robe. Unfortunately she leaned over a bit too far and fell like a ton of bricks passing out.

Sighing, I picked her up and carried her into the living room where her favorite recliner waited. As soon as she sank into the chair, she woke up to me smiling at her.

Slowly recognizing my face, she grinned. "Devi." She sounded like a child.

I grinned at my nickname and found myself bashful. I always found myself bashful when I was around her. Ever since childhood I would blush and stumble over my words whenever she gave me just a little acknowledgement. I'm sure you've seen that movie with the little boy pining over the little neighborhood girl down the street. I was that boy.

We never went to the same school but we always managed to make time for each other. We'd play stupid games, cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, and at the end of the day we'd promise to see each other again. We kept that promise however as we grew older I felt as though I was losing her. Not because she became disinterested in me but because she found someone else-alcohol.

"Oh. Devi you look so sexy in your fuzzy robe and fuzzy slippers." She half-covered her face with her hand and giggled.

At that moment, we were locked in an intense gaze. The way her curled hair fell around her eyes, her lazy eyes, made my heart pound faster. Though she was drunk, it was always her gaze that let me know the girl I fell in love with was still there.

"I'll get you some tea." I excused myself and walked into the kitchen. This was my fifth time making her tea this week, the fifth time carrying her like my bride in the house and the fifth time wondering if this was going to be the last time I see her.

She wasn't always like this-drunk and bubbly. She used to be a bookworm, amazing and a social butterfly. She didn't need alcohol because education was her bliss. I never got to know the reason why she turned to drinking and I probably will never know. But what I hope for is that this will be the last time she shows up at my door wasted. I miss the old her.

"Devi."

Consumed by my thoughts, I was completely unaware of her leaning against the refrigerator behind me. "Hey. I made you green tea. I even put a little sugar in it as usual." I wondered if I had any clothes left from last time that she could where.

"Thank you Devi." She grinned and took the porcelain cup from me with a giggle.

My heart felt like it was breaking watching her sip away and she didn't appreciate me doing so. Sucking in her lip, she rested the half-empty cup on the counter and fixed her hair. "Um. I'm gonna go now."

"Go? Are you sure you can make it home?" I was amazed at how quickly she sobered up heading for the front door in a clumsy rush.

"I'll be fine. I shouldn't be bothering you like this. Every night."

"N-no. I don't mind really." I tried to convince her as she fumbled with the locks on the door. If I helped her, she would leave.

"Two hundred and forty-six." She stated wrinkling her eyebrows together.

"What?"

"Two-hundred and forty-six. That's how many times I've been here. No more." She started punching the lock.

"Jaclyn please. I don't care. You can visit me a billion times. I'll take care of you." I grabbed her arm just as she successfully unlocked the door. "Jaclyn. I'll take care of you."

"Devon. You don't need to be bothered. My life, my business, doesn't need to be mixed up with yours all the time. Now excuse me I need to get home."

She opened the door to a rainstorm. I guess my thoughts of wanting to take care of the woman I loved overpowered my senses because I didn't hear a drop. Before I could offer it, Jaclyn grabbed an umbrella nearby and opened it up to the rain. She didn't say goodbye. She didn't say anything.

I watched her stagger out into the storm and make a bee line down the street.