Wow, I'm in an odd mood. This fic is a bit different. There will be no ending A/N, so this is it. Uhm, some of the things in this fic are probably wrong, but I'm not one for research, so just deal with it.
I'd recommend not listening to trance progression music while reading this. I listened to it while writing this, and it came out really weird, and I'm pretty sure my writing style changes multiple times within the fic.
Warnings: sappiness, cliche-ness, some language, fluffiness, emotions, randomness, oddness, surprises (maybe), and other stuff I can't remember right now. Oh. I'm pretty good at grammar and crap, but I didn't read through this, so I probably missed some stuff. Sorry.
Disclaimer: this story belongs to me, well, the idea does. Some of the places in the fic don't, so those belong to their owners, okay?
I really appreciate reviews, so I'd love it if you dropped me a line. Fav's are great and all, but I love hearing what you have to say. Critique me, people! I need it.
From Beginning to End
origin; source; first cause
Have you realized that, in almost every single movie when a sad scene occurs, it's most likely raining?
Apparently Hollywood believes that everyone thinks rain is depressing, and that it should be used to create the feeling of depression during death/dying/incredibly dramatic scenes.
I never found rain depressing. In fact, many of the incredibly good things in my life occurred while it was raining. The day my little sister was born, it was raining. The day I won the first place trophy in a martial arts tournament, it was raining. It was raining on the day my grandmother was cured of her ten year struggle with breast cancer.
It was also raining the day I met him…
Four years ago…
October 18, 2004
If I remember correctly, and I'm sure I do, the weather people had been calling for torrential downpours, explosive thunder booms, crackling lighting strikes, and hurricane strength wind. They said that the coming storm was supposed to be the worst storm of the decade…
Seeing as the weather people have been wrong about the supposed 'worst storm of the decade' for the past week, I completely ignore their warning to 'stay indoors,' and decide to go for a run at a local park about ten blocks away from my house.
I ignore the grey/black clouds that have been casting a dark shadow over the area for the past week, and run all the way to the park – to warm up, you know, and to preserve gas, because that stuff is not cheap.
I'm on my third lap around the park, listening to Going Under by Evanescence when the first boom of thunder erupts overhead.
The ground literally shakes.
Startled, I miss the crack in the sidewalk and trip over it, falling off the side of the path, and roll down the hill.
When I finally come to a stop at the bottom of the hill, I blink, trying to stop the world from spinning. After the world's axis stopped spinning, I make to stand up-
-only to fall back down when my ankle protests.
"Are you serious?" I complain, flopping back onto the ground and staring up at the sky. A flash of white streaks across the sky, followed shortly by another earth-shaking boom of thunder.
"Looks like the weather guys were right, for once." I mumble, "Hopefully, they were wrong about the rain."
Of course, as soon as I say that the clouds decide to open up and let loose the rain they have been holding back for over a week, dropping gallons of cold water on top of my prone body.
"Of course." I sigh, swiping my already soaked bangs out of my face. "Of course, on the one day I'm actually outside doing something, it rains. You couldn't hold out for another day? Really? I mean, it's already been a week, one more day wouldn't have killed you, you know!"
"I don't think it can hear you. You might want to try yelling a little louder." The deep, warm voice startles me into jumping a little, which, since I'm still lying on the ground, probably makes it look like I just had a mini seizure. "Are you okay?"
I tilt my head back, following the direction of the voice, and to my embarrassment and excitement, I see an incredibly handsome guy standing above me, staring down at me with a twinkle of amusement in his soft, kind eyes.
"Well," I say after shaking off my momentary worship-stare, "to tell you the truth, I have had better days."
He chuckles again; the sound is soothing and calming, and drags a small laugh out of me. "True. It doesn't appear to be a good day for you."
I hum in agreement, still staring up at his handsome face, still mesmerized by his warm, mocha-colored eyes, and still hung-up over his slightly crooked smile that's absolutely adorable.
"Is there a reason why you're lying on the ground?" He asks after a short silence. It takes me a moment to process the question, since I'm still in a daze over his godly looks, but when I do, I feel my face flush in embarrassment.
"I, ah, fell." I tell him, finally managing to tear my gaze away from his perfect face.
"You…fell?" He asks, his honey-sweet voice attracting my eyes once more.
I spend another couple of seconds just staring at him (he's a really, really good looking guy, okay? Don't judge me), before I manage to make myself reply to his question. "Yes. The thunder scared me, I tripped, then kind of rolled down the hill."
He looks concerned as he kneels down next to me. "Are you okay?"
"I think I twisted or sprained or broke my ankle, or something." I tell him, sighing as he shifts closer and I get a better look at his face. Upon closer inspection, his skin isn't as marble-smooth and flawless as it looked earlier; he's got a light smattering of freckles across his nose and under his eyes, and a pale-white jagged line on his jaw, dragging from just past his chin to below his ear. But despite the not-really flaws, he still looks incredibly gorgeous.
"Hm," He mumbles as he moves to inspect my ankle, "it doesn't look broken, so it's most likely just a sprain, but we should take you to the hospital, just in case."
"Yeah. I figured I'd do that, eventually." I say, shifting a bit in the muddy grass. I'm thoroughly soaked, so it's not like a little mud is going to bother me at this point, it's just a little odd feeling. And it squelches.
Mr. Gorgeous looks back at my face with something like confusion plastered across his face. "What do you mean, eventually?"
"Well, I can't exactly move, right now, so it's not like I can go to the hospital yet." I tell him, confused at his confusion.
His eyebrows furrow, and I watch forlornly as his mouth turns down at the corners. I want the smile back. "So…what, were you just planning on sitting here until someone happened upon you?"
I shake my head, "Not just someone, my family. They'll probably be a little worried that I'm out running in this weather, and when I don't return in an hour or two, they'll come look for me."
"And you have no problem lying out here in the pouring rain, thunder and lightning for a couple of hours?" He asks, raising a black eyebrow.
I shrug, or do as close to a shrug as I can while lying on the muddy ground. "Nope. It's kind of soothing. Kind of."
"You…are an odd girl, you know that?" He asks, chuckling softly.
"Woman." I say, cutting his chuckles off.
He raises one of his ebony eyebrows again, giving me an odd look. "What?"
"You called me a girl. I'm a woman." I tell him.
His other eyebrow joins the first. "Is that so? Well, I apologize, Miss…"
"Rain. Rain Sycamore. And don't call me 'miss,' Rain's just fine." And yes, I am aware that my name is odd. But my parents are ex-hippies, so there you go.
"Well, Rain, my name is Greyson Black. It's nice to meet you." He says, reaching out and shaking my hand. Our slick skin slips, making the grip difficult to maintain, so I give up, allowing my hand to drop back to the cold, wet grass. "Alright, let's get you to the hospital, then, shall we?"
Six months later…
April 2, 2005
"Hey, Rain, want to hang out together later?" Greyson's voice asks through the phone.
I nod distractedly, forgetting that he can't see me, and take a bite of my candy bar.
"Um…are you nodding?" He asks a minute later, when he realizes that I'm not going to say anything.
I blink, breaking my staring contest with my cat, Bo Bo. "Damn. I lost. What was the question, Gresyon?"
"Lost? What did you lose? And I asked if you want to hang out later." He says.
I squint my eyes shut, getting rid of the dry burn, and open them, staring into Bo Bo's green eyes unblinkingly. "I lost round one to Bo Bo, but this time, I've got him."
"Ah. Your cat. What are you doing? And you still haven't answered my question."
Bo Bo stares back at me with a bored expression on his fuzzy face, looking as if no effort is needed for him to keep his eyes open. I've picked a tricky opponent, that's for sure. "Staring contest."
"You're…having a staring contest? With a cat?" He asks, humor coloring his voice.
"Yes." I tell him, resorting to holding my lids open with my fingers. "This isn't cheating, Bo Bo." His stare doesn't waver. "Damn. You're good."
"All right, then. He won round one?"
My eyes are starting to burn with the effort of keeping them open, and Bo Bo still looks unruffled. "He did." I can feel my determination failing as my eyelids start shaking, so, in a last ditch effort, I blow in Bo Bo's face.
"Ha! You blinked! I won!" I exclaim, jumping up and pointing down at Bo Bo condescendingly. "Round two goes to me, Bo-ster!"
"Rain, you cheated didn't you?" Greyson asks, reminding me of his presence.
I gasp, mocking hurt and indignation. "Not true! I never cheat."
"Oh? Then how did you win? Cats are masters at not blinking." He says, not believing me for a second.
"Well, there was a sudden gust of wind that blew through the room and into Bo Bo's eyes." I inform him smugly, sure that my lie is believable.
"I see." He murmurs, and for a second, I think I fooled him, but then, "So you blew in his face, did you? That's cheating, Rain. I think you'll have to go a third round."
Damn, he knows me too well. "Ugh, fine. But another day, my eyes burn. Bo Bo, we'll continue this battle tomorrow, okay?" With a wide-mouthed yawn, Bo Bo stands up and waddles away, his fat belly dragging along the floor. "So, was there a reason you called other than to call me a cheater?"
"Yes." He says, "Do you want to hang out tonight?"
I look out the window, and, after seeing that it's raining, raise an eyebrow. "You want to hang out when it's raining?"
"Yeah, sure," he says, and I can just see him shrugging, "we both like the rain, so what's the problem?"
"There's no problem, I was just making sure you knew. Sure, I'll hang out with you. What time are you picking me up?" I ask, going over to look in my closet for something to wear that's not the pajamas I've got on now.
"I'll be over in fifteen minutes. Can you be ready in that time?" He asks, a hint of teasing in his voice.
I roll my eyes, grabbing the first thing that looks halfway decent and pulling it out. "Yes, Grey, I'll be ready. I'm not some stereotypical girl that takes an hour and a half to two hours to get ready."
He chuckles, the sound still soothing despite the fact that it's distorted slightly by the phone. "Okay, I was just checking. I'll see you in fifteen."
"Yeah, see you." I say, hanging up.
Forty-five minutes later we're sitting in a relatively private booth at Carrabbas Italian Restaurant, reading over the drool-worthy menu and munching on deliciously warm bread.
It's fancier than our usual hang-out spot, which is a bar & pub called Big Al's.
"So, Grey, what's the occasion?" I ask after we tell our waiter our orders; I got a simple, cheap plate of spaghetti and meatballs, and Greyson got a plate of ravioli.
Yes, we're pretty simple people; easy to please.
"Hm? What do you mean?" Greyson asks between bites of the deliciously crunchy and chewy bread.
I gesture at the dimly lit restaurant around us, raising my eyebrows at Gresyon in question. "I mean, what's with the change in scenery. While Carrabbas is good, and all, Big Al's is always cool with me."
"Ah, well, I kind of wanted to ask you something…" Greyson says, flushing softly.
I cock my head to the side, staring at Greyson in confusion, "And you couldn't ask me it at a cheaper restaurant?"
"No, I couldn't." Greyson says determinedly.
"Okay…then…what do you want to ask me?" I ask, leaning back in the booth.
Greyson stares at me with a panicked expression, which confuses me even more, before he clears his throat and sits up straighter, looking like he's preparing himself for something big.
"Rain Sycamore," he says, looking me in the eye, and I'm, again, mesmerized by his mocha irises. They're a very rare shade of brown that you don't see in many people. They're hard not to stare at. "Will you go out with me?"
His eyes have distracted me so thoroughly that his question doesn't register at first, but when it does, my mouth drops open and I'm sure my eyes widen to the size of dinner plates. "Wha?"
"Will you go out with me?" He asks again, his blush returning full force.
This time, I actually pay attention to him when he asks, and the question shocks me into silence.
This must be a dream. I mean, can the guy I've been crushing on (and falling in love with – already done) for over four months actually be asking me out? This really must be a dream. A guy as wonderful and fantastic as him would never, ever, ever ask someone like me out.
"Uhm, Rain? What do you say?" He sounds nervous, scared, even, and when I blink his image into focus, I see that he's fidgeting, and he can't seem to make himself look over at me.
And it's the emotion that he's expressing that convinces me that this isn't a dream, and that the guy I'm in love with has actually just asked me out.
So, I reach over and grab the hands that are twisting his napkin and hold them, drawing his eyes first down to our hands, then up to my face, where my lips are spread in a wide, happy smile.
"Of course I will, Greyson."
Fourteen days later…
April 16, 2005
We've been on three dates, so far, and I've come to the realization that Greyson is incredibly protective of whomever he goes out with.
He always makes sure that when we're walking along the sidewalks, that he's on the street side, and an arm is wrapped around my shoulders, keeping me close to him. He never lets me go to the bathroom alone, and while that would annoy most people, I find it incredibly sweet.
Being a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, I'm used to being the one doing all the protecting. It's a refreshing change to have someone protecting me.
He's also incredibly thoughtful, and cavity-causing sweet.
He brings a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a small box of chocolates every time he sees me. He remembers everything I've told him about what I like and what I don't like, and bases our dates off of that.
Like, I told him, at the beginning of our friendship, that I absolutely loved Dippin' Dots ice cream.
After our first date at my favorite restaurant, Outback Steakhouse, he took me to a Dippin' Dots, and got me chocolate flavored dots. He even let me finish off his strawberry dots, which, while not my favorite, were still very good.
I also told him that I loved Japanese food.
Our second date was at an absolutely incredibly Japanese restaurant where they made the food right in front of you.
He remembered that I told him that I enjoy any movies that can make me laugh.
So, for our third date, he took me see the movie, Hitch, which I couldn't stop laughing at. Will Smith is a hoot.
Our fourth date, the one we are just finishing, has been just as great as the last three. It wasn't quite as romantic as the other three, but it was incredibly fun.
We went to a popular hangout for people our age (high schoolers), and played pranks on every person we saw. It was epic.
Now we're standing outside of my house, staring at one another for some reason.
It's after a few awkward seconds of just standing there, that I realize that Greyson looks expectant. Which has to mean that he's waiting for something…
Holy crap, it's the fourth date! We should have kissed already, according to the Rules of Dating!
I almost smack my forehead, before I stop myself under the assumption that I'd probably look really stupid doing something like that out of the blue. So I decide, instead, to just roll my eyes, and smile up at Greyson, leaning forward to just a little bit away from his lips (like what Hitch suggests!), and waiting.
I don't even have to wait three seconds before I feel a pair of warm, moist lips press themselves against my own, slightly chapped ones.
The kiss is warm, and wet, and sweet, and absolutely wonderful, and my arms reach up and wrap around Greyson's neck without my consent. I feel two large, hot, slightly sweaty hands grip my waist, and pull me forward just a little bit, so I'm pressed up against Gresyon's sculpted body (ohmuhgawd, I can feel his six pack – an honest to God six pack – through his thin shirt!).
I tilt my head to the side, and open my mouth, allowing Greyson to deepen the kiss.
And my love for him only grows deeper.
Six months later…
October 18, 2005
It's our one year anniversary as knowing each other.
I've decided that I'm going to tell Greyson tonight that I love him. I'm sure that he loves me, as well.
I know that sounds a little presuming, but the way he acts around me just screams love.
Okay, well, that doesn't really explain why I'm so confident, but he really does. I just know it. So, I'm telling him tonight that I love him, and he's going to say it back, and we're going to be two very in love people.
I'm sure of it.
Of course, when we're sitting at the park that we first met at later that night, my nerves decide to make a final appearance, and I'm almost shaking in fear of a rejection that, not even four hours ago, I was sure wouldn't happen.
Okay, okay. You can do this, Rain. If you can beat a guy that's taller than you and outweighs you, then you can tell a guy that you love him.
Oh, my God! What do I do?! How can I just say something like that?! What the hell was I thinking earlier? 'I'm sure of it.' Holy crap on a stick I'm an idiot!
He'll reject me, I know it!
Wait. Wait. Let's think rationally now, Rain.
Greyson loves you. He has to. I mean, his friends say that he's always spaced-out, and when they ask him what he's thinking about, he says me, right? And, also according to his friends, Greyson somehow manages to squeeze my name somewhere into the conversation, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with me. And, according to his parents, Greyson never stops talking about me.
These signs obviously point to love, am I right?
Of course I am.
Right. Greyson loves me. Right.
I can do this.
"Rain? Are you okay?" Greyson asks, looking over at me worriedly.
I nod, trying to act nonchalant and totally not worried. "Of course I am. What makes you think I'm not?"
"Well, you're awfully quiet. And you keep shaking and nodding your head like you're arguing with yourself, or something…" He says, trailing off at the end.
Okay, Rain. It's now or never. Just tell him!
"Iloveyou!" Great! Awesome! Wonderful! Fantastic! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! I did it! I told him! Okay. Now for his response…
Wait. Why does he look confused?!
"Uhm…can you say that again, Rain? I didn't quite catch it…"
What?! What?! I finally got the courage to tell him and he didn't 'catch it?!'
Throwing caution to the wind, I grab Greyson's shoulders, yank him closer to me, and yell right in his ear, "I love you, you idiot! Did you hear that?"
The park echoes with an eerie silence after my yell, and I realize how stupid it was of me to just yell something like that in his ear.
But…the deed has already been done, so there's really nothing I can do about it now, is there?
"Y-you do?" Greyson's voice snaps me out of my thoughts (I really need to stop zoning out like that), and I try to push away from him, suddenly seriously embarrassed, but Greyson's arms wrapping around me prevent me from escaping. "You really love me?"
My face is squished against his chest, which means I'm in the ideal spot to hear just how quickly his heart is pounding. Holy crap, is this boy half-rabbit?! I didn't even know it was possible for a heart to beat this fast.
"Rain!" Greyson yells, shaking me and bringing me out of my zone-out (stop doing that, Rain! Ugh!), "Pay attention, hun! Did you mean what you said? Do you love me?"
I nod against his shoulder, "Yes, Greyson, I did. I do love you. I have for a while now, actually. And are you aware of how much eff—"
Have I ever told you how much I love kissing Greyson? He's such a wonderful kisser. I swear I can feel my heart melt at how warm and amazing his kisses are.
However, tonight, wow, tonight he's kissing me like never before. It's so full of raw emotion that I can feel my knees weakening, and I lose the ability to hold myself up, but Greyson squeezes me tighter, his strong, muscular arms the only thing keeping me from dropping to the ground as a pile of lovey-dovey mush.
"I love you, too, Rain. God, I love you so much, you have no idea." Greyson mumbles against my lips, pausing every few words to place a light kiss against them, "I'm so happy that you love me. So happy. I love you so much, Rain. I can't put into words how much I love you."
My brain as officially shut down from shock, before it restarts with a wave of confusion, shock, happiness, love, etc., etc., and, for some reason, smugness.
Wait. Wait a second. I knew he loved me. I knew it! Ha! I was right!
I'm tempted to dance, but seeing as Greyson still hasn't let go of me, I think that'd be rather tricky.
He's just hugging me now, and mumbling 'I love you's into my hair. My face is pressed against his chest, again, and I smile happily, pushing my smug, 'I so totally knew he loved me' thoughts to the back of my head to think about another time.
For now, I think I'll just enjoy the fact that we both love one another.
One year later
October 18, 2006
Our one year anniversary for dating, and our two year anniversary for knowing one another.
Greyson and I still love each other deeply and fully, and we don't plan on splitting up any time soon.
I plan to stay with him forever, if I can help it.
Greyson's the man I want to be with for the rest of my life. I want to marry him, live with him, spend every day with him, have kids with him, grow old with him, and die with him.
Greyson is my everything; my heart, my soul, my life. I don't think I will ever love anyone as much as I love Greyson. It's not physically possible. It can't be. This kind of love, the kind that fills every inch of my body, can't ever be felt again.
I know this for a fact, for if I ever lost Greyson, a large part of me would be lost with him. So, no matter how much I may love another man, there won't be enough of me left to love him as much as I do Greyson. Like I said, it would be physically impossible.
I never want to part with him, ever.
So, that's why, when he tells me that he's joining the army and leaving me for a while to train, I am understandably shell-shocked.
I don't scream at him, I don't cry. I don't do anything but stare at him for a very, very long time. So long, in fact, that Greyson grows concerned and starts panicking.
But even when he's yelling in my face, begging me to say something, anything, I don't. I just continue to sit there and stare ahead at nothing, my mind and face completely blank.
I come out of my kind of-coma in his arms, with him mumbling 'It'll be okay, I'm so sorry, please say something, please, please say something, I love you, I love you so much, I'm so sorry, please say something' into my hair, just like the night we confessed our love for one another.
I still don't cry, and I still don't scream, but I do speak. I ask him one thing, and one thing only:
After he's done kissing me (with no response from my end) in relief, he tells me that he's leaving after we graduate high school.
We graduate in June of '07.
Which means that I have less than eight months left with him before he goes off to train to fight in a war he could die in.
I have never believed that life was cruel; I mean, so far, I've lived a pretty damn good life. But now, now I know that every good thing comes to an end.
He's leaving me, and there's nothing I can do about it.
Eight months and two days later
June 20, 2007
Today is the day that Greyson is leaving me. He's leaving for training. He's leaving from the airport we're currently standing in, in twenty minutes.
I only have twenty minutes left with the love of my life.
I can already feel parts of my heart locking themselves away, but I still won't scream, and I still won't cry. I'll see Greyson off with a calm air about me.
I'm not happy that he's leaving, far from it, but this is what he wants, what he's been working for the better part of his life for, so who am I to stop him?
The airport is a flurry of activity; people hustle and bustle to and fro, never stopping, always moving. A cacophony of sound nearly overwhelms my hearing, but I manage to tune it out and focus only on Greyson, who's holding me in a suffocating hug. He doesn't seem to want to let me go, like he doesn't want to be separated from me.
Well, he should have thought of that before he decided to be a damn hero.
"I'll call you," He mumbles against my lips (we seem to talk like this a lot, nowadays), "I'll visit you on the weekends, and on my breaks. I won't let this end us. I love you, Rain, and no amount of time will change that."
"Death will." I mutter, ignoring the fact that I'd told myself I'd see him off without making him feel like utter crap (though he does kind of deserve to, for dropping something like this on me).
His laugh is strained and awkward, nothing like his usual warm and soothing one. "It's just training, Rain. I'm not going to die during training. I'll be fine. We'll be fine. Okay?"
"Do you swear to call me every single day?" I ask him.
"I do." He says, and I believe him.
Sighing, I kiss him, softly, chastely, and step out of his embrace, gazing up at his mocha eyes that are filled with anxiety. It's hard, and the result is small and rather pathetic, but I manage to get a smile to stretch across my lips.
Greyson's return smile is just as small, and just as pathetic, but we're both smiling, at least.
"I love you. You better call me every day. You better visit me every weekend. You better come see me every break. If you ditch me for some friends, or if you leave me for another girl, a soldier girl, I will find you, and I will kill you, you got that?" I ask, glaring up at him.
His smile widens into a small grin, and he reaches forward to hug me to him again. "I love you, too, Rain. And I swear to call you every day, visit you every weekend, see you every break, never ditch you for friends, and never leave you for another girl, a soldier girl. If I do any of the previously-mentioned things, I give you my express permission to kick my ass."
"Good. Now go. Leave me to suffer here alone. Shoo!" I say, letting him kiss me one last time before shoving him in the direction of his flight.
"I love you!" He shouts back to me just before he passes through a door and into his future.
"I love you." I whisper.
I stand there, in that same spot, staring at the door for long after Greyson's flight leaves, expecting something, but I'm not sure what. Maybe I expect him to come running back, babbling about how he can't leave me, or something.
He doesn't, and I go home.
Two years later
December 19, 2009
Still together, and still so much in love.
We're both on Christmas break; he's staying at home, and comes by my house every day.
Today we're sitting in my room, listening to softly playing music. I don't know what song it is, or who's singing it, or even what genre it is, all I know is that it's sad, and it makes me want to curl up and read a sad story, one that'll make me cry.
Greyson's been looking apprehensive all night, and I'm starting to grow worried. He looks more nervous than when he told me he was joining the army.
I really don't want to know what's wrong.
But I have an idea of what it is.
I want to be wrong, I want him to call me an idiot and say that I'm just being pessimistic.
But I know I'm right, and I know he won't call me an idiot or say that I'm just being pessimistic.
Because he's leaving me, and this time it may be for forever.
"You're going overseas to fight in Iraq, aren't you?" I ask, my voice as quiet as the music playing in the background. The music seems to fit the mood; depressive, melancholic.
I'm tempted to change it, but I don't.
"Yes." He says.
"I'm sorry, Rain."
I sigh and look down at him from my higher position on the bed. "Don't apologize, Greyson. I expected this to happen at some point, so I'm really not surprised. I'm just…sad. I will miss you."
He stands up and joins me on the bed, wrapping a strong arm around my shoulders. "I'll write to you every day, okay? I'd call you, but we don't have the money to afford a computer. So I'll write. I'll keep writing until you tell me to stop."
"I won't ever tell you to stop. You have to write to me every day. If you don't, I'll come over there and embarrass your ass in front of all your friends, got it?" I say, turning into his embrace and hugging him tightly. "Don't you ever stop writing to me. Ever!"
"I won't. And, Rain? Can we make a promise?"
I look up at him in confusion. "Didn't we just do that?"
"Something else, something bigger." He says, shaking his head.
"We both have to promise to stay alive, live our lives, love one another, and, when I come back from Iraq, have the biggest, most beautiful wedding the world has ever seen." He says.
I stare at him in shock. "Did you just ask me to marry you without actually asking me?"
"I want to be with you for the rest of my life, Rain. I want to live with you, have kids with you, grow old with you, and die with you." He says, smiling down at me, "When I get back, I'll ask you properly, okay?"
"I do. Do you?"
"I do. Seal the deal with a kiss?"
The kiss we share is sweet and sour, soft and hard, warm and cold. It's everything I love, and everything I hate.
And it's the last one I will share with him for a long time.
Hey, Rain Storm,
It's hot here, really hot. I don't like it much, but luckily, the group I'm with doesn't do much but sit here. So we can strip our shirts off to stay cool, and play cards all day. I saw a really weird bug earlier today. It looked like something that you'd like. It was this really weird color, and it made a really annoying sound. One of the other guys killed it, but it was still pretty cool looking.
Anyway, how're things with you? I miss you, Rain. I miss you a lot. I think about you every second of every day, and I dream of the day that we can get married and live with each other for forever, and ever. Well, some of the guys are calling me away. I'll write again when I can, okay?
I love you. I love you so, so much.
Of course it's hot, you idiot. You're in a desert. What'd you think it would be, ice cold? And you really don't do anything? You just sit there? If that's all you do, then why are you even over there? It seems kind of pointless to me. Like, you could probably be used elsewhere, like, here, at home, maybe.
A bug? What color, exactly was it? What did it look like? Did it have any interesting smells? Can you describe the sound? Someone killed it? What for?
Things with me are good. Studying animal life is something I've always loved, so I'm really enjoying all my classes. I think I'm doing pretty well in them, and I'm doing some serious sucking up to the professors. They all love me, I'm sure of it.
Oh. I won against Bo Bo. I didn't even cheat this time! I actually managed to out-stare the master of staring. I treated myself to some Dippin' Dots. Chocolate covered strawberry, of course. I little bit of me, and a little bit of you.
I miss you, too. I can't wait to see you again. Oh. My mom's already planning the wedding, by the way. Just a head's up.
I have nothing else to say. You better write back soon. I love you much more than should be healthy.
My Rain Storm,
It isn't nice to call people idiots, you know. And, no, I didn't think it would be cold, I just didn't think it would be this hot. We do do some things. Like, yesterday, some of the guys spotted what they thought was an enemy, so we all got our gear on, and all ready for some action. It turned out to be a false alarm, but that's beside the point.
I have no idea. I don't remember. It was a bug, I didn't pay that much attention to it. He killed it because it was being annoying.
I'm glad that you're having fun at school. Hey! Are you trying to make me jealous? How can you tell me about college professors loving you? You're my woman, damn it! Don't make me come back there…
You finally beat Bo Bo? And without cheating? Wow, I'm shocked. I didn't think the day would ever come that you could admit to beating Bo Bo hands down. I'm proud of you, Rain.
I miss you, I miss you, I miss you, I miss you! I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you!
I'm perfectly aware that it's not nice to call people idiots. The only people I call idiots are the ones that actually deserve it. You, sir, deserved it. I'm glad it was a false alarm. I don't think I'd be very comfortable with you getting into an actual fight.
You should have paid more attention to it! It could have been a rare species of bug, and I could have made a good discovery, or something!
Yes, I am trying to make you jealous. But it's not the professors you should be worried about (most of them are girls, anyway). Some guys have been hitting on me lately. You should come back and kick their butts for me. You're my knight in shining armor, right?
Yes. I beat Bo Bo without cheating. It was an epic day.
I miss you. I love you. I miss you. I love you. I miss you. I love you.
I really don't like the sun. It's bright, it's hot, and it hurts my eyes.
It may make me sound like a vampire, or something, but it's the truth. I prefer rainy days over sunny days. It's just the way I am.
So, why am I out suffering in this scorching, blinding sun?
I'm job hunting.
I've been mooching off of parents for long enough. I need to get a job and earn some money so I can buy an apartment and move out. My parents are insisting that I finish college while living at home, but I don't want to do that. I want to become independent, and learn how to be a responsible adult.
I can't do that with my parents paying for all the necessities.
So. Job hunting.
Yeah, so far? I am totally unsuccessful. No one's hiring. It's this damn economy. No money means no income means no extra money for workers means lay-offs means no jobs means craploads of people taking jobs I need.
Life is so unfair.
Greyson's next letter hasn't arrived yet, but it normally takes a while for them to be delivered, so I'm not worried.
I miss him so much, though. It hasn't been too long since he's left, but the pain of his absence is sharp. It stabs into my heart every day when I try to call him, only to remember that he's nowhere near me.
Everywhere I look, I'm reminded of him. We've been on so many dates to so many places, and I swear that I see ghosts of us sitting on that bench, or shopping in that store.
Ugh. I'm depressing myself.
I shake my head, squinting my eyes at the sunlight that flashes off the shiny cars and blinds me. I tilt my head up and glare at the offending ball of gas and whatever other crap makes up the sun.
Of course, then I trip over something, and fall flat on my face.
I push myself up to my knees and sigh.
"Again with the tripping. After spending the majority of my life in Tae Kwon Do, you'd think I'd have some semblance of balance." I mutter, standing up and brushing my knees off.
It isn't until a horn honks and someone yells, "Look out!" that I realize I'm standing in the street.
But by then, it's too late.
Sorry it took so long for me to reply. Things have been crazy here. We've been fighting on and off for weeks now, and I've been so freaked out, that I've hardly gotten any sleep at all.
Before you say anything, I know that it's dangerous to be handling weaponry on little sleep, but I killed a man the other day. I've never killed someone before, and it's shaken me way more than I thought it would.
I've killed someone. I'm a murderer, Rain.
You don't hate me now, do you?
I'm sure that you don't. You're too good of a person to hate anyone. It's one of the millions of reasons why I love you.
How are things over there? Is it getting warm, yet?
I love you so, so much and I miss you just as much.
I never got a reply from you, Rain. Did you not get my last letter? Damn post offices are a real pain, you know?
Well, in my other letter, I told you that things were crazy over here. You'll be happy to know that they've calmed down considerably. I'm finally able to sleep, too. Thank God for that, huh?
Some of the guys found my letters from you and started hackling me about them. They didn't stop teasing me for days until they found another guy's letters that were filled with all this lovey-dovey crap.
Anyway, I hope that you get this letter, and I look forward to hearing from you.
I love, love, love, love you. I miss you!
Still nothing, Rain? Did the last two letters not reach you? Wow, those postal guys are doing a crap job. It makes me wish I had a computer. At least that way we wouldn't have to worry about stupid post men.
Things are still calm here. The guys are getting lazy, which is fine for them, but I like to work out. I'm starting to get used to the heat, so it doesn't affect me as much anymore.
Oh, you won't believe it. This one guy got letters from his girlfriend back home, and they were filled completely with all this talk about sex, and what she would do for and with him when he got home. It was so embarrassing. I had to walk away from the guys when they started reading it aloud.
Are you making plans for our wedding? Have you got any ideas about what you want it to be like? Where do you want to have it? What kind of flowers do you want? Who do you want to invite? How big of a cake do you want? And your mother? Really? How'd she find out? Well, if you don't mind, then it's fine. I'll leave the decisions up to you, and if you need my advice, feel free to ask me.
Maybe this letter will actually reach you?
I'm going to murder those stupid post office guys. How come they keep losing all my letters?!
Anyway, I have good news, Rain!
I'M COMING HOME!
Most of the guys in my group are, in fact. They're bringing us back, Rain.
I can't wait to see you again! Oh, and if this letter never reaches you, then it'll be a surprise, and your face will probably go blank from shock, like it always does.
I've always found that funny about you. You never freak out when you get shocked or surprised, you just sit or stand there and stare ahead blankly. I always find if slightly humorous.
Anyway, I've only got a few more weeks left, so I'll be home soon!
I love you so freaking much, and I can't wait to see you again!
The day is bright, without a cloud in the sky.
The rays of the sun cast a bright, golden shadow over the graveyard.
A solitary man stands alone in front of a single gravestone.
A bouquet of flowers is held in one hand, and in the other is a small, velvet-black box.
The man's shoulders are shaking.
He kneels down and places the bouquet in front of the grave marker, and digs a small hole in the short, green grass that's just begun to grow over the grave. Once the man believes the hole is deep enough, he places the velvet box in the hole, and fills it back in, patting the dirt to make it look normal.
He spends the rest of the day, sitting in front of the grave, not moving except for his shaking.
Little spots of water drip on the ground and stone, bubbling on the smooth surface.
A single, broken whisper can be heard from the man.
"Rain. You broke your promise."
May 5, 2010