The Way Love Is
It's amazing how your view of the world can look when it's cast you out and you're standing in the middle of a rain that greys the skies and blurs your vision.
The chilled water collects in drops in your hair and on your skin, soaking your clothes in an attempt to seep into your bones. You blink, then off your eyelashes and down your cheeks the raindrops fall like sorrowed spilled out emotion.
A shiver ripped through my body, bringing the cold that I had been trying to ignore. The raindrop tears rolling down my face were too real to the thoughts running rapidly in a slide-show across my mind and made my throat dry and scratchy as if my eyes were the ones creating the waterfalls on my face and not the condensation from the clouds above.
I swallowed hard and tilted my head back to stare at the drops as they plummeted to the ground, ignoring the stinging that scorched my eyes when the rain found my unprotected corneas.
Vivid images. A dirty blonde boy with pale skin and a gorgeous smile that people told me was difficult to bring out but that never left his face when we were together. The five inches of height he had on me. His low voice that always shook me to the core with shutters that were as orgasmic as the thoughts they wrought. The wonderful, seemingly random conversations and instances that wretched at my heart as memories.
With these pictures came the lust and yearning that I still felt for that boy.
This time my eyes created their own form of rain.
I have to stop caring, I told myself, hugging my arms around my chest as I finally allowed the rain and temperature their reward in making me feel their anti-heat.
He was…perfect in his own way. To me. Though everyone thought we should get together, he apparently had other ideas.
Again my brain was pushed back into a memory…
He stopped in his tracks and turned to look back at me.
I smiled as a light grin spread across his face and sparkled in his bright blue eyes. I ran up to him, smiling like an idiot and waved rapidly. "Hello!"
He gave a soft chuckle and shook his head. Though he didn't show it, I knew he was amused by this and the fact that it had turned into almost a ritual that occurred every morning when I first greeted him.
"How are you today?" I asked in my usual bright tone that I unconsciously took whenever I talked with him.
"The normal," he shrugged.
That's right, I held out a palm to catch some of the droplet army that cascaded steadily around me. It started out normally like every other day had. But sometime during that normal day someone spilled the fact that everyone knew or had guessed at except Robert…
He approached me normally enough after school, but I knew something had changed between us when he didn't return even a piece of the smile that I showed him when he had called my name. That and he didn't look me in the face, keeping his eyes slightly to the left of my head.
I followed without a word to a stairway outside in the back of the school building that was unoccupied and had little to no chance of people walking by.
Wind hit us playfully, warm and refreshing. The sky's blue almost seemed to wink down at the Earth.
He leaned against the railing at the top step.
I stayed a couple feet away toward the doors. "Robert?" My voice was soft and completely unlike any tone I had ever had when talking to Robert.
"Someone told me something about you that's slightly…disturbing and unfortunate." Cold. His tone was cold, completely without any sense of warmth.
Like this rain, I thought wiggling my fingers to splash around the gathered water that was already overflowing my hand. Cold like a snow-frozen mountain that looks down on a village's people with pity…
I tried not to gasp and gape at him. It's nothing, I told myself, but I didn't believe it.
"Your feelings for me…"
I forced a small laugh and a weak smile. "What feelings?" I asked, trying pathetically to lighten the mood.
"I love you?" I laughed a little lighter this time, wanting more than anything to erase the thought from his mind and turn this seriousness around. "You know it."
He raised his head and finally looked me in the eye. Piercing eyes the color of ice told me to stop my efforts or be prepared to be held down…or pushed off the steps.
I almost whimpered.
"Don't get your hopes up. It's not going to happen." His dark, dead tone bulleted with his deep voice into my head.
My eyes started to swell up with tears against my will. Shallow breaths became the only things that I could use to take in oxygen while blinking quickly, hoping he wouldn't notice the liquid emotion that threatened to overflow.
Robert pushed himself off the railing and started walking toward me. "You should have known this. You should have never fallen for me in the first place."
Stop! Stop! I shut my eyes, shaking my head. It's a daydream! None of this is happening!
I felt rough, callused skin rub across my cheek. I opened my eyes and stared up at the guy that how held my face in his palm.
His thumb continued back and forth almost caressingly over my cheek as he spoke, "I was hoping we could be good friends since I do enjoy talking to you, but now it has to be cut off."
The kindness of the Nature around me had ceased to be helpful. Even the man-made elements seemed to mock my heartache. The concrete scowled up from underfoot and now even the pure blue shy looked down at me, smirking and delighting with the wind that laughed as it flew through my hair.
My throat had become dry, and my mouth was creating the fluid to quench it, but, apparently, my swallowing function had stopped working so neither problem could be fixed without a lot of work.
I met Robert's eyes, despising my pitiful reflection in them. "Why?" It was a croak, not any sort of spoken language and certainly not my voice.
"Good-bye. We won't be talking again." His hand dropped as he turned his back on me.
That was my limit. My cheeks were overcome with rivers that seemed determined to carve permanent grooves down my face. "Wait!" Finding my voice, I called after him as he descended the steps away from me. "Robert!"
He paused at the bottom of the steps and looked back at me, flashing one of those smiles that friends of his said only I could bring out of him. "I wish you well." Then he turned, took a few steps and went out of my sight.
Lost for words, my knees buckled and hit hard on the unforgiving concrete. Stranded at the top of the stairs that sloped steeply like a cliff, I wept. Bitter tears that burned and littered the concrete a darker color.
Time passed as if in slow motion. I don't know how long it was before the sky soaked up my sadness and started streaming.
I had dropped my jacket and bag, hypnotized by the quickly increasing pace of the rain and wanting to feel it's coldness.
I had been numb to it at first, but reflection brought back the emotion that had been pushed away when the wells in my eyes had run dry, leaving me like an empty hallowed shell.
Now I'm here. In the rain, soaked, and too sad to even cry. As if in spite of my thought, my eyes welled up more salty liquid from some depth. I can't even picture what a day would be like without talking to Robert. In the two months since the beginning of school when we met, we had become what I thought of as good friends. Whenever we could, we talked during school.
I choked back new tears. "No," I muttered softly. "No. No." My repetition grew louder until I screamed it at the sky, gasping deeply with wide eyes as I realized just how much Robert meant to me. Hell, I thought it was only a crush.
"Damn it," I coughed out, pressing my head into my hands.
A muffled sound called out through the storm.
I looked up in the direction the noise had come from.
Robert. Robert was running toward me. I blinked, snapped out of my thoughts.
"Robert?" The grogginess in my voice disgusted me, but I didn't care. Robert was coming toward me.
He barely slowed enough not to barrel into me, grabbing my shoulders. "What are you doing out here?"
"I thought we weren't talking," I shot at him, tasting the sarcasm thick on my tongue. "I should be asking you why the hell you care."
"It's been hours!" His expression had completely changed from the last time I had seen him. It was now strained with worry.
"And?" I turned from him and stared back out at the grey horizon blurred by the intensifying rain.
"I spoke without thinking before," his voice projected over the roar of the water hitting the ground. "I don't want to never talk to you again. No one can make me smile like you do. I want our relationship to stay."
I almost laughed. "You said so yourself, that can never happen. Things will never be the same."
"I don't want them to be."
I whipped around and stared into his eyes. "You aren't making any sense."
He gripped one of my wrists and pulled me toward him, embracing my tightly. "I thought a ridiculous amount about what you are to me," he whispered in my ear. "I love you."
For the second time that day, time stopped. When it resumed, it was in slow motion.
The thundering rain was silenced as Robert drew back from me and framed my face with his large, strong hands, locking his eyes with mine.
"Keep loving me." His voice was the only thing I heard in my suspended space in time. Then he leaned down and pressed his lips against mine.
The heat and joy that rose from my core sent warm blood flowing back through my veins, and, suddenly, the chilling rain didn't seem so cold anymore.