Monday, January 29, 2007

She navigates her bicycle through the dark, wet streets. She chose this day on purpose: the rain is essential. Seeing his house, she pulls up on the pot-holed driveway. She hops off her bike and wheels it to under the carport, gently leaning it against the house. She turns and heads towards the front door, and, as she does so, walks into a tree.

"Oh, shit--" she exclaims, softly, but perhaps not as soft as she'd like. She wonders, did he hear her?

She walks to the door.

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He feeds his fish and watches them for a moment. He thinks that he should probably change their water this weekend. He makes his way to his study. As he walks through the living room, he could swear he heard someone outside. He pauses, looking out the front window. Movement? Perhaps just the tree swaying in the wind. He keeps walking then stops again. There is definitely the sound of movement on his front porch. Someone is talking to themselves.

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She pauses on the front stoop.

"I love-- no that's pretty lame. I--. Do you remember--?" How to start? How to tell him how she feels?

She looks up. Oh, shit. She swears she saw movement inside. Did he see her? She shakes her head. No time. She reaches forward to knock on the door. Too late. The door opens.

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"Celia!"

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"Oh shit..."

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He stares at the girl standing, drenched, on his front stoop. Why did she come all the way here in the rain? He cannot imagine for a moment what she must have reasoned with herself. Her hair falls in wet black and purple waves, plastered to her face and neck. She pushes the offending hair away from her eyes, which are smudged with black. Her sweater and jeans cling to her body like a second skin. She shifts her weight and her shoes squeak as wet running shoes often will.

"Uhh...," he begins, so eloquently.

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She takes a step back. Now what? Lyrical words should be tumbling forth from her lips but she just can't get it to start. His eyes are wide with surprise behind glasses that glint with the reflection of the lamppost behind her. He's still got on the clothes he was wearing earlier, simple khaki pants and a button-up shirt.

"You know why people always show up at someones door step when it's raining?" she blurts out.

"Two reasons," she continues, without waiting for a response. "For firstly, that person is more likely to let them in out of the cold and rain. For secondly, if they were to cry, it would hide the tears." Her head is bowed, eyes glued to the floor. There is a tense silence. She drags her eyes upwards. His face is a mix of emotions: confusion, pity, and glimmer of something she cannot identify. He opens the door wider.

"Please," he says, his voice is husky and low. "Come in."

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