Ever since I was a child, I've loved the morning after rain. It's fresh, the sky is bright, and the ground is wet and littered with puddles. You can bundle up, the air still brisk, and the clouds won't loom above in thunderous warning. It's happy. It's new.
So every time it rains, I get a bit jittery. I'll look outside the window and watch the continuous drops fall, hitting the ground with a pitter and shaking the leaves. My quiet house filled with the lightest of splashes. I know that when the day is over and the rain stops, the sky will be so blue and so wide that nearly anything feels possible-- It's a beckoning!1629Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡypKglSEq5E
When I was younger, I would grab my yellow raincoat, pull out my umbrella, and dash out into our neighborhood street, finding only the biggest of puddles to splash in. Then it was only an excuse to get a bit messy. Now, I find myself avoiding the puddles, glancing in them to gaze at my reflection for a second, and then keep walking. Puddles gave me a sense of adventure, but now I find that same sense in other things, like the brighter trees or the glowing horizon.
However, today is not the morning after, and the road is sloppy and wet, my shoes are cold and my hair is drenched. I have no complaints, I enjoy the rain-- watching it, at least-- except wet hair and freezing feet make for a cold walk home. I was in such a hurry this morning I had completely forgotten to bring an umbrella. 1629Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡpxKcaym76e
Trying to avoid the concerned stares I receive from nearly every conscious person I pass, I continue my walk home. Every footstep I took was yet another reminder that the ground was utterly cold and the heavy wind would whip an occasional drop in my eye, rendering me sightless until a few blinks. Long story short, I'm sure I didn't look very happy or thrilled.
But however overwhelmed I may have looked, it was nothing in comparison to the figure kneeling on the ground, a yellow umbrella to his right, tilted and spilling trailing droplets onto the cement walkway. For a suspended moment, the rain stopped, then started again.1629Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡJG9R0cuRLU
I curiously walked to him, and as I did so he slowly stood up. Strangely, I ask, "Are you alright?"
He turned around, looking at me and then looking down at himself, his bottom half drenched. "I hadn't seen the edge of the curb," he tried to laugh, heaving over and picking up his umbrella, "You could say I gracefully fell."
Graceful was not the word that popped into my mind. "You're not hurt, are you?" I ask, standing still in pouring rain.
He chuckled, walking up to me and flipping the umbrella over both our heads. His hair was pretty wet, I noticed. "Since when was it that a lady made sure a gentleman was okay?" he asked, "Do I look like a damsel in distress?"
He was joking, it was evident on his grinning face, but I disagreed. "Do I ? Because you looked like a fool who wasn't watching where he was walking."
He put his free hand up, faking a wince, "Yeesh, I guess you're right." He looked around, and I was about to step out from under his umbrella when he spoke again. "Are you headed somewhere?" he asked.
"Just to my apartment," I clarified, crossing my arms and shivering. "It's pretty close though," I said.
"Good, then it shouldn't be a problem for me to walk you back?" he asked, and as much as I'd have liked to say no, my apartment was literally only a block away, so I wouldn't have to walk with him long, and the relief from rain was... well, relieving.
"I suppose. It's just around this block," I explained, pointing with a pale hand. 1629Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡvha51XdqmL
We begin walking at a steady pace, and seconds into our strut I began to regret my decision. He was just walking, quietly, beside me. Without a word. Strange, I noted, he seemed to talkative before.
"Cat got your tongue?" I forced myself to talk first. 1629Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡF9bjpqUjNj
"Sorry," he smiled and looked at my out of the corner of his eye, "I'm not very good at small talk when I'm nervous," he admitted.
"That's hard to believe, since only a moment ago you were Chatty Cathy herself," I scoffed. Normally I'm not this rude, but playful banter was the only way I could talk and not be awkward.
"I was only being polite," he defended himself, laughing in a good-natured way. In a way I respected. "Is that your apartment up there?" he asked, changing the subject. I looked up and realized that we were a few footsteps away from the awning of my apartment building.
"Yes, that's the one," I said, turning to him and giving him my thanks. "I appreciated the umbrella," I said.
He nodded, turning around and walking the same direction we had come from. He must have been walking the other direction-- he went out of his way to walk me back and the retrace his steps. I smiled, suddenly warming up, how sweet. He turned around and caught me staring, hesitantly stopping, and then running back to me. 1629Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ9FAzoCOqaj
Slightly out of breath, he said, "How about we meet tommorrow morning? I have a few classes, but after 10:00 I'm free." He was courageous and nervous at the same time.1629Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡseA6WV4umt
I looked at him for a long while, debating whether I say yes, or I say no. I hadn't even been on a date before. "Sure," I finally spoke, and he visibly relaxed.
"Mind if I give you my number?" he asked, taking out his phone, "You can text me and I'll save the number." We exchanged numbers and he turned around, again, retracing his steps. I watched him go and he turned around and caught me staring. Throwing one last smile, he disappeared behind a small crowd.1629Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡuOIPS8mv2C
Tomorrow would be new.1629Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡU1nyqhPCCD