I could feel the cool sensation of pea-sized water droplets caressing the dry, pale crevasses of my skin. I focused on the feeling of the rain seeping into my pours, zapping my nerves, and sending a signal of pleasure into my brain. I slowly began tilting the nape of my neck back far enough until I could open my eyes and the only thing in sight was thick, charcoal grey clouds and sudden thin beams of lights shooting across the sky. Slowly but steadily, every part of my body was overcome with consistent rows of soaking wet goose bumps; it felt good.
I didn’t think I could ever leave that spot; I just stood there on the rough, bumpy texture of the gravely pavement as prodigious streams of rain ran vigorously over my bare, dirt-covered feet. This spot was my sanctuary, and my safe place; the place where everything and everyone seemed so far away, and nothing else mattered in the world except for my feet being firmly planted on the gravely pavement. I didn’t want to leave, but there were two little circular lights making their way towards me and I knew I only had a matter of seconds before the moment of impact.
I stepped off the pavement and onto the moist bed of forest green grass just as the jet black Pontiac solstice sped past me and left me in a thin mist of falling sprinkles of rain.
I began walking up the bed of moist grass and felt the water squish between my toes and listened to all of the sounds around me; the gentle fall of the water droplets on the pavement, the steady flow of water draining down the rusty sewer drain and the evident sound of my footsteps making their way through the overflowing grass up to the concrete that was my porch.
Just before I stepped up onto the landing, I turned around and took one last look at my spot before I made my way to the heavy, burgundy door and stepped into the cool silence of the house.
As I looked around, the walls just echoed the sound of his voice; it was the loudest silence to ever exist… I couldn’t stand it. When I ran my wrinkled fingertips through the damp tangles of my deep sandy brown hair, I struggled not to yank out every strand rooted into my scalp. I slammed my back against the firm white bathroom door until I was in too much pain for my legs to support and eventually dropped down onto the chilled ceramic tiles in physical and emotional agony.
It felt as if I was back in the rain again, but this time, the droplets were warm and pushing through my eyes like daggers. My throat was in pain from the bundle of sobs I kept swallowing because I refused to cry, and the piercing ache between my shoulder blades was making its way down the bottom of my spine into my tailbone. The pain felt good; at least I wasn’t thinking about him, and the deathly loud silence reverberating around me.
For what seemed like an eternity, I sat on the ice tiles pushed up against the door in pain until I finally found the strength in my legs to support the weight of the rest of my body, I pulled myself up off the floor and dizzily made my way up the creaking hardwood steps that lead to my closet-sized bedroom. The thin beige sheets on my 15-year-old double bed were draped across the mattress’ surface in chance abstract formations that looked so appealing to my exhaustion. I collapsed onto the mattress and pulled the slept-in sheets up to my chin and curled into a small, motionless ball of agony and eventually drifted off into a state of unconsciousness.
The warmth of the sun streaming in through the dusty bedroom window kissed my skin and caused me to slowly open my eyes and expose them to the searing brightness of the mid-day sun. I tried to get out of the warmth and comfort of my bed, but my body refused to let me release myself into the start of a new day, another day without him.
Just before I decided to stop fighting the pull of gravity that my bed had on my body, the phone sounded that high pitch ring tone that I have always hated. At that point, there was nothing I could do but one-leg-at-a-time climb out of my comfort.
I hazily made my way down the narrow corridor, listening to the creaking of the old deep hardwood as I groaned across them. As much as I despised that sound, it always sounded like home to me, as if a piece of me would be missing if the floors suddenly decided to stop creaking. I thought maybe I loved it so much because it reminded me of how old the house really was, but then again, old houses always made me think someone was murdered in it.
Just as I had my hand out to grab the wall phone, the sound of the ringing had ended and I stood there angrily cursing whoever it was that had dragged me out of the serenity of my bed just to hang up the phone.
I really didn’t see the point in going back to bed considering that it was past noon, so I eased myself onto the navy blue corduroy couch and turned on the toaster-oven-sized television. I didn’t feel much like watching television, but the old couple on the screen made me flashback to that day on the pier with Harry…
“Do you ever think about getting older?” I asked him as I laid my head on his lap in the middle of the park. He was twirling my long brown hair around his index finger while humming and old Irish melody until my question has interrupted.
“What makes you ask, Ri?” His loose brown curls hung over his forehead as he looked down at me with those ever-so-beautiful green eyes. Harry hardly ever called me by my full name, Ria, but he was the only one I ever let call me “Ri”, it sounded so beautiful when he said it.
“You see that elderly couple over there,” I said pointing to the right of Harry “I just looked at them and wondered what I’m going to be like when I’m older.”
“Well…” He sighed as he began running his fingers through my hair again “When you’re older, you’re going to be wise and strong, and you’re going to be even more beautiful than you are now.”
I jokingly hit him knowing this would get a rise out of him, and it did. In one swift movement, he placed his huge hands around my waist, pulled me up to his eye level and rolled over on top of me. I couldn’t help but stare at the dimples imprinted in his cheeks; the perfect little creators permanently etched into his skin that captivate me whenever he smiles.
His legs were on either side of my body, straddling me as he absorbed my every feature. Harry quickly tousled his curls and pushed them off to the side before he spoke.
“But most of all, when you’re older… you will be mine just as you always have been.” He placed his hand around my neck and gently kissed my lips in a way that made me desperately crave for more another. I dragged my hands through his hair, grabbing fistfuls of curls and pulling him down for more and as we kissed, I slowly began to suck on his full bottom lip and eventually leaving a trail of gently wet kisses down his neck. I could feel his heart starting to beat faster and the warmth of his body radiating against mine.
“Let’s go home.” I breathed into his ear.
The television was still on, providing background noise while I reminisced in the lingering memory of him. Thinking of that moment brought back the familiar sensation of warm beads on water trailing down my cheeks. I couldn’t control myself, as I looked around, I couldn’t help but think about the way his laugh would carry through the house, the way he would always walk around the house naked because that was how he was most comfortable, and how he would fall asleep to me tracing his numerous tattoos on his left arm.
The silence in the house was injecting agony into my veins resulting in a tsunami of tears to pour out of my blue eyes. I wasn’t ready to face the day without Harry, so I blurrily made my way back to my bed and curled up unto the blankets. Why would Harry leave me like this? Why did he have to die?