It's Still Raining. Part 4. A Bam Brown story.
Bam leaned forward, trying not to laugh as he told you the punch line to a really silly joke. When you laughed so loud and so long, you saw him stop and look at you, his smile faltering a little. You saw the change in his expression and you stopped laughing and threw both hands over your mouth.
“Was I too loud? Were people staring?” You looked wildly around and seeing no one close, you slowly let your hands drop as you stared back at Bam. “What?”
His eyes shifted a little to the right and then back to you. “You can’t be real.”
The words slapped you in the face and stung like fire.
“What? What do you mean?” You knew exactly what he meant but you hoped you were wrong.
“You are too easy to get along with and you like almost everything I like. You draw with chalk like I do and you think all my jokes are funny. They aren’t that funny.” His eyes were getting cooler as he spoke and you knew he was seconds away from calling you fake and walking away.
“Bam.” You said quietly as you adjusted the strap on your purse across your shoulder. Choosing your words carefully, you still knew that Bam would believe only what he wanted to believe. “This woman who met you here the other day. She’s your girlfriend, right?”
Bam nodded and appeared not to notice the loud cracking of your heart.
“I’m easy because you’re easy. You’re in a relationship with the person you want so you can be comfortable with me. There’s no pressure here to impress me or make me like you. And it’s the same with me. I know you are with someone else so I can be free to just enjoy your company and then we both walk away.”
The words were one hundred percent true but the pain in your heart as you said them almost made you too dizzy to speak. Bam nodded and looked down at the table and bit at his upper lip. “I really do love her.” Bam said quietly.
He lifted his eyes and you saw the shine in them and you realized the depth of his feelings for her. His admission nearly knocked you to your knees and your mind scrambled to find the words that would not leave you sounding like the crushed soul you had become. You nodded your head and dropped your gaze to the table, afraid of what he might see in your eyes. By the time you had formulated a response and opened your mouth to speak, you heard Bam’s next words.
“I was afraid she would see us together and be jealous and accuse me of something. But she didn’t blink an eye and even said you were ‘cute’.” He snorted out a short laugh.
Your mind went ice cold at his words. That explained why he felt free to come back. Bam had no idea that when a girlfriend said you were ‘cute’, that meant you were less than insignificant. That you mattered so little to her and were so small a threat to her that she didn’t need to waste of any her time being jealous of you.
“Yes…well…” You yanked out your dark sunglasses and fitted them over your eyes, hiding the tears that you couldn’t stop from falling. “You have nothing to worry about. I’m not the kind of girl other girls get jealous of. So, no problem, OK?”
You sprang awkwardly out of you chair, the tears nearly blinding you. “Gotta go.” You managed to croak out the words and you were hurrying down the narrow sidewalk even before Bam had a chance to stand up and call after you. But it didn’t matter how loudly he called or what he said. You were done. How could you have been so stupid? A second time!! With Bam it felt like you took one step close to him and then he knocked you two steps away. Who was this guy to you, anyway? And why did he own so much of your heart? He wasn’t worth this kind of pain. No man was.
Reaching in your purse you yanked out your earbuds and jammed them angrily into your ears. Bam’s words of love for his girlfriend and her taunting dismissal of you rang like bells in your head. You needed to drown out the words and the thoughts that were threatening to make you feel insignificant and worthless. You had never let any man or woman make you feel that way and you weren’t going to start with Bam.
Clicking on the icon on your phone, you chose ‘random’ and let the phone choose the song to fill your mind. But when the first strains of the Jonny Lang song flowed into your ears, the anguished sob burst from your lips and you began to run.
Clouds, one by one, fill the sky. Just like these tears that fill my eyes. I know by now she ain’t comin’ back. I watch my world slowly fade into black. Look out my window it’s still raining.
Slamming up the steps to your house you fumbled in your purse for your keys. Your hands were shaking with anger and embarrassment. By this time Jonny Lang was twanging on his guitar and crooning the second verse, stabbing it into your heart;
They say that time heals everything. I’ve felt the pain that love can bring.
It don’t get no better with each passing day. Any hope I had is slowly slipping away.
Look out my window it’s still raining.
“Oh, Jonny, please! Shut up!” You mumbled the words as you tugged the earbuds from your ears. You were so focused on stowing the earbuds and trying to fit your key into the lock with trembling fingers that Bam was up the stairs and grabbing your arm before you even realized he was there.
“Let me go and walk away, Bam.” You growled through gritted teeth as you stared down at his hand gripping your wrist tightly. “No.” His deep voice tingled through you.
You snapped your head up to look at him and you saw that he was angry too and his breath was coming in short hard puffs.
“I said let me go!” You shouted harshly this time and pushed at Bam but he held tightly to your wrist. Your shove knocked him off balance and you saw his eyes widen as his foot stepped back into empty air as he began falling backward down the stairs. As he fell, you grabbed for him but you twisted as you did and you heard the sharp “pop” in your wrist a split second before he did. When he heard the sound Bam immediately released your wrist but you couldn’t let him just fall so you grabbed for him again with your good hand and both of you fell back and down and landed with a solid thud on the sidewalk.
The pain from your broken wrist shot white hot fire all the way up your arm. Your vision blurred for a second and Bam’s face swam in front of you. You heard him grunt heavily and haul himself up to a sitting positon, his hands reaching for you, pulling you gently toward him.
“What’s wrong? Why did you run away like that?” He asked as his arms wound around your shoulders. As you struggled against him, he swung one leg over yours to hold you in place. “Stop it and talk to me.” He demanded. “What’s wrong with you?”
“You’re what’s wrong with me, Bam!” You wailed as you tried to pull away. But he held you tightly and you couldn’t move more than an inch. Finally, you slumped down in his arms, cradling your hurt wrist close to your chest, your head down to hide your tears.
“Yeah. I know.” Bam said quietly and his lips moved down to gently kiss the top of your head. At the sensation of the kiss, your mind tumbled and your heart pounded in your chest.
“You’re what’s wrong with me, too.”