The Rain (1/3)

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                   (credits to whoever drew this)

“It’s going to rain soon.. ”

Yes it is.

The skies had darkened and the sound of thunder claps echoed. Each getting louder and closer and I could feel the wind blowing against my face, bringing the scent I miss most, the sea.

It’s fifteen minutes to four and I’ve yet found my purpose for the evening. Should I skip class? Or should I just wander around until it’s time to go home?

There’s nothing to do in class anyway.

“Have you heard? There’s a new shop opening by the corner?”

The corner huh? Looked like the old flower shop closed down. How unfortunate . I like the old lady there.

It’s sad, seeing how time progress at such an amazing pace and how we’re in the middle of all of it, not able to do anything about it. These streets used to be brimming with traders’ cart, fruit stands, with plethora of foods, flowers, and knickknacks to choose from. The buildings were 4 – 5 stories high as apartments, travellers inn, bars, library, and shops. The road stretches from a higher part of the city to the last corner at the end, where it breaks off into separate roads. It used to be this travellers’ paradise where one could enjoy their time without having a destination.

Now it’s a bustling city, the roads are now what they’re meant to be, roads. The streets became an important passage to those who came from the higher part of the city. At peak times, there would only be cars, with each slamming their horns against one another in a useless effort to move the traffic. Smoke fills the air among the occasional curses spouted by the ones who should be cursed at.

“It’s raining.. ”

I didn’t noticed the drops but it was definitely raining. The crowd suddenly gained pace, dispersing into their own way, seeking shelter from the rain.

It wasn’t long before I found myself hiding in a staircase of a souvenir shop. It was located beside the main entrance but I have no point of going inside, hence the staircase. Although it was there from the beginning, it never occurred to me to unfold my umbrella.

Pools of water slowly forms as I stare into the emptiness, waiting for something to happen. Anything. As long as it would take me away from this place.

In the back of my head all I could recognize was the sound of traffic, the sound of droplets as they fall onto the roof and the ground. I stared as leather shoes splashes the water, as umbrellas fill the scene, and without notice a sudden strike of loneliness hits me.

“Great weather isn’t it? ”

“Yeah…”
“…It’s been awhile since it rained”

I replied.
I wasn’t really paying attention. My thoughts were preoccupied with randomness and what came out was a statement made at the spur of the moment.

“You’re new here aren’t you?”
” Want to hang out upstairs? ”
It replied.

‘Who’ was what came to my mind. ‘It’ turns out to be a ‘he’. A quick glance proved that he had a higher stature than me. White tshirt, black pants, and sneakers. The simplest of many men I had seen today. My eyes weren’t used to it since I was considered tall around everyone else. It was a first for me, to actually look up from down below.

“I’ll be opening up, you can come if you want”

‘Opening up’? A shop then? I thought to myself.

I know the rain won’t be stopping soon. It looked like it would only get worse from here. The gods sounded as if they were angered with bolts of lighting striking the ground violently, and thunders roaring loudly. It took a moment, wasn’t too long nor too short, before the sound was heard, ringing in my head. I knew it happened just around the vicinity.

I took the gentleman’s offer, as I found myself in need of a place to kill time and laze around while waiting for the weather to change.

I followed him upstairs, going up a floor, one after another. It wasn’t the fatigue that got me first, it was curiosity.

“Are we there yet?”
I asked.

“It’s on the highest floor”
“Just up ahead”
“Who told you about this place anyway?”
He smiled.

“No one, it was through pure luck I ended up here”

“That’s new.”
He wondered for a bit.

“Must be fate”
He smiled again.

“I doubt it”

“Don’t you believe in fate?”

I didn’t answer. For awhile, I was somewhere else. I wasn’t walking up a flight of stairs, I wasn’t in that neighbourhood nor that city. I was in a state of serenity.

A place that couldn’t be put into words. Usually I would stay there for awhile, staring towards the emptiness as my mind wanders off.
However, something snapped me out of it.

“Well, you are the master of your fate”

“.. And the captain of my soul”
I replied.

He looked quite surprised.

“You’re the first one.. ”
He was rather amused by it.

We soon arrive at the highest floor, although it was the rooftop, it seemed more like a floor as it was covered by the a wooden roof. The entrance were entirely made of glass, allowing me to peek whatever may be inside. There were flowers, tons of them, with each with different colours, neatly put and arranged around the corners.

He opened the door and allowed me to sit. It was different. Although the temperature dropped earlier, it was quite warm there. The scents of the flowers reminded me of spring, the heat, summer, and the dark, brownish, wooden interior, fall. The edges were walls of transparent glass, and there were small, rounded, wooden, chairs, with table facing the outside.

The place was well situated on the highest building, allowing the viewers to see some part of the city up to the horizon. I could also see the tops of other buildings, the cars, and the walkers down below.

There’s a weird scent lingering in the air, a mixture of the sea and flowers. A weird mix. But somehow it fits. As I whiffed the mixture in, a melancholic melody slowly fills my ears.

“You’re okay with Mozart right?”
The voice came from the back.

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“I don’t know, maybe you’re into other composers”

I was surprised. Why would he said that?

“Your arm”
“I couldn’t help but notice the music sheet tattooed on your arm”

I didn’t noticed that my sleeves were folded up. Subconsciously, I lowered it down.

“So what is it?”

“Promise me you wouldn’t laugh”

“Okay, I promise”
There it was again, that smile.

“It’s ‘Path of The Wind’, Joe Hisaishi”
It wasn’t some classic, timeless, piece. It wasn’t Mozart, Bach, or Schumann. It was just a simple piece, filled with memories of when I was younger.

He just stood there. I know that he might had found it silly. But he never let it show, instead there was that smile. A smile you could never forget. It was like a mystery that kept on lingering, wanting to be discovered.

“Okay.. ”
” That was interesting”
“So, coffee or tea? ”

I opted for the coffee.
I sat on the bar, facing him as he brewed the coffee beans, and cleans the cup. There was a mural behind him that resembles the great waves off Kanagawa.

“I didn’t noticed it before, but why are there bamboo shoots over there?”
I wondered. On one of the corners were a group of bamboo shoots sticking upright in position.

“I don’t know, for good luck? ”
He laughed.

He handed the coffee and began wiping the sink and some of the tools. It was still hot as steam was seen rising and I thought I’d better wait for a minute or two just to make it tolerable.

It was a habit for me, to open up my phone and check on notifications, as means of avoiding awkward moments. I’d rather read the news than to converse in a thoughtless subject. Moments later, I drank the coffee black, without sugar nor cream, and of course it caught his attention.

” You’re weird”
“I like that”

And then something happened. Something that changed the atmosphere.

He closed his eyes, leaned over the bar, with his head just besides mine. It didn’t touch. But I felt like it did. He was so close, I could smell his perfume very distinctively as if it was mine.

My face reddens, my heart flutters, and a sudden rush of adrenaline comes through me. My mind went blank and it felt like.
It felt like time had slowed down.

“Hmm, it WAS you”
“Tulips isn’t it, I like the smell of it”
There’s that smile again. The smile that my insides rages for more.

And before my mind made up, my body moved on its own, it leaned closer, and before the both of us noticed it. Our lips were connected. His to mine.

In the course of a few seconds, the universe changed. The temperature dropped even more,  the music was at its climatic moment where the whole Orchestra was in motion, and it seemed like the rain is slowly turning into snow.

And somehow, time stopped completely. 

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