it rained today
This was a decade ago. It’s about a girl that lived in a text box.
She had said to me once, during one of our instant message conversations, that it rained earlier in the day and that she wished I was there to help her collect it all. To do what with it, I have no idea. Maybe use it to water the crops in a garden or splash it over ourselves. Make a pond and swim and get lost in the softness of something clear, something close to a magic dwelling place where we can hide from it all. She had said the rain sounded like my voice, which had flattered me since all she knew previously of it was over a lousy telephone connection. I knew what affection was when I heard proclamations such as that.
I pictured her sitting on a collection of stones in the woods, or on a bench in her backyard. Using her fingers to trace the movement of the clouds and the slow spin of this weird planet. Wearing a sundress and a bracelet that she made with my name on it, digging her toes into the smooth dirt, whispering song lyrics, being blinded by the sun. What summer should feel like and move like. The only thing that would be missing is the touch of each other, succumbing to each other, like it was supposed to be.
I constantly thought about it and could have killed to see it there, in the flesh. But it never came to pass. The distance was just too far. I had debated getting a car and making the drive – the thought was extra appealing to me, since this was the days of no cellphones or navigation systems. I could take my time and experience the world. I imagined I’d meet up with her at a diner where they had terrible food. But as long as we had a place to sit and of course, the rain.
I had ruined it, of course, by making it about love. I had fallen in too deep and used words I shouldn’t have used, and as time passed, we faded. The text box didn’t pop up anymore. There was more sunshine than stormy weather. I had gotten older and there were people closer to me that I paid more attention too. And that was that. My carefully crafted treasure trove of episodes finally lost its transmission.
I have no idea where she is these days. I’m guessing she’s in the same area, lost in work, or maybe on the other side of the world, showing strangers the ability to believe in things. But wherever she is, I like to think she’s got one of those clouds on her tongue, lying on her back, picking it apart, trying to get the water out, saying my name in a happy whisper with wet lips.
Kevin Richard White‘s fiction appears in Grub Street, The Hunger, Lunch Ticket, The Molotov Cocktail, The Helix, Hypertext, decomP and Ghost Parachute among others. He is a Flash Fiction Contributing Editor for Barren Magazine and also reads fiction for Quarterly West and The Common. He lives in Philadelphia.