There’s a storm coming. I could feel it in the way my skin seem to crackle with pent up electricity waiting to explode. I looked up to the fast changing of the sky. It was still blue and clear with only some clouds providing necessary shades from the scorching sun just a few minutes ago, but now it was bleak, grey, and dull. The sun was trying its hardest to penetrate the barricade of the heavy cloud that was constantly blocking its view of the earth below to no avail. The grayish cloud, slowly but sure, made its way to cover up the once-blue sky with its shadows.
“Are you okay?” came a question from the girl standing beside me. I didn’t realize that she was there. She was usually quiet, but I could always feel her presence before, but not now. Not when it was so close to that time. So, I was startled when I heard her voice coming from the space next to me which I believed was empty when I first got here.
“I’m fine,” I answered curtly. I couldn’t say anything else. It was the same every time and she knew that I wasn’t fine, but she kept asking the same thing. I knew she meant well, but I couldn’t stop myself from feeling a slight annoyance at her repeated question.
“You know that you shouldn’t be here this close to a full blown storm, right?” she asked again. I sighed and huffed.
“I know that. But just let me indulge on this chance for a bit longer, okay? It’ll be some time before the actual storm strikes.”
She went silent and I continued my observation on the busy street below. We were on a rooftop somewhere. She brought me here to calm my nerves, but each time I stayed just a minute longer than necessary just savoring the cold breeze on my face and inhaling the smell of rain until my lungs ached with how much air it contained.
“Come on. We stayed here long enough. It’ll start to rain soon,” she said while holding my hand and tugged to get my attention. She started walking and dragging me towards the door that would bring us back to the safe confines of the building and away from the dangerous and cruel storm outside. I glanced back towards the grey sky one last time. I felt the first droplets of cool water fell on my cheek when I walked towards that door.
“Wait,” I said suddenly. I closed my eyes and felt the hotness swell behind my eyes. I was pretty sure I choked even on that one word, but I didn’t care. There would be a time for all the façade and the bravado later, but now was not such a time. The droplets turned into a slight drizzle in no time and I could feel her grip on my hand tightened just a bit more, urging me to start walking towards the one thing that could give me shelter from the cold rain, but my feet refused to budge even an inch.
“Come on. It’s going to pour soon,” she urged me.
“Wait. Please —,” I definitely choked this time. And I definitely could feel the mingling of my own hot tears with the cold ones from the sky on my cheek. My knees gave up with the heavy burden of grieve. “I need —,“ I couldn’t finish because I didn’t know what I need. She understood though and her hug — her warm hug — when I was at my most desperate and broken assured me of her affection towards me.
“Oh, Sam,” she whispered, still hugging me tight. Sometimes I wonder what I would do without her hugs. It was the only thing that kept me from crumbling into million pieces every time we did this. And still, it wasn’t enough. It never was. And it never will. And I cursed my heart for that because I couldn’t be satisfied with her love.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” I mumbled incoherently.
“No, don’t say that. There’s nothing to be sorry about.”
The rain was pouring now and I knew that we needed to go soon or we’d risk a prolonged cold after this. But just for a little while more. Just a little bit more. I needed to savor the way the rain was pounding on my hunched back mercilessly. I needed to know how it felt like when someone was just lying there on the ground, staring at the harsh sky, while the rain poured on a lifeless body. How the pavement must have felt so rough to the touch and the agony of it all. I needed to understand. I needed to feel.
“It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have asked to come to the store that day. I shouldn’t have insisted on buying those stupid worthless things. We should’ve stayed at home, then none of it will happen. It’s my fault.”
Through all my ramblings, she just hold me there, tightly, keeping me together even though some broken pieces tried to break free. And I thanked her for that. I felt grateful that I had her by my side when I was at my weakest. And I didn’t dare to let anyone else but her to see me crumpling down into a sobbing mess. I was used to my calm but cheery demeanor on a daily basis but just this day, this particular day, I needed this day to hurt so that I could be back behind my mask the next day. And she held me through each and every time this happened.
And with her soothing words on my ears, even though I couldn’t hear a word she said, I found myself being glued back together, piece by piece by the lull of her melodic voice. Without I even realized, she got me back inside the building of our apartment, safe from the roaring storm and safe inside her arms. I sat there on the stairs with her arms around me, for a while I was lost in my grieve yet again, but each time she pulled me back to the reality with a gentle caress on my cold and numb face, with the loveliest stroke on the top of my head, and with her hugs and whispered words of love and forgiveness. And without notice, the God of Dreams took me into his arms and brought me to his realm. I succumbed without resistance.
“How is he?” asked the woman in a blue jacket. She looked worn out from a long day of work and the wrinkles on her forehead marred her beauty and made her look way older than her thirty years.
“It’s the same every year. We went to the roof like last year and he seemed to be lost to the same grief over and over again,” answered the other woman in the room. She was wet from head to toe due to the heavy rain and she was shivering a little despite the heater that was turned to its highest setting. She grabbed a towel and started to dry herself starting from her soaked hair.
“It’s been years. I’m worried,” said the one in blue.
“I know. It’s been more than ten years, but I think that he needs this. Grief can last a long time and in his case it’s more than just grief, it’s his guilt that is eating him inside. I think that he deserves this one day out of a year to mourn his beloved and himself, don’t you think?”
A sigh came from the both of them. “But it’s not fair to you.”
She stopped drying her hair and looked at the other woman straight on her grey eyes that were so similar to his. “We’ve had this discussion before. I don’t mind. I love him. And I know he loves me too, in a way. It’s just that this one day in one year, he grieves for his lost love, and I’ve come to term with the fact that he needs this. I’m fine, you know that. If this one day break down is what it takes for him to function for the rest of the days, I will at least grant him that.”
Another sigh. “I know. I’m just so sorry that you have to endure this every year.”
“Don’t be. I’m his wife. I love him. And everything will be back to normal tomorrow.”
“I hope so.”
“It will. It’s always been like that.”