Tomoyo Daidouji sat alone at the edge of the playground, wearing nothing but a blue cotton t shirt and jean shorts; it served no protection against the falling rain. Dark skies of gray and black brought down icy sheets, cleansing and blessing the dry earth but gave no mercy to her tiny figure.
She hugged her knees closer to her chest, dark tresses of her hair clinging to her pale neck and arms. Bleary, dull violet blue eyes stared up to the sky unsure of what to do. Her delicate fingers were almost numb with cold and her teeth were chattering. She was buffeted by the howling gale and the pouring torrents but she paid no attention. She didn't want to suffer anymore.
Tomoyo slowly looked up to hear the familiar voice. She strained her ears wearily to hear the echo once again, violet blue eyes squinting through the rain. I must be crazy, she thought as she nestled her head back to her knees, not caring if she will get sick when she continued this on. Besides he doesn't care.
She looked up to see a panting, slightly wet Eriol Hiiragisawa holding a lavender windreaker in one arm and an umbrella on the other, shielding him from the rain.
"E-Eriol-kun!" Tomoyo stuttered. She stared as he knelt down before her, bringing her under the safety of the umbrella. She watched as he quickly placed the windbreaker around her shoulders which she recognized as her own.
"Are you all right Tomoyo?" Eriol asked, looking at her expectantly. She noted that he did not look angry, just worried. He didn't even use the honorific when he talked to her.
"I-I am alright. I think," she answered. She found her voice was cracked and shivering.
"What did you think when you ran off like that? We were worried sick!" he said, slight anger traceable in his deep voice. She stared in his deep, sapphire-like blue eyes, there was hurt and anger in there; she knew he was fighting his emotions.
Tomoyo was shocked to see that he located her at her favorite swing in Penguin Park although the possibilities were endless. A girl of sixteen would not hang out in playgrounds to cool off.
She got over her shock and ran her gaze over his whole face. His pale cheeks were flushed and his usually sleek and smooth black hair was glistening with rain drops. His cotton white polo was drenched, dark pants crumpled and his sneakers were splattered with mud.
"Your mother is very worried! You've been gone for hours! And look at yourself! Staying outside in the rain! You'll get sick, you know that?" Eriol carried on as she sat calmly under his furious stare. He stopped lecturing and stared at her for a second.
"And why do you care?"
Eriol felt furious, like he wanted to kick something. He had gone all through his trouble to find her and she acted all I-don't-care-what-you-say around him. Had she gone mad?
"You shouldn't have gone through with your idiotic plan to find me. I'll be well on my way." Tomoyo snapped.
"Don't act all prima donna to me Tomoyo! I looked for you because I love you!" he berated. Then he stopped as he realized what he said. Tomoyo stared at him, her dull eyes suddenly clearing. He looked for her because he loved her!
A part of her wanted to believe him but another wanted to slap his face. She vowed never to forgive him for his cheating on her and it made her really angry. (Nobody ever had the chance to make Tomoyo angry.) He just broke her heart when she offered it to him, for him to take care of and love.
"Oh then why did I find you cheating on me? You spending, " she smirked "quality time with that Miss Murasaki? What have you to say now? Eh, Hiiragisawa?"
Eriol stared at her dumbfounded as her words sank in. What was Tomoyo trying to say? The harder he thought, the harder it became. He can't make sense of her words.
"You Hiiragisawa are a dirty, cheating bastard. Don't you dare sweet talk your way to me," Tomoyo continued on, coldly. "When did Hiiragisawa Eriol really care for a person? Oh, let me see… when he wants something from her!"
Eriol realized what she was talking about.
She was referring to what happened that afternoon when she walked in on his conversation with a friend from England; the poor girl was slapped by Tomoyo's own hands in misunderstanding. He was just kissing her forehead as a sign of goodbye. It was a surprise to see Tomoyo slapping anyone. In all of his days as her boyfriend never did he imagine Tomoyo, the sweet and angelic girl, could get jealous at such a simple gesture! Never even see her lose control or that comforting smile or even swear! It was too unbearable to imagine that it was just because of a weird mix of jealousy and misunderstanding.
"Y-You've got to understand Tomoyo! It's not what you think." Eriol croaked.
"Oh yes it is!" Tomoyo said, her voice rising and her pale, ivory- like cheeks were suddenly tinted by patches of red.
"Please hear me out. It really hurts me to see you like this! Murasaki-chan's just my friend." Eriol said softly, looking imploringly to her violet eyes but she looked away. "Tomoyo… you don't know how much it hurts me to see you angry."
"Yes I know. You know what Hiiragisawa? I HATE YOU!" Tomoyo whispered, her eyes narrowing dangerously. Her mind clouded over, blinded by rage and hatred agreed with her statement but her heart shattered into a thousand pieces.
Eriol felt his body grow weak. She can't mean that. Can she?
There were times when men who seem so strong and invulnerable put down their guard for their loved ones that was their weakness. They will feel the weight of the world and would do anything just to spare their loved ones from harm in any way possible.
"Let me explain, Tomoyo. Please let me explain!" Eriol pleaded, edging closer, kneeling into the mud where she was sitting at. His hands were shaking as he held the umbrella overhead. "Tomoyo, please… I swore to be your knight in shining armor and I will never break my romise!"
Tomoyo bit her lip. She regretted that she said that, to him especially. She did not understand why she was suddenly weak, drained of energy; did not understand why her heart was beating painfully in her chest though she said she hated him, her heart, her fragile heart did not.
"I love you and you've always known that! I won't run into the rain, tired and worried if I didn't care. I wouldn't betray your trust! I won't ever, ever break your heart!" Eriol said, hot tears stinging his eyes and choking his throat which suddenly tightened painfully. He grabbed her hands and clasping it with his, feeling hers through the cold.
I lied to myself. I lied to him. I lied to my heart.
"Don't!" Tomoyo yelped, sharply retreating from his touch. She withdrew her hand quickly and turned away, letting the rain fall upon her face, hiding the tears.
The lies I uttered were so convincing, I almost believed it.
Violet blue eyes blinked rapidly, trying to will away the flowing tears. She will not cry, not now, not ever, not in front of him. Pain seared and she clutched her chest protectively, letting her damp hair cascade like a waterfall of darkness.
I didn't really want I did it to hide the pain. It's not his fault, its mine.
"Tomoyo! Listen to me." Eriol begged softly. He loved her so much that he was willing to die for her, right then and there. He knelt still, umbrella protecting him from the icy rain but not with her.
I hurt because I did not trust. No matter how much I think about it. No, I try to think that I hate him but I can't.
She curled up to herself, shaking. She could feel the rain now, beating down on her mercilessly, unlike before when she couldn't feel it. Numbness was an addictive feeling, she thought sarcastically.
Tomoyo cracked her eyes open to see that night had come to cover the place with her dark cloak; no moon, no stars, no comfort from her loneliness and pain. Her head rested on her limp arms that was hugging her legs and leaning over to the low, gray brick wall like a lifeless doll.
She sat up languidly, her sight hazy and unfocused. She breathed shallow breaths to ease herself. She felt hot then cold, her sight clouding as she looked up into the heavens, not clear and cloudless, but dark and dismal. Her unfocused gaze fell on Eriol who was crying, rushing over to where she was...
I love him.
She did not know she was resting in his warm embrace. She did not know that he was protecting her from the rain. She did not know why she broke down completely, crying her heart out to release the pain pent up inside, to ease the pain inside.
It felt like there was something inside of her that was finally extracted, released. Her mask had been shattered upon realization. All her lies to herself be forgiven, cleansed. Her soul, once again pure and it gives off love effusively.
She would not misunderstand him. He who was her love will always be her love forever. At last, Tomoyo understood. He wasn't really cheating after all.
The reasons slid in and out of focus, the mere effort of focusing on one coherent thought was hard at her situation. Her body suddenly felt so cold, like she had drowned in a frosty river or had been buried under snow.
She shuddered. But she feels his warm lips pressing upon her softly, hesitantly. She opened her eyes to look into the bright, magnetic sapphire blue that was gazing at her hesitantly like she was glass or a treasure that will suddenly shatter into pieces.
She smiled and started to kiss back although weakly, with all her being pouring forth to warm them both. They had discarded the umbrella and it rolled away far from Eriol's swift grasp. And they were sitting there, under the falling rain together, with Eriol protecting her. He wouldn't let her go and will love her forever, purely and devotedly, never betraying her trust. The kiss was more of love than passion, and it brought each closer to the other in an invisible bond as strong as chains.
That's right. I love him so much.
That's something I cannot lie about to my heart.
And in this falling rain, will I swear to be his, forever.
Nothing can separate us I will fight to be his no matter how hard.
I love him.