Under the Rain

Showers of blessings come in the least expected places when you least expect it and sometimes from the least expected people. Take it from Tomoyo.

The heavy rain pounded on her mercilessly but she doesn't feel it. Her frail body was already drenched, but she's not aware of the bitter chill.

"It's over." she thought as she slowly turned around. She had no clear idea where to go next; she just let her feet take her wherever they may lead to. She bowed down, staring at the sidewalk. Her limp dark hair fell on the sides of her face, curtaining her crumpled face from the curious faces of the passer-by.

Suddenly a car honked at her side. She looked up and saw Eriol Hiragizawa standing outside his black sports car, frowning at her. He ran his sea-blue eyes up and down at her for a moment.

"Hop in." he ordered sternly.

Inside the Hiragizawa mansion, Eriol ordered Nakuru to change his friend's clothes. "Lend her some of your dresses for the meantime."

Nakuru Akizuki glanced at the shivering girl who was standing on the doorway, looking like a lost kitten. "Sure thing, Master." She led the girl upstairs.

Eriol headed to the kitchen to make some green tea. He then placed the leftovers of Nakuru's chocolate chip cookies on a platter and brought it upstairs to Nakuru's room. He knocked on her door twice.

"Come in!" Nakuru's voice sang out.

He entered the room and found his servant combing the long dark hair of the girl who's now dressed in a fresh, pearl-white silk night gown with long sleeves and hem that reaches her slightly pink ankles.

"Leave us now, Nakuru. You did a good job." he said, his eyes gazing at the motionless girl.

After Nakuru left the room, Eriol closed the door and sat beside the girl. "What happened, Daidouji-san?"

The kind male voice snapped Tomoyo out of her trance. She looked up and saw Eriol looking at her expectantly.

"Daidouji-san?" he prompted.

She found her voice at last. "I-It's Touya."

"What about him?"

"I asked him last night if he still loves me. He didn't answer me. I gave him an ultimatum: I told him that if he doesn't show up in the soccer field this afternoon, it's all over between us."

He sighed. "He stood you up?"

She nodded slowly. "Yeah, can you believe it? He gave up our three-month-old relationship because of Yukito. He said he still loves Yuki and that he could only love me the way he loves Sakura." Her tears spilled one by one.

He wiped them gingerly with his thumb. "So what? You could always find another guy. One man is not worth your tears."

She smiled. "Of course you're right, Hiragizawa-kun. You're always right." she said it with no sarcasm or whatsoever. "It's just that I can't believe I made a total fool out of myself by waiting under the rain when I knew very well that he won't come."

"Daidouji-san.." He wanted to kill Touya for hurting her like this.

Her eyes saddened. "I loved him, Hiragizawa-kun. I did my best to make it last! Where did I go wrong?"

"You did not do anything wrong, Daidouji-san. You two were not just meant to be." he replied.

She laughed bitterly. "Lightning does strike twice. First Sakura and now Touya. Maybe I should seduce Mr. Kinomoto next since I look a lot like Mrs. Kinomoto anyway."

He gave her a cup of tea. "You know what, Daidouji-san? You're just upset. Get some rest and I'll bring you home by dinnertime."

She took the cup but placed it on the bedside table. She clasped his hands tightly, startling him. "Tell me, Eriol-kun, am I ugly?"

After recovering from his initial shock, he replied, "O-Oh no, Daidouji-san." he swallowed with great difficulty. "On the contrary, you are a very attractive woman."

Her lilac eyes turned imploringly at him. "Am I really that unlovable?"

He froze. His heart thundered as if it would explode in his chest. He looked at her distressed face which was awaiting his answer as if her whole life depended on it. "N-No. You are very easy to learn to love." That's the truth he's very aware of.

"Then why do all the people I love leave me? Why can't anyone love me?" she cried.

He turned to the window. "To answer your first question, they do not leave you. They're always there because they love you. Love is not limited to a romantic sense, you know."

"You're right." whispered Tomoyo, the thought dawning on her for the first time.

"And as for your other question.. there are people who love you romantically. I know this one fellow who knew you since elementary and developed his feelings for you as time passed. Right now, he's madly in love with you but he can't tell you how he feels because you are not ready yet."

She looked puzzled. "Do I know him? And what does he meant by 'not ready'?"

He faced her again, his pacific-blue eyes drowning in mixed intense emotions she only saw now. "When you've opened your eyes wide enough to see the people who really care for you, he will tell you." He turned the lights off before going out of the room.

It was raining again the next afternoon. Armed with only one small umbrella, Eriol searched the campus for Tomoyo. He heard from a classmate that Tomoyo went to the college soccer field.

"To see Touya, I am sure. Talk about dense." he muttered, barely noticing the mud splattering his uniform. But this was the price he had to pay for falling in love with Tomoyo. He already accepted it even if it meant loving her from afar. He's willing to accept anything that fate has cooked up for him if it meant seeing her and being with her all the time.

"Eriol-kun!!" Someone called over his shoulders. He turned around and saw Tomoyo rushing towards him.. drenched to the skin again. He wondered if it already became a hobby of his friend to conveniently forget to bring an umbrella during the rainy season.

"Eriol-kun, what are you doing here?" she asked, her eyes looking at his muddy uniform. "I hope Sakura still remembers where she placed her Bubble card." He wiped a raindrop away from his eyes. "I was looking for you because I knew you might take another public bath. Someone told me you were going to the soccer field." he said the last sentence with irritation.

Tomoyo noticed it. One of her eyebrows shot up. "So what is it to you I talk with Touya?" she inquired testily.

He took a deep breath to calm himself. "Look, the point is, it's pouring cats and dogs right now and if you don't come home with me right now, you might catch a pneumonia-"

She smiled wanly. "You worry too much, Hiragizawa-kun, You're being morbid."

"I'm just being concerned." he shot back. He then realized what he just said. His cheeks burned.

Tomoyo gasped. "T-Then it's true! Don't tell me-"

He rubbed his face with his hands, annoyed. "Alright, you want to know why I'm so damn concerned about you? You want to know why I do mind that you're talking with Touya? Because I love you! You're making me out of my mind jealous with just the mere thought of you and Touya together! There, happy?" he shouted.

To his shock, Tomoyo threw herself to his embrace. "Oh Eriol, I am! You just don't know how much!"

His eyes widened. "You mean-"

She looked up at him, misty-eyed before nodding.

The heavy rain pounded on them mercilessly, but they don't feel it. Their bodies were already drenched, but they're not aware of the bitter chill.

"I love you so much Tomoyo."

"I love you so very much too,Eriol."


The End