It happens in the middle of your walk home.

Gray skies and dark clouds give way to rain. Drizzling-mizzling at first—and then harder and harder until you're soaked to the bone.

( oh, idioms. how perfectly quaint. )

Clothes rendered useless, cling to skin like another layer of it.

You wonder what kind of picture you make in your wet tank top and wet short-shorts, the way each step you make in your trainers gives off a suctiony squish-slosh-squish sound. Your straightish hair waves and curls in the humidity, tangling with itself. Maybe they're deploying the buddy-system.

It makes about as much sense as summer rain, or anything else that's been going through your mind lately.

You make your way to shelter: a blazing white gazebo in the middle of the park. You think about your cousin's wedding there four years ago, and how much you hated it. How the "Persian rose" in the dress clashed horribly with your hair, or how the cloth bunched unattractively at your lack-of-breasts.

That was when you decided: No more bridesmaid.

You jog up the steps, scratching idly at the memory of itchy tulle. It's nice to be out of the way of the pelting rain, you think, though there's nothing wrong with the rain itself. Getting wet is kind of liberating.


( this is the part where Naruto would laugh

and maybe you would have, too,

if you were twelve insead of

seventeen )


You lean against a wooden pole—a weathered off-white and chipping paint—and close your eyes. Breathe in the air that's heavy with promise.

When you open them again, he is standing there. Pale as a ghost and dressed in dark, somber colors that are damp and pressed into his person. He seems ethereal in the too-bright sunlight and humid air, like you're looking through those soft lenses that you learned about in Film Studies; and wonder if that—maybe—makes you the Bogart to his Diedrich.

The thought makes you quirk your head in consideration while he stares at you blankly. You think of how well he hides his emotions and wonder if maybe-just-maybe curiosity counts.



The rain stops and the moment passes—has forever passed already? Or was it only a moment.

You don't know and he leaves before you can ask; you contemplate the depth of silence.