Roderich Edelstein sat at his piano, fingers emotionlessly strewn on the keys with a sigh. Rain trickled down the window, blurring the spacious view of the veranda and garden outside. With certain, deliberate grace, relaxed for one usually so tense- Roderich pushed himself off of the piano bench and strode towards the windows. He rested his slender fingers on the cool glass, eyes transfixed on the roses sprawling up the latticework, wild in their freedom. He watched the rose buds bob with each droplet, the gentle rain soaking into the lush grass. A small, ghost of a smile relaxes his usual pinched face, smoothing the ever present creases between his eyebrows. An elegant sweep of his hand brushes the hair from his eyes. He unlatches the window, pushing it up. The pale green curtains flutter on the breeze, the rain's pitter-patter comforting.
He lifts his chin back to the empty piano and sighs again, deciding he'd just try another piece. His footsteps are muffled as he padded across the plush Persian rug, kneeling and opening the piano bench.
He didn't expect to find a small envelop simply labeled "to Roddy" nestled neatly atop the filed sheet music. Curiosity overwhelming, he tenderly picks up the envelope and opens it without ripping the flap. He crosses his legs, settling into a comfortable position. Photographs spill out, and Roderich's face portrays tight-lipped innocence and muted confusion. He picks one up, faded from age. Thunder rolls off in the distance.
Gilbert Beilschmidt, easily recognizable in the splotchy black and white photograph, had his arm wrapped tight around Roderich.
No, no- It couldn't be. Gilbert was long gone, dead even. Roderich sets the photograph aside, clearly shaken. He wipes at his eyes, misting behind the lenses of his glasses.
He picks up another, finding it to be similar- although clearly even older than the first. He tosses it aside, running delicate hands through immaculate chocolate brown hair. He inhales and his lungs flood with air, although it might as well be water. No, no- he was too dignified for this. He furiously scrubs his face, determined to get to the bottom of this.
Another photo, this time of them as children. Roderich couldn't help but find himself turning back the pages of his life, caught up in his own memories. His eyes flicker up, a folded note resting beneath the windowsill and spattered with rain. His breath catches as he unfolds it, ink running down the page.
Written, in an all too familiar hand, was, "I missed you when I was East."
Roderich gets up, anger flaring. He slams the window shut, rattling in the frame as rain sloshes against the veranda. He removes his glasses, back turned to the window. He inhales deeply again, shaking as tears spill from his eyes. His heart ached, his body trembled, his mind clutched with cold fingers at memories and dreams he'd abandoned.
A simple tap from the window, too intentional to be the incessant pounding of the storm, startled him from his reverie.
Eyes are wiped and his glasses perched haughtily back onto his nose, peering back at the window. What he sees shocks him, blood draining from his face. He was insane, he had to be.
Still, he stumbles to the window, clammy fingers grabbing and pushing up the windowsill. Tears flow freely; his silk curtains are damp; rain floods in as Gilbert cockily swings his legs over the ledge and his boots squelch on the hardwood floor. Before, there would've been snide remarks met with a know it all smirk. Disbelief silenced all words today, Roderich's fingers sliding over the lapels of Gilbert's jacket. Gilbert's arms are wrapped around Roderich, and then his eyes slip shut as playful lips caress his own.
Roderich can only whisper; Gilbert's chin rests on top of Roderich's. "My one and only." Their eyes meet again; smiles are exchanged, and then kisses- slow, deep- a river of emotion flowing between them in the easy morning.
Northern downpour sends its love.