I noticed a tremor as I lay in my bed. The hour was sometime past midnight. My windows were blurred by sporadic rain drops, and the house rang violently as lightning struck somewhere far away, yet still so close. The contrast of the bellowing thunder against the muted rain tip-toeing around the walls of my room was enough to lull me asleep, if not for that tremor. It felt near to me, even though logic told me it was distant, just nature's doing.
I placed my arms to my sides, my palms flat against my comforter. I felt the tremor consistently, slight vibrations beneath my bed. Curious, I stood to see if I could feel it then. Beyond the bed, all was still.
Carefully, I looked beneath my mattress. I extended my right hand to where my eyes glared. My fingers crept against the wooden floor, making its way further. Then, my fingers touched something wet against a soft surface. I felt around more, letting my hand explore what was beneath. And then I knew.
"Haru, what are you doing here?"
"I'm scared, Yuki. I'm scared of the booming."
Haru… he was afraid of lightning.
"Come out from under there," I said, trying to soothe him. "It's okay, I promise. It's okay."
Haru shifted himself, then poked his head out from underneath the bed's frame. His eyes were wide, but not with excitement as they usually were. They were wide with fear, locked into place from sheer terror. I had never seen his countenance so contorted, so broken.
I took his hands in mine and pulled him out from under my bed. He instantly found his way into my arms. Those vibrations I had felt before, now they radiated through to my body. He was trembling enough to blend with the storm.
"Haru, it's just a thunder storm. It happens every now and then, but it's not going to hurt us. Look out the window. See how far away it is? It's not here. You're safe."
"What if it comes here?"
"I'll protect you."
The words left my mouth before my mind could even process the thought. I hadn't intended to say that, but as the syllables rolled off of my tongue, they hung in the air nicely. I could see myself looking after Haru. Protecting him. That would be something worth fighting for.
I lifted Haru and myself onto my bed, then buried us beneath my blankets. I slid my fingers through his hair, wrapping them between his blonde locks. Gently, I pressed his head to my chest.
"Listen to my heartbeat, Haru. And before you know it, tomorrow will be here, the rain will be over, and you can water the flowers again. Just listen."
I hoped Haru could drown out the storm with the sound of my heart filling his ears. After a minute or so, his breathing evened. I could feel his hands trembling on my spine as they gripped the fabric of my shirt, sending tiny waves of shivers through me. And my soul trembled with him.