Nothing else mattered anymore: the rain, the people who judged, and the people who hurt, who cares! Who would have thought that People like us could dance in the rain? It didn’t even matter if the people that were not like us did or didn’t dance in the rain. The girl and the boy did and that was more than enough for them.
Consumed by the intoxicating blend of freedom, rain and the mud, their bodies danced until they slipped and fell in. Amongst the giggles, and the slipping around in the mud, the girl caught hold of the boy and climbed on top of him to make sure she had all of his attention. As she sat on him the girl leaned in and fixed her gaze upon him.
The boy was thinking she was going to steal another kiss. But the conviction in her eyes said something else.
As she looked at him she took a long breath and said "You know I love you."
Hearing these words from her lips almost took the boy's breath away, but only for the slightest of moments with a gleam in his eyes and without skipping a beat, even a moment’s hesitation he told her "I love you too."
Never in the girl's life had her heart been touched like that, nothing came even close.
She was no longer afraid of What once was’s, or the memories, the people who hurt, or even what everyone else thought of her. In her heart she knew what she had said and she had to tell him now, before her courage of the moment was lost.
"I know I am not much. But everything I am I give to you."
What follows next is a tale of sheer panic and its aftermath.
It was the boy who panicked first. The boy had been so very careful; he had to be. Keeping everything at tiny baby steps was the only way to build her trust. Anything big would have just frightened her away again like it had before. The boy had lived and learned the hard way. Little by little, constantly building, he was in this for the long run. He wasn’t like the other boys or like the other people who wanted something from her. He wanted her for the rest of his life.
What had just happened was by no means little by little and honestly the boy was lost in the panic.
The girl has seen the lost look on his face. She could not escape it. He was right there. She too panicked and, when she did, the first thought that came to her mind was he did not want what she had to offer, he did not want her.
When the boy looked up at the girl he had seen something he had never wanted to see. Upon the girl's face were the looks of hurt, shame, and fear. Even worse, he had been the one who put them there. He did this. He had hurt her. He had put the hurt in her eyes. His heart sunk so low that he did not even want to take another breath. For as long as he lived the words "I hurt her" would never leave him, or the look upon her face, the pain they brought.
Crying and still in shock the girl rolled off of him. Not even the rain could wash away all the tears. The boy tried to make it up to her but by now she was hysterical with grief. The more the boy tried the more it seemed to upset and hurt the girl.
After that moment there would be only three times that the girl and the boy would kiss again, and all three were kisses of goodbye.
When things quieted down some, they had both gotten up and kissed each other goodbye. That kiss was the first of the last three kisses.
They both went to their own houses and with tears still in their eyes they both put the memories of that day away. After all that is what People like me do right?
Never again would things be the same. They still loved each other, and were still there for each other but the door where the girl and the boy could grow together as one was closed for now.
Whenever the boy would try to talk to the girl about that day she would run back to her house and close the door. She could hear his cries, his banging on the door, and his desperate pleas of understanding as he was trying to reason with her about that day.
But the hurt was still new and there was a lot more hurt that the boy was not even aware of that complicated things for the girl. She had to shut the door to her heart up for a while or at least until she could sort things out, even if it meant shutting the boy out too. She set aside the thought that the boy might have been right and it might have been too much, too fast, but for right now there was just too much for the girl to handle.
Because both the girl and the boy lived with parents and under rules and conditions not under their control, the girl was hurt beyond what anyone there could help her with. It wasn’t her fault, it wasn’t her choice, and it definitely wasn’t what she wanted. The girl had to leave the town where she met the boy.
The girl and the boy shared the second kiss goodbye when she left. Both the boy and the girl returned to their own houses and in their own way quietly became People like me again.
Years later, the girl grew up to become a woman and the boy became a man.
Once again the boy, now a man, knocked upon her door. The woman had heard that familiar knock and decided that she would walk with him for a few days. But the time spent with him reminded her of everything else she had left behind and was trying to live beyond. Tossed in with everything else was the boy, that day, and the agony of What could have been but wasn't.
The man was beside himself. Honestly, he wasn’t hoping for much and just wanted to spend some time with her. The boy, now a man, was ready to start another chapter in his life, to take his life in yet another direction. He had so dearly missed the healing of her voice, her laughter and her touch. Time spent with her was soothing to his soul. Even if she would not walk with him in the next chapter in his life, the man knew that in whatever direction he would travel he would treasure every moment spent with her and always keep her in his heart.
Very quickly it wasn’t too hard to figure out that she had still closed the door to her heart. The man found himself in a quiet moment where once again he heard them three words “I hurt her." The pain of these three words made it easier to agree with her about him having to leave.
Once again she would have to tell him good bye and kiss him good bye. This was the third time since that day and was the third and last kiss goodbye. For these two, returning back to being People like me had become like a wound that would not heal.
Now many years have gone by. They say time heals all wounds and that only time will tell. Who can really say for certain if that's true or maybe it's only a half truth at best. Some even say that the eyes are the windows of the soul.
Maybe, maybe not, maybe the truth is kind of like that time heals all wounds thing but more in a matter of degrees instead of being just one way or the other.
Years have passed. So many people have slipped in and out of her life.
All too often the woman had found herself alone with the feeling of not being whole, like something was still missing. The woman had reached a point where she had looked towards the rest of her life, and was just as unsure about her future as she had been in her past. She could easily say the years could have been kinder to her.
One day the woman found herself thinking about the What once was’s and the What could have been's. With a sigh that was almost a whimper the woman surrendered herself to the moment as she realized she could say nothing or everything and each would have just as pointless as the other. With a quiet, well practiced resolve the woman softly faded back into the quiet of her house.
There came a day when the woman heard a knock on the door.
The woman's heart skips a beat at the sound of a familiar knock.
Under her breath the woman questioned “It can’t be him can it?” So softly did she speak these words that she herself did not hear them she only felt them. Not sure, she fought back the urge to go to the door and see. She could only console herself by looking out the window. Almost out of habit she reassured herself “The window was safer for People like me."
The knocking on the door had stopped as suddenly as it started. The part of her that was wishing it was true was just as strong as the part of her that wished it wasn’t true. To her own disbelief she saw him walk away. She stared on as he opened and closed the gate behind him. Then slowly a man turned around.
It was him. Through her tears of grief and joy she could still see him. The man just stood there. His age had caught up with him also. He was worn and well weathered. But he was there and there was no mistaking the boyish gleam or look in his eyes that still seemed to ask “What are you waiting for?"
It was the look that only one man could have for her.
Desperately she tried to wipe the tears from her eyes so she could see him better. She looked towards the door, and then to him and finally the window between them
Frantically she wiped the window clean. In all of her excitement she had once again fogged it up.
Had she truefully forgiven him for that day, truefully? She says she did.
But could she truefully open the door to her heart and let him in again?
Could she once again offer "I know I am not much; but everything I am I give to you"?
A million words with his voice carry themselves within her heart.
He said “I love you too.”
With still trembling hands she struggles to reach out to him only to find the frame of the window.
Amongst her sobs and almost against her will she cries out loud “He did, he said I love you too.”
Open the door to her heart again for him and receive him with open arms?
Her gaze now turns towards the door. Could she open the door and once again find and keep him in her heart?
Maybe you have a better ending and you could write it.
I am still hoping she will.
Howdy Rowdy. My name is Troy Prichard. I am 49 years old and I live in Omaha, Nebraska. I am not published, nor do I write professionally. I do have to admit I am really twisted, but I like it this way. In the long run I will write books but for the time being I am warming up with short stories. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.