Hello everyone! I know I haven’t been active lately, compared to the past few months where I’ve posted my reviews every single day. Right now, I’m a little busy at work and my kids and a project that I’ve started a long time ago but never got the chance to finish it.
This time, though, I decided to just go for it. I’ve written some short stories years ago, and I just realized, most of them are themed after the rain. I don’t know what is it with rain, somehow it always seem to make me imagine and pour my heart out. Like the words all come down rushing from the heavens and I have to get my pen and paper to form these words into sentences, paragraphs…. and eventually, to stories.
And then Confessions Under The Rain was born.
Anyway, without further ado, let me share this first story I’ve wrote, re-written, edited, and re-entitled Tears and Rain (formerly One Rainy Afternoon).
Tears and Rain
by Claire Santos
“Let me take you home”. I stared at the boy who uttered the words. The boy with the lovely, dreamy brown eyes. He was clad in denim shorts, an over-sized shirt and mojo slippers, shivering a little when the wind blew harder. He carried a red mountaineering backpack on his back.
“Are you nuts? Not in this kind of weather okay? Besides, my place is not big enough to accommodate an extra person when you get stuck there later on.” I grinned at him, trying to lighten up the mood. The boy with the dreamy brown eyes shook his head. Before I knew it, he was holding my hand. His grip felt smooth and warm, and a sense of deep comfort filled me. I didn’t know what to say.
“Please.” His voice sounded far and manly. It was the first time I looked at him and saw somebody else, instead of just the boy I hang out with everyday since the semester started. His tanned face looked more attractive, his lashes longer and curlier, lips redder. He was taller, bolder, more disarming. No wonder my best friend is head over heels in love with this boy.
Despite the trance he seemed to have put me into, I managed to pull my hand back and smiled sadly. “You know I’d love to, Andrei. It’s just that….” My words trailed off unfinished. I saw the mixture of anger and sadness clouded his eyes. He sighed wearily, indicating surrender for the nth time.
I avoided his eyes and pretended to look for something in my backpack. I was starting to feel worse, and the rain seemed to have poured harder. It was getting dark and the students inside the building were hurrying to get out and head home. The wind was howling loudly, strong and persistent. I suddenly felt alone and scared..
I stole a glance at Andrei and found him staring at the trees in front of the building, lost in his own thoughts. “I’m sorry”, I croaked involuntarily. I wanted to say a million things, wanted him to know how I truly feel. But I couldn’t bring myself to. Ayen, my best friend’s face kept appearing on my mind.
“Gem, I don’t like Ayen. I mean, not the way she wants me to. I’ll forever see her as a friend, nothing more.” He said, reading my exact thoughts.
His words pierced my heart deeper. I wanted to tell him that I like him too, that I think he’s the most wonderful, caring and lovable man I’ve ever known. I wanted to tell him that I don’t want him to take me home because I want to walk under the rain with him, to hold him and kiss him until the moon goes up and paint the sky red orange.
But fate couldn’t be any more cruel. Andrei has always been Ayen’s love and life. He was the man Ayen wanted to spend the rest of her life with, the man she wanted to father her children. He was everything to my best friend, and I don’t want to come between her dreams. I do not want to be the cause of Ayen’s sadness and grief. I do not want to steal her only source of happiness in this world.
Wiping the tear that has managed to escape from my eyes, I tried to look nonchalant. No, my happiness, and even both our happiness combined together is not worth Ayen’s anger and misery.
“You don’t know what you’re saying. You love her too, you just don’t know it yet,” I reasoned, knowing too well that I sounded like a naïve child.
He laughed softly, husky and melodious. We looked at each other sadly. Somehow, both of us were aware of the situation at hand. If only things didn’t end up so complicated. If only he was not stupid enough to tell Ayen that he’s starting to like me and wanted to pursue me. If only he knew before hand how Ayen truly felt about him, things wouldn’t have been this nasty.
It’s been three weeks since the last time Ayen and I spoke to each other. When I saw her at the cafeteria yesterday, she walked past me, her head held high, as if she doesn’t know me at all. When our eyes met inside the classroom later that afternoon, she gave me an I-hate-you-I’ll-never-talk-to-you-again kind of look which sent my own gaze lowering in shame and confusion. I still didn’t understand why she was so mad at me when I was clueless about Andrei’s feelings all along…
Of course, until the time we got out of Math class and he told me he missed me. At the time, I thought he was just being his goofy self, but when I looked at him, his eyes said otherwise. He was smiling at me like a lovesick fourteen-year old kid and I didn’t have a choice but to tell him I felt the same way. I knew it was crazy, but one part of me seemed to have floated in ecstasy.
“I like you a lot Gem. I liked you the moment I saw you and liked you more the time you accidentally deflated my Spalding basketball. I like the way you’re so nice to everybody, the way you laugh at your own not-so-funny jokes.” He paused with emphasis on the last sentence and both of us laughed loudly.
Andrei was Ayen’s old high school friend. We were introduced in freshman year, and I didn’t like him at first. He was very good looking but quite aloof and indifferent. When Ayen told me he was her one true love, I couldn’t understand what she saw in him. Since they were sharing an apartment together with their other friends, I made myself invisible every time he was around. We nod to each other in school but both of us never tried to talk to each other. I even thought he despised me, especially when I laugh too loud or tell jokes to his other friends, to which I’d see his face grimace in annoyance when I say the punch line.
“Are you sure? You never talked to me after all those times! You were pretending I don’t exist. ”
“That’s because I find you too attractive. And everybody else liked you. Remember the time I caught you deflating my favorite ball red-handed? I couldn’t get enough of your facial expression then. That was the time I realized how unfriendly I seemed to you”. He was reminiscing the memory in great relish, a far dreamlike look in his face. I couldn’t help smiling myself, for the memories seemed funnier, even cute, when he talks about it that way. Even though we started hanging out together this semester after we found out we were taking the same Math class, Andrei never struck me as somebody who might see me in a different light.
“Cut it out. I’m not going to buy any of that shit” I said firmly, a wide, friendly smile on my face. Outside, the heavy rain turned into a soft drizzle, the trees and the grass enveloped in the lovely whiteness of a heavy fog. The building was almost deserted, and a mixture of emptiness and peace settled upon me. I looked at Andrei, with his dreamy brown eyes and tanned skin. He smiled, and found my hand once again. Instinctively, I held on tighter. He squeezed it back, and that’s when the wild idea came into my mind.
“Let’s walk under the rain tonight. Let’s pretend I’m not Gem and you’re not Andrei. Let’s pretend we live in a much freer world, there’s no Ayen or our friends telling us what they think. Tonight, just for tonight, let’s fall in love.”
We walked out of the building hand in hand, welcoming the raindrops that kissed our skin. The moon was up, painting the night sky red-orange, and the wind was blowing gently. I never felt any of the coldness though, for his hands and his presence kept me warm enough.
For the first time in the last three weeks, I felt deliriously happy. Everything looked brighter and more beautiful, like everything felt right and in place. Tonight, just for tonight, I am allowing myself to be happy. For tomorrow, when the moon goes down and the sun rises up, I’ll have to forget this ever happened. I cannot allow myself to fall in love with Andrei, because Andrei belongs to my best friend. They will fall in love at the right time, and I will be happy for them.
But tonight, just for tonight, I will pretend he’s mine.