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Author's note: I like music and these are stories based off of songs.
It’s been a year. A year without rain. A year without you. A year since you’ve gone off. And I’m still not over you. Figures.
I glanced at the cat stretched out on the chair next to me. She doesn’t like laps. She’s conked out. Totally dead to the world.
You’re online. For the first time in months. I don’t know what to say. So I ignore you.
I stare outside at the desert. It’s cracked, dry, barren. I like it. It matches my mood.
I moved here after you
Photo credit: Becky G., Westerville, OH
Author's comments about this article:
Song: A Year Without Rain by Selena Gomez This is basically a piece about a girl who has been hurt by the one she loves most, so she rejects love itself.
left. I couldn’t stand it. I couldn’t stand their pettiness. It hasn’t rained since my first day here. Apparently, it used to be an ocean. Now it’s just an ocean of dryness. Of dried-up sorrows. Of hopes that have turned barren. Of love that has cracked. That was the last day I cried, the day that I moved here. The day that it rained.
Kitty turns again in her sleep. I ponder the meaning of life. And stare at the monitor, trying to work up the courage to talk to you. Nope, not gonna happen. Well, maybe. Later.
Why’d you do it? After your elaborate speech about why you were moving on, still nothing made sense. The sky here is the exact color of your eyes. As if I needed a reminder. I don’t believe it. Not even after a year. You still love me, I could see it in your eyes, in your face. Then you turned away. But I’m still sure. I think.
I wrench myself back to the present. More staring at the monitor.
I start watching a chick flick. A predictable one that won’t make me cry.
I look down and catch a glimpse of the bracelet encircling my arm. You know my love for quirky things. So you grabbed a handful of them one day and smuggled them into my hand one day during class. The note that came with it simply said “Link these together and think of me.” So I did. I wore it to Senior Prom in college, remember? You laughed when you saw it on my wrist.
I dare not glance to the picture on the wall. The one that is made from my pressed corsage. The one from Senior Prom.
I was going to wear the bracelet to the wedding. I don’t glance down to the bottom drawer where the ring is hidden. I found it on my doorstep after I threw it at you. After you told me you were leaving.
No, I won’t think of that day again. If I do, I’ll cry. And I vowed never to cry again after that rainy day. So I do whatever I can.
You’re offline. You’ve been offline for a while. I just haven’t noticed. And I didn’t say anything to you. I’m proud and dismayed at the same time.
The movie is almost done. The man has proved his undying love for the girl and they are about to be happily married. The cat still hasn’t woken from her sleep.
The doorbell rings. I walk stiffly to the door. It’s you.
“Hi, Mary.” I stare at you and turn away. You’re a mirage, anyway.
“Can I at least tell you I’m sorry?” I slam the door. I’m silent, so I can hear you walk down to your car and drive away. It starts to rain.
A teardrop runs down my face. A single tear. I angrily swipe it away with my hand. I pick up the cat. I’m in need of comfort. A monsoon is raging outside. My dryness is going away.
She finally wakens and gazes at me with golden eyes. Wise eyes.
“What?” She simply looks. I’m going to survive somehow, I think. I sigh and give her some wisdom.
“You do know you’re human, right?”
I walked briskly into Starbucks, needing caffeine like a plant needs the sun.
“Mary.” Of course, he was there.
“Leave me alone.” I demand and turned to the cashier.
“Caramel macchiato, please.”
Photo credit: Miriam S., Katy, TX
Author's comments about this article:
Song: Drops of Jupiter by Train. Please read "A Year Without Rain" first. It will make more sense. Hope you like it :)
I told him. “Large.” He nodded and I count out my change, dropping a dollar into the tip box.
“Mary, why are you doing this?” He asks me. I just stare at him. Thankfully, my coffee is ready before I have to answer. I pick it up and make my way through the crowded café to a small table in the corner.
“Seriously, why are you avoiding me?” I pull out my book and read, deliberately ignoring him. “Mary, talk to me. Mary!” I don’t give him as much as a wince.
“Excuse me, ma’am, I couldn’t help but noticing. Is this man bothering you?” A slightly overweight man is standing next to me with concern in his eyes.
“Yes, in fact, he is. But I’m about to leave, anyways. Thank you for your concern.” I reply as I level a glare towards Damien. The man doesn’t say anything but watches me worriedly as I head out the door. He follows me. Like I wasn’t expecting that.
“Damien, leave me alone! I don’t want you or your apologies. So back off.” I explode furiously. He just watches me with a tolerant and amused expression.
“I don’t believe any of it. You’re upset and mad at me. But you still want me around.”
“How do you know if any of that’s true?”
“Well,” he sighs. “You went to Starbucks and ordered a coffee. You always drink decaf unless you aren’t sleeping. And you fall asleep easily. So something must be keeping you awake. Put that together with the bracelet you’re wearing and it’s not that hard.” He flings a smile towards my wrist.
“How do you know I haven’t changed?”
“You’re also reading one of those sappy romantic mystery novels that you only read when you can’t take the lovey-dovey stuff but still want to read romance.”
Cr*p. He could read me so easily. I sipped my now lukewarm macchiato to hide my face.
“Would you let me explain?”
“No. And you’ve been gone a long time. People change. I changed. You changed.” I said.
“I didn’t change. I’m still the same person I was a year ago.” He defended himself.
“You have drops of Jupiter in your hair.” I said cryptically, under my breath. And I walk away. Away from my past. Towards my future. I got on the bus and saw my former fiancée grow smaller. He shrunk in my mind as well.
I don’t know what wakes me. Maybe it’s the aroma drifting down the hall or maybe the grumbling of the food processor. But it woke me up. I creep out of my room, a hard covered book in my hand. Someone was in the kitchen; they walked towards my bookshelf and stood with their back to me. I sneak up behind him and hit him as hard as I could.
I’m perched on the couch when he came to three minutes later.
“Wow, Mary, you really pack a punch. What are you reading? War and Peace?”
Photo credit: lily H., Kekaha, HI
Author's comments about this article:
Song: Drops of Jupiter by Train. Please read "A Year Without Rain" and "Drops of Jupiter" (Part 1) first. It will make more sense. Note: Anna-Maria's name is pronounced Ah-nah Mah-ri-ya not An-na Mar-iya
He said, rubbing the back of his head.
“No.” I said stiffly. “I was reading Les Miserables. It’s appropriate. Why are you here in my house?”
“You gave me the keys just in case you ever forgot yours, remember?”
“Right. And you thought you could just waltz in here without permission? There’s something called trespassing and it’s illegal.” I tell him.
“Yeah, well. This is the only way I could think to talk to you, Mary.”
“Stop calling me Mary. I don’t like it. You can call me Anna-Maria just like everyone else.”
“Let me explain. I went to Paris wanting something more. I thought…”
“Yeah, you didn’t think. So tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet? Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day? Tell me, did Paris blow your mind? Did you fall for a shooting star?” But I really want to ask “Did you miss me while you looking for yourself out there?”
“Yes, I was swept off my feet, but Paris is overrated. Yes I danced along the light of day, but I had to come back. Paris blew my mind. No. I did not fall for a shooting star.” He replies wistfully. “I made you pancakes. With homemade maple syrup—your favorite.”
“Good. Get out.”
“Mary, you don’t really mean that.” He pleads.
“I told you not to call me Mary and I do mean it. Get. Out.”
“I won’t go as long as you want me here.”
“For goodness sakes, Damien. You do not know what I want. I don’t want you here. Get out of my house before I call the police.” I threaten, pointing at the door for added emphasis. “Leave. Now.” He steps backwards with every step I take forwards until he finally had his back to the door. He opens it and walks outside, with one last apologetic look on his face. I slam the door for good measure. Then I crumple to the ground, hugging a pillow.
“Mary? Anna-Maria? My shoes are still in there. Anna-Maria?” His muffled voice sounds worried through the door. I heard scratching sounds but I am too dejected to care.
“Anna-Maria? Are you okay?” A thought occurred to me as to why he was here.
“Right, you want your ring back, don’t you.” I pick myself up and amble over to the computer I sat at a week ago when you first came to my door. I shuffle through the drawer that hasn’t been opened in a year and retrieve the dusty black box.
“Here.” I said, pushing the ring into his hand. He takes it sadly and walks out the door. Part of me wants him to leave for good, but another part, a part I won’t acknowledge wants him to stay. Forever. I open the door to check that he’s really gone. I find the box lying on my doorstep and I pick it up. A smile gently lifts my lips as I gaze at the shimmering opals.
“That’s the smile I was waiting for.” Damien says, coming around the corner. I quickly snap the box shut and wipe the smile off my face.
“That’s the second time you’ve given me back that ring. And this is the second time I’m giving it back. Although, the second time was decidedly less dramatic.” The look on his face tells me he’s remembering that fateful night. The night when I flung the ring at him when he told me he was going to Paris for a year with my best friend.
“Why are you giving it to me?”
“I told you I didn’t fall for a shooting star. Do you want to know why? I already had someone I fell for.”
“Rosalie.” I say briskly, nodding my head.
“The only reason I was going to Paris with Rosalie was because she was marrying my brother. In Paris. Since I was going anyways, I told him I would accompany her.” I glare at him wordlessly.
“Why didn’t you tell me before?”
“I’m pretty sure I did…”
“No. You. Didn’t.” I enunciate clearly. “You broke my heart.”
“That was a big mistake. A really big mistake and I apologize.”
“How could you possibly apologize? You made me think…” But he didn’t give me a chance to finish because he was kissing me. And I was kissing him back before I could think of what I was doing. When I realize what had happened, it was too late, but I pull back anyways.
“Forgive me?” He asks. I want to. I really do. But a stupid part of me keeps reminding me of what he did.
“Yes. Yes, I’ll forgive you.”
“Well, do you want to be my girlfriend again?”
“Damien, I don’t know. I can’t. Not now.” His face instantly falls.
“Right, then. I’ll see you around.” He starts walking out into the heat.
“Oh, Damien?” I call.
“Did you miss me when you were looking for yourself in Paris?”
“Yes.” And he walks away again.
The cat weaves between my feet, purring. I pick her up and hold her close. Her eyes seem to tell me something.
“Don’t worry, I know he’ll be back.” She gazes at me. I sigh.
“Time for a cup of tea.” I think and head back into my house. My life has ended, and began again.