Sunshine on a Rainy Day
It’s raining. A relentless downpour that washes away the dust of the city and brings with it the fresh smell of new beginnings. But not for you. Never for you. You’re sitting on a bench, eyes closed, oblivious to your surroundings, lost in thought to the world around you. Not geographically lost. Oh, no. It could never be that simple. Army brats never get lost, do they? They always know where they’ve been, exactly where they are now and, most importantly perhaps, where they’re going. Army brats are always on their way to somewhere else, aren’t they?
No, it’s not the where you are that makes you lost, it’s the who you are. Somewhere along the way, somewhere amongst all those years of nameless towns filled with faceless people, you think maybe you knew who you were meant to be, but that was before. And it’s almost laughable really, because, try as you might, you can’t remember the before. You can’t even remember the point when your life split into the before and after. You just know that the essence of you was lost and you never even knew it was gone until you came here…to this place…to him.
Knowing him has brought what’s missing in you glaringly to light, has made you realise that you’ve been living a half-life, going through the motions but not really living. Just watching him, the openness and joy with which he greets each moment, the way he shares himself fully with those around him, it makes you want what you’ve never had, but you don’t know what that is or how to ask for it. And you see him looking at you, his own questions burning in his eyes, questions that you don’t know the answers to. But you want to. Oh, how you want to.
And so here you are…again…still…struggling to break free from a past that holds your emotions tightly in a straightjacket, tied securely by a father with his own emotional demons. A father who crushed the before in you and tried to fashion the after into something in his own image. And suddenly, it hits you! You are nothing like that bastard of a father and you never will be. It’s an epiphany, a defining moment whereby you feel everything inside you shift and become something slightly different, maybe even something before. Suddenly you’re up off the bench and laughing at the sky, your face lifted to the rain and your arms stretched wide. Why the fuck have you never realised this before?
All at once, you know what you have to do, where you have to be. You have your answers now and you can’t wait to find out if they fit his questions. You start to run, your feet splashing through puddles, your shirt sticking wetly to your chest, but you don’t care. Nothing else matters but starting your life right now. Right fucking now!
You come to a stop outside the coffee shop, breathing harshly, your heart hammering inside your chest. You take a moment to catch your breath and wipe the raindrops from your eyes. Then you look through the window to his favourite table, praying with all your newly-found heart that he’ll be there. He is, his head bent over as he scans the newspaper in front of him and you seize the opportunity to just look at him, to drink the sight of him into your arid heart. And as corny as it sounds, you can feel it, can actually feel your heart swelling with emotion. Goddammit!! You feel like the fucking Grinch and, before you know it, you’re laughing out loud again.
Suddenly, you don’t know how it happens, his head comes up and he’s looking at you. His eyes widen as he takes in your laughing face, your own eyes sparkling with something he’s never seen in them before. Slowly, as if afraid that you’ll disappear, he stands and makes his way to the door, never once taking his eyes from yours. You watch him, suddenly serious. What if you’ve misread the situation, misinterpreted the questions you thought he was asking? And then he’s there, standing right in front of you with the heavy rain already soaking his hair and diamonding his eyelashes. You’ve never seen anything more beautiful and you want to tell him, need him to know that he’s your heart and you are his.
You get no further, as he raises a hand and gently cups your cheek, his thumb wiping away the drops that you now realise are tears. You lean into his hand, never breaking eye contact, opening yourself up to him in a way you have done with no other person in your life. You pour everything you’re feeling into your eyes, knowing that you’re baring your soul, and as you stare down at him, you recognise the same in his and you smile. You move closer without even thinking about it, bringing up your hand to brush his sopping fringe away from his forehead. His hand moves to the back of your neck, twisting into your hair as he tugs gently. You need no further encouragement to lower your lips to his in a feather-light kiss, but you draw back slightly, searching his eyes, needing some kind of reassurance.
“It’s raining,” he whispers, smiling up at you.
“Is it?” you smile back. “I hadn’t noticed,” and you find his lips again, teasing them open, flicking your tongue over his and deepening the kiss. He groans and sinks into you, his arms holding you tightly, his mouth moving perfectly under yours. You smile into him as you realise that you’ve finally found it. It’s Luke. Luke is your before, your after, your sunshine on a rainy day.