“I find peace in the rain,” she screamed at him from amidst the downpour. Thick droplets of water traced the curves of her smile, the creases of her eyes, dampening any desire she had to return inside to the warmth and comfort of his love.
Her yellow silk dress clung to her slender frame, leaving nothing to the imagination, but his eyes lingered only on the way her arms caught the glow of the streetlight, and the way she brushed her soaking mahogany hair away from her brow. He had never seen her like this—lapping up the full force of Mother Nature as if it were nothing but a familiar song that she had forgotten the words to. In this moment—this wet and shivering moment—she was home. Happy. Giving no regard to how his heart had splintered into a thousand shards of glass.
But he said nothing. His heart may have been shattered, but he smiled for her—if only on the inside, and with whatever slop of sanity that remained. A deep breathe left his lips. She was happy, and he supposed that’s all that mattered.
He stood on the stoop of their apartment, inches from the downpour, waiting. Eventually the twirling in the street ceased, and the smile stretched across her face faded into the night. Limp and weak, she stared at him—barely able to see his outstretched arms through the rain pooling on her eyelids. Or maybe they were tears—she wasn’t sure.
She stalked off the empty street and he welcomed her into his embrace, warming her with his breath, his heart, with everything he had to offer. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered, holding her tight.
She muffled a sob, burying her face into his neck. “What are we going to do?” she whimpered, gently kissing the smooth skin pressed against her face. An answer awaited—for he had many. Plan A. Plan B. All the way to Plan Z, if necessary.
“We find another doctor, get a second opinion,” he said.
She pulled away and their eyes locked—an eternal bond that was being stretched and pulled. A shared sadness connected them. He would never give up, and she would never leave—a perfect pair. The perfect couple. He was the perfect husband who would never abandon his dying wife.
“Whatever it takes,” he promised. Grabbing her hand, he led her inside, oblivious to the train of rainwater following them, dripping from her dress, and ruining their expensive carpet. But what was soiled carpet when your wife’s life hung in the balance . . .?
© Angela. E. Mitchell
Photo credit: Chanticleer Wedding Art saved to Unique Photography
Untitled, 1949 Photo: Tore Johnson.