“It’s raining outside. Come on. Let’s go out!” she nudged him under the desk.
“No, we have to study. Two days and then exams! We can’t go out now!” he responded in a light whisper.
“Oh you are totally useless. Fine I’ll go alone you sit in this stinky library and study” she got up and left.
He saw her leave and followed her. Of course he wasn’t going to let her go out alone. As they walked out of the air conditioning into the world outside the rain looked beautiful. Heavy rains had the entire place drowned. She looked back at him and smiled. Satisfaction that he had followed overwhelmed her. Her smile as ever made him flutter a little. And giggling she ran out into the rain. Though they were outside the library, she acted as if she was in her own world. The raindrops felt like heaven. He walked behind her watching her every move. She swayed gracefully in the rain. Jumping on a puddle, singing in her non musical voice and running around like an excited five year old. He was lost in her giggles, lost in her beautiful smile only to be brought back by her awful singing.
He smiled at her and let his own self get wet drop by drop. She came back to where he stood and said,” you know whenever it rains like this I feel like I am watching the end of the world.”
He raised one eyebrow at her not knowing how to answer and shrugged. He was not the kind who talked much. She continued, “When it rains like this, you know, the whole cats and dogs analogy, don’t you ever wonder why? It’s like god wants to wipe the slate clean. Like all of it must finish today so that once all this stops a new world can be born again. Like a fresh new start. What do you think?”
He was puzzled. It was so like her to philosophise about everything. He sheepishly said, “I think it’s raining very heavily and it’s beautiful.”
“Hmmm...so you mean to say the end of the world is beautiful. Wow, that’s a different way to look at it. But when the world ends we’d be too terrified to look at the beauty of things. Wont we?”
He stared at her. Not knowing what to say. She was in her element talking about things that he never could comprehend. He let her babble on and saw her talk. The way the drops of water made her face sparkle fascinated him. He was in love with her and all he wanted to do was to make time stand still then and there. Love her forever. He always felt he never said it enough. He wanted to have a life with her. With her silliness, with her crazy talk and with all of her. He was never the kind who ever walked into a rainstorm. But he was out there. With her. Watching her dance, watching her jump. She wasn’t always that happy. She wasn’t always that alive. The rain brought it out in her.
He was so lost in his thought he failed to notice she had stopped talking. She was looking at him. He snapped out of his dream world with her and saw her looking back at him. She had a crooked smile on her face.
“You haven’t heard a word I have said have you!”
He nodded his head, “I paid attention till the world ended then I just lost interest.”
She laughed. He laughed. And then they were silent.
“I love you” he said.
She smiled. Took his hand in hers “you know I do too.”
“Say it then. It’s been so long since I heard you talk!”
She smiled at him again, “I love you”
“I miss hugging you, holding you in my arms and just brushing my hands through your hair” he said with a tear trickling his eye.
She looked at him with a pained expression on her face. “I come here only to meet you, you know that don’t you. I miss it too. But what can I do. I love you more than anything in this world but what can I do?”
He lifted his hand to brush her cheek, “it’s not the same you know.”
“What will I do? I can’t live like this!” he said.
She said, “You have to learn to live. You can’t keep holding on to me. I won’t come back!”
He said, “You said the same the last time. As soon as it rained you were here. I knew rain would always bring you back.”
“Stop it. What happened wasn’t supposed to happen. It was my fault. And now it’s done. You have to let go.”
“I can’t. I just can’t. When I see you like this I just want to love you forever.”
She had tears now and pleaded, “Stop it please. This is hard for me. I don’t come here to give you pain. I come here to see you. Every time is the last time. I can’t keep doing this forever. You need to move on. Why won’t you?”
“Because I really love you”
“Even now. Even after what I have done. I am such a fool. And you still do?”
“Yes I still do. And I can’t stop loving you ever.”
She looked at him, he looked at her and finally she said, “You have to learn to live without me. You know I am not true. You know I am not real. You know I am not here.”
“Yes you are. Yes you are real. I can feel you. I can see you. I can believe you.”
“That just you’re feeling taking over reality. I died. I am dead. And this is just your imagination. Don’t you remember that night?”
He said, “I don’t want to!”
“YOU MUST! We walked out of the library to walk. I wanted to go out. We were walking on the road. I got playful. It was dark. I shouldn’t have been fooling around on the road. That truck came. And...”
“No please stop! Stop!” he said.
She smiled, “I may be dead. But I still love you. Don’t torture yourself like this. Don’t go and sit in our old place where we used to sit in the library. Don’t pray for it to rain like it did that night. And don’t walk on that road to die the way I did. You must stop!”
“I won’t stay away from you...I love you...I will do whatever it takes.”
“I love you too...but you can’t do this everyday.........”
He broke down. And as he opened his eyes to look at her again she was gone. He was alone. Alone like he had been for the past so many years of his life.