Monday, August 01, 2005

she sat on the floor, leaning against the door. it was raining. it had been raining all day. she could imagine the porch, sodden with water, rivulets pouring down the eaves, the swing dripping like a glass on a hot day. the pots of pansies would be brimming, their pink and red and white petals shaking her heads at the water coming down on them. she hugged her knees, sighed into them. she was wearing a sweatshirt two sizes too big, and the sleeves hung well over her hands, frayed at the edges. thunder rolled into her window, and she heard a sneeze. she scowled, and got up. she padded over to the lounge in her sock-ed feet, grabbed a dark blue windbreaker off an armchair and marched back to the door. she wrenched it open and tossed it out onto the head of the person sitting on the porch steps.

'here! i won't be responsible for you dissolving on my front steps!'

she jerked her arm to close the door. it arced slowly, pushing against the wind pouring in, and then shut with a bang. she stood on one leg, pressing a foot into the back of her knee, balling up the extra sweatshirt sleeve in her hands. she wanted to look outside the window, but she didn't. he'd see her. she swayed a little on her one leg, blew an errant few strands of hair out of her eyes, ground her teeth. what was he thinking, exactly, parking his butt on her steps in the rain like that? what good was that going to do to either of them? she put her leg down, stood on her tiptoes and put her eye to the peephole in the door- at least that was one-way. she could make out a dark lump on her stairs, with the windbreaker hood on his head but the rest was draped on his back like a cape. he was probably already too wet for the jacket to make a difference. his head was wagging side to side, slightly, the way it did when he sung to himself. she stepped back from the door, and pulled the hood of her fleece over her head with an exasperated growl.


she went into the kitchen to boil some water. it was still raining. she sat on the counter waiting for the kettle to whistle. one of her socks had loosened a bit, and flopped at the toes. she flapped it back and forth, making the flappy bit bigger and bigger. then she took down an orange mug, and put a teabag in it. after a moment, she took down another mug, only this one was vomit coloured. she put a teabag in it too, and poured the hot water into both mugs and padded back to the hall, one of her socks flapping like a platypus tail. she put the mugs down on the floor and sat down next to them. both of them steamed quietly. she pulled her sock up. then she stood up on her knees and opened the door a crack. he was gone. she pulled at the door, poked her head out. left, right in quick succession. the porch was wet, the petunias brilliant against the grey sky. and four scraggly, squashed daisies and a sunflower, all with uneven ends- probably pulled from a random flowerbed, probably a public park- tied up with a bedraggled shoelace, on the welcome mat. she clutched them, getting to her feet and dashing out onto the porch.
'where'd you go!?' she yelled into the rain, down the driveway, across the road. her socks were getting wet, her hall was getting wet because the door was open. she pulled her hood back a little so she could see better, and ran down the steps, down the driveway. she looked left and right, and right peh she saw him walking down the sidewalk, the windbreaker flapping behind him like a cape. she ran after him; her hood flew back and her hair began to plaster itself to her head. when she was close enough she lobbed the posy at his head. it made contact, but bounced off the jacket. then she ripped off a sock, rolled it up and aimed. it hit his head with a splat, and bounced off. he stopped as if he'd been shot, and turned around. she wiped rain out of her eyes. a smile had begun to grow at the ends of his mouth.
'where're you going?' she demanded breathlessly, leaning down to pick up the flowers, noticing the lack of a shoelace in one of his sneakers simultaneously.
'my sock is lost,' she added, looking around vaguely. then she shrugged and put her hood back up. 'screw the old sock.' she pulled the other one off, and offered it to him. 'present. y'know, for'- she held up the posy- 'these.'
he laughed out loud and solemnly accepted the sock. and then they went and had really cold tea.

Mina at 1:50 AM