A Flash of Memory

It’s raining. Everyone crowds beneath the awning; creates a humid little mass of bodies, cigarette smoke, and foggy breath.

You and I stand out in the rain. Watching everyone else and declining their offers to make room for us. Neither of us has umbrellas or hats.

They shake their heads at us. “You’re weird”. We shake our heads at them. “You’re silly.” It’s just rain.

I take a moment to wonder idly if you like the rain as much as I do, or how much of why you don’t crowd in with everyone else is claustrophobia. I watch you eye the small gaps between people like each is a prison. The bars made of bodies and friendship, instead of metal and concrete.

I jump in a puddle, laughing, tilt my head back and spread my arms wide. Want to remind you of the freedom you have. No prison. Just clean, cool air, and raindrops.

For years, I’ll remember the smell of my wet wool sweater, the feel of my wet glasses sliding down my nose, and the rain halo around your curly blond hair, as you join me in puddle splashing. Turning it into your own dance and ritual.

The bell rings and we drift back to classes or the dark corners we hide in to pass the time between breaks.

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