A Girl like Rain
There is a girl who listens like the rain. She hears everything in soft plunks and careening sheets of revelation. A single drop, and the heavens open up; it’s never just one truth. It’s never only a single sentence.
You know her, this girl. You’ve passed her on the street. You’ve danced with her at a party. You offered to buy her coffee, once. Twice. She declined your dinner invitation. She keeps you at a distance, perfectly balanced between yes and no, like a cloud grown dark with a storm. There is always the possibility of something more.
But at some point she eased into your life without any preceding thunder or lightning. There was no warning clash of either titans or trouble. One day, you look – or turned your head – and she was there.
You don’t know a single truth thing about her. Whatever you think you learn, changes. Even the corners of her smile. There isn’t enough time to consider her laugh; it rolls through you like electricity, making you wonder if, perhaps, you’ve suddenly gone deaf. Surely, a sound like that cannot be real.
Sometimes, she will sit down across from you and ask you the simplest of questions – how are you? or are you alright? She will look utterly sincere, eyes wide with concern. She might even place her hand over yours, trying to encourage you to speak. Her touch is cool like a river.
And, inevitably, you find yourself talking to her. Words and secrets emerging from your mouth, tumbling forth without so much as a brief consideration. You tell her things you haven’t ever dared to say out loud before. You speak in a rush, like water falls out of the sky, remembering something a poet said, once – no one, not even the rain, has such small hands.*
Her hands, you realize, are small and delicate. They are always cold. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that she’s there, and she’s listening. When you have run out of truths and words, she offers you a smile. It is like mist parted by rain, half-myth and half-miracle.
The next day, she is gone. Vanished. No one has seen her. Worse yet, not one else remembers her. All evidence of her life has dried up. Evaporated. The skies are clear, but your eyes are suddenly damp.
Then, you remember. The girl listened like rain.
*Line from somewhere i have never travelled by e.e. cummings