Is It Raining At Your House

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Nick is at home staring at a rainstorm when he gets a phone call from Katherine Taylor.

Submitted: October 09, 2016

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Submitted: October 09, 2016

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Rainstorms can be a writer's best friend.

They have been cornerstones of some of the greatest published works of all times. I can think of "A Farewell To Arms" in particular. The rain poured as Fredric lost both Catherine Barkley and the baby. Music has some very rain like songs. In fact I can think of one in particular. "Songs About Rain," by Gary Allan.

Unfortunately for me, the rain wasn't helping me out tonight. 

I was watching a torrential downpour from my window. The rain was so hard that leaves were making mass exits from the trees. The sky was a dark gray. When thunder and lightning appeared the sky turned an omninous black. I couldn't help but sit by the window and watch. I had my Pepsi in a John Wayne glass and with Sam Cooke playing in the background, it seemed like a great night to just sit and watch.

Earlier in the day, I went into town and met up with Sam Jacobs and his ranch hand Andrew. Sam Jacobs was practically Kris Kristofferson's doppleganger. Long lean body with a granite face and trimmed beard. His voice was soaked with years of Marlboro's and Jim Beam Bourbon. Andrew was a new ranch hand Sam hired a few months ago. Nice enough guy, built like a linebacker and the shaggiest hair I had ever seen in Montana. They were buying supplies and told me to be prepared for a storm. The sky was clear blue, didn't see a trace of it. 

But Sam has infinite years of wisdom and sure enough, the rain came down hard and had no signs of letting up soon. So there I was in my house. Quiet and reflective.

I heard my phone ring. I walked over to go get it. 

"Hello," I said.

"Hello Nicholas,"

"Katherine," I said. "What an unexpected surprise."

Katherine Taylor was my ex girlfriend. I had known her since we were both in High School. She was one of the biggest singers in the Northwest. A few months ago I attended her wedding to one of my old friends Chris Messner. We had an awkward encounter before the ceremony, but it went off without a hitch. It was a beautiful ceremony and I played my part of spectator brilliantly. I went home as the reception started. I had no real reason to stay for anything afterwards. It was as though I had closed the book on that particular part of my life.

I looked at my watch. 11:45 pm.

"It's kind of late," I said.

"I know, I'm sorry for calling at such a time. I just needed someone to talk to." Katherine said.

"Where is your husband?" I asked.

"Baton Rouge Louisiana," Katherine said. "He has a conference with the Southern division of the railroad."

"He is Mr Excitement for sure," I said.

"Is it raining at your house?" Katherine asked.

"Yeah, there is thunder and a lot of lightning here." I said.

"It's pouring here as well. They say there might be some flooding over by the Longpine River." Katherine said.

"They always say that damn river is gonna flood," I said. "I wouldn't believe them.I even remember when the local weatherguy one year tried to convince everyone that the capitol of Washington State was W."

Katherine laughed. Katherine was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was a skinny brunette with long hair and olive skin. Her singing style had a seductive quality too it. Like Linda Rondstadt or Dionne Warwick.  We were together for a couple of years until she decided to move to New Mexico and work at a theatre teaching music. I had run into her in Idaho while researching a book. I had tried to eliminate contact with her but for some reason I always went back and heard what ever she had to say.

"Your pretty quick with a joke," Katherine said.

"Why are you calling me?" I asked.

"Wow, you get to it rather harshly," Katherine said. 

"It's late and I'm missing my show. What is up?" I said.

"We never really had a chance to talk," Katherine said.

"Talk about what?" I asked.

"The past year. Chris and I. Not telling you I had come back to Ridgeview. A lot of things." Katherine said.

"All of that is done, Katherine." I said. "You are happily married. I am happily living in Montana. Content with the life I have chosen for myself. There is no need to dwell on the past. I know Chris will make you happy. You deserve to be happy."

"I appreciate that, Nick. I really do." Katherine said. 

"But your gonna keep talking, aren't you?" I asked.

"I need to clear my conscience," Katherine said.

I took a deep breath. Of course she needed to clear her conscience. 

"Sure. Go for it. I'm all ears. Well almost." I said.

"Thank you," Katherine said.

"When I left you for New Mexico, it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life. I did it because I felt like we were on two different paths. You were working hard on your books and I had nothing. I stopped recording music and I didn't know what to do." Katherine said.

"You knew I was trying to hurry through my contract. I wanted to stop writing and retire." I said.

"I know, but I guess you could say I was rather impaitent. So I wrote to a guy I knew in New Mexico. He ran a school there and they needed a music teacher. Without telling you, I went a head and took the job. I knew you were busy and didn't want to be distracted. So I went and packed up my clothes. I left one night and took the train to Santa Fe." Katherine said.

"Wow." I said. I was truly speechless. I had a lot of questions. I wanted to get mad again. I wanted to yell and scream and call her every dirty name I could honestly think of. But at this point it wasn't worth it. 

"When you were at the Elkhorn working, that was quite a shock. I couldn't believe that you were there. I was scared of what was to happen. I didn't know how to tell you. When you came up to our car, I didn't know what was to happen." Katherine said. "All I know was that you stood me up for our dinner date."

"I saw you kiss one of the guys you were with." I said. 

"You what?" Katherine asked.

"You were standing in the lobby kissing one of the guys you had arrived with. I went back to talk to a guy I worked with. I saw you called and I didn't answer." I said.

"Oh my god," Katherine said.

"Katherine, like I said, it's all good." I said. "You don't have to do this," 

"Damn you Nicholas," Katherine said. "Why can't you just be normal and be mad when an ex is trying to tell you how awful she is?"

"I already know that what you did was pretty awful," I said. "I just did what any guy in my situation would do. Drink and drink more." 

"That doesn't sound too good," Katherine said.

"Neither does having your heart broken," I said. "But you do what you can do."

There was a long silence. I realized that my last line was a little bit harsher than I had wanted it to be. I knew that I would always be mad at what she had done to me. Time heals all wounds as they say and that is what happened to me.

"There is one thing though," I said.

"What's that?" Katherine asked.

"You and Chris," I said.

"Oh, right. I knew I forgot something." Katherine said.

"I came back to town one night. It was a visit of sorts. I had wanted to see you badly. See if I could come back home. I missed you and knew that you were the only one I wanted. I saw Chris and Lucas sitting at the table you guys always sat at. Lucas immediately got up from the table as soon as I arrived." Katherine said.

"He never liked you," I said.

"That's what Chris told me. Anyway. We started talking. He asked me where I had been. I told him everything. As I was telling him, I saw his eyes widened . He was pretty shocked. Not as shocked as I was when I was told you moved to Montana. I was devestated by that news. I started to cry at the table. Rhonda came over and brought me a Pepsi. Chris comforted me the whole night. He was the shoulder to cry on. The one you used to be." Katherine said.

I was nodding my head as she was talking. "Yeah, Chris is a regular Prince Charming." I said.

"Since you were gone and I didn't really want to be around Ridgeview, I decided I was gonna head back to Arizona and be with my parents. Out of the blue, Chris asked me out on a date. I was shocked by it, but I accepted. A few weeks later, we started talking one night and Chris says that we need to tell you about us. He said it didn't feel right." Katherine said.

"So that was why he called me and told me to come back to Ridgeview." I said.

"Yes. He wanted to do it over the phone but I told him to do what ever he could to get you back into town. I had to see you again. I just had too. One more time. I had to try." Katherine said.

"You know that all you would have had to have done was just called me. I promise it would have been fine." I said.

"I know that, but I couldn't help myself. I had a lot of selfish reasons. When you came into the Tuneup and chewed out both Chris and poor Jake, I had to hurry out and stop you from leaving. When we had that conversation, I thought you were gonna go apopletic. We really didn't want to hurt you." Katherine said.

"You didn't hurt me. Neither one of you did. I was just shocked to see you. I had made it clear to a lot of people that I had no desire to return to Ridgeview. Being back there was hard for me. The sight of you made it alot harder." I said.

"Why did you leave?" Katherine asked.

"There was nothing for me there. I quit the Gazette. My publisher was in New York and you were gone. What the hell should I stay for? So I packed up and found a nice place in Gallatin Montana. Decided to build a new life and forget the old one." I said.

"Is that what I am?" Katherine asked. "Your old life?"

I hesitated before answering. Katherine had and would always play a big role in my life. But as of now, I was happy with how things were in Gallatin. I was tired of stirring up the past. If I was ever gonna get closure, now was the time to do it.

"No Katherine, you are a big part of my past, present and future." I said. 

"I'm sorry about the wedding," Katherine said. "When you saw me in my underwear."

"I'm not," I said.

"Your not?" Katherine asked,

"No, you were still hot as hell and I wanted to have you right then and there. But I knew better than to do that." I said.

Katherine laughed.

"You would think that wouldn't you?" Katherine said.

"Of course, if I was in my underwear I would hope. No I would expect you to jump my bones." I said.

We both laughed. 

"Katherine, I know what your gonna say. I will go ahead and say it." I said.

"You are married. I accept that. I forgive you for whatever you may have done to me. You need to focus on your future. You have a good man for a husband. Just be happy. I wish you nothing but the best." I said.

"I will always love you," Katherine said.

"I know." I said.

There was a pause on both ends of the line. I knew she wanted me to say more after she declared that she loved me. I knew that I wanted to reassure her one final time that I was truly happy for her and Chris. That I wished them nothing but the best. 

But none of that was to happen.

I hung up. I walked outside and stood in the rain for a while. It felt like a good idea. Washing off layers of your past. It could lead to a new start. 


© Copyright 2017 Robert Logan. All rights reserved.

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