Roses in the rain

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A couple who meet in the same place every year for their anniversary. How they met and how their love continues

Submitted: March 07, 2012

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Submitted: March 07, 2012

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Roses in the rain

 

I am exactly where I want to be.  Stood on a bridge I have visited every year for the last seventeen.  In my hands I hold a dozen red roses, a picnic basket and an umbrella.  In my heart I have a secret.  We first met on this bridge whilst walking to work.  Both of us could have traveled another route which would have got us there sooner but we both preferred the stroll through the park.

 

It had once been part of a Lords estate and as such, was beautifully decorated with statues both grand and minute.  The lord was fascinated by mythology and his ornamentation reflected this strongly.  Through the bushes danced three inch high pixies, each carved to be unique with what looked like broken shards of stained glass window for wings.  Man and beast stand side by side in some of the larger ones, either united or at war. There was also the occasional hybrid, two creatures merged to enhance their strengths.  However, the grandest, towering above all men, was a large marble dragon lay sleeping.  The detail of its scales made its body reflect the brightest of lights and darkest of shade.  Local superstition claimed it was magical and divine.  I had failed to see anything to prove them right. 

 

Upstream there stood a small lake with an intricately carved stone dam.  At its base were four granite soldiers in suits of armour, their blades prying the dam in place.  Where the surface of the water touched the rim there lay a dozen, real sized, mermaids.  Pulling the edge away and allowing the water to run slowly over the warriors and down the manufactured, stone lined, channel.  The water meandered downhill, through the willows on its banks, for almost thirty meters until it reached where I was stood.  The bridge looked like the supple branches of the nearby willow had crept along the floor and interwoven before setting themselves in stone. It flowed under my feet  and then plummeted the same length over a man made waterfall, causing such a fine spray to rise that if you stand above it, the water would build in the corner of you eye and be released as a tear if you don’t blink more often.

 

We had crossed paths many times on our journeys but never on the bridge.  I had seen her, and checked her out, many times in passing but there was one day in particular I noticed her significantly more.  I had just crossed the bridge when I saw her walking in my direction.  But instead of walking on the path like everyone else on our commute she was walking barefoot on the grass in the warm summer rain.  She was dressed differently too.  Usually she wore a tight, knee length, pencil skirt which showed my favorite view when I dared glance over my shoulder at her as we passed. Depending on the weather it was normally a white blouse which also hugged at her petite, nicely curved body or with a jacket which matched the skirt.  I guessed, wrongly, she was a secretary from her attire as she always looked sexy, yet classy. 

 

On this day her body was gowned with a short dress which danced in the mild wind and stole the attention of many eyes.  Her body was soaked and the thin garment clung to her upper body like a second skin.  As she drew closer a break in the clouds illuminated her figure and her dress became almost transparent.  I thought I must have stared a little too much because as she passed me she gave me an awkward smile.  I wanted to stop her, to talk to her, like I had wanted too many times before.  I hesitated, I missed my chance.  Saddened by another lost opportunity I continued my walk home until my muse spoke to me.  I removed my shoes and socks and stepped onto the green blades. It was a funny sensation as the grass tickled under my foot then the softening ground squelched between my toes, a sensation worthy of being rained on.  My sadness lifted.

 

The following day I was prepared.  I wore my favorite shirt under my suit, sprayed my finest cologne before I left the office.  I even called into a shop for an umbrella so I could come to her rescue should there be another unexpected downpour.  By the time I reached the bridge I was already a little late.  My usual routine would allow me to look up the stream, to the dam, or down into the base of the waterfall for a few minutes before I see her on the continuation of my journey. 

 

My usual spot was occupied by my desire in her usual office clothes, stood with her hands on the rail while she looked down.  As I approached she turned her head and smiled.  My heart began to pound, my legs became unsteady and my mouth dried in a millisecond.  My determination turned to cowardice and I angled my self away.

“Hi.” She said with a voice so angelic the choirs of angels worship her every vowel. As I turned to respond I dream she is speaking to me and not an acquaintance that was following close behind.  I fall deep into her eyes and notice, now that we are still and close, they explode with shades of brown, blues and greens.  Eyes far superior to any I had gazed upon before.

“Hi.” I respond timidly, knowing I am not worthy to even bow at her feet.

“I’m Paula.” The words flowed so sweetly from her luscious lips I feared I would not be able to restrain myself from stealing a taste.

“I’m Nathan,” A name she would soon forget.

“I don’t normally see you on the bridge,”

She had noticed me, she knew I existed.  I knew her name and she knew mine.  I could have quit while I was ahead and gone home, committed suicide, and died a happy man.  Instead I stayed.

“I’m running a little late, I stopped to buy an umbrella.”

“But it isn’t supposed to be raining today.  Mind you,” she giggled slightly to herself“they said that yesterday.”

“That’s why I bought the umbrella.”

I don’t know why I told her that.  My gesture was meant to be received as a knight in shining armour.  Instead I sounded like a boy scout, bragging at being prepared.  She replied with a shy smile, like she had guessed my original intention. She took a step towards me.

“It’s really beautiful here, isn’t it?”

“The views are fantastic” I replied dreamily, my eyes absorbing her beauty and entrancing me further.

 

She advances another step. The wind brushes aside her raven hair to steal the scent of her neck for my indulgence.  My heart begins to pound and with each beat it wants to be happy, with her. My heart desired her. It gave me the courage to believe that she could feel the same.  Her lips parted and she began to speak.

“I noticed you looking at me, yesterday, in the rain.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean too.”

“I wore it for you.  I did notice the cheeky glances you kept on having when you thought I wasn’t looking.  Especially once we had passed.”

I had been caught.  She had dressed up to impress me, which the rain did nothing to diminish, and I definitely liked her.  I summoned up all my charm and replied

“That’s because I find you irresistible.”

 

We spent the rest of the day together. We talked for hours about our hobbies and interests, our likes and dislikes, our jobs, she was an interior designer, our dreams and most importantly, walking barefoot in the rain.  At the end of the night I walked her home, through the park, and when we reached the bridge she stood and leant against the railings and beckoned me towards her.  We met lips first.  The sweetness of her lips stealing my breath.  The spray from the waterfall moistens our kiss, coolant for our passionate embrace, until the clouds broke overhead and the rain caressed our faces.

We stand and kiss for what feels like an eternity.  Not pausing for breath, the umbrella still in my hand.

 

That is how we met and a year later, on our anniversary, we decided to begin our evening there.  Paula wearing that dress for me once more.  Even when we moved in together we still met at the bridge each year.  That is why I am stood here now, waiting in anticipation of the days end. 

 

I see her through the gap of the willow trees, just as beautiful as the first day we met.  She spins in her tiny little summer dress for my approval then raises her hand to close my gaped jaw.  She gives me a kiss on the cheek, all that we are allowed until the sun has set as we forbid any contact until the evening, to tease each others desire.  In my left hand I carry a dozen roses and a small picnic basket filled with strawberries, wine and chocolates and in my right, that very same umbrella.  We sit on the grass beside the canal, under the shade of the willow as the midday sun dances upon the waters surface. 

 

Sat beside the stream we laugh and talk. I wipe the juice of a ripe strawberry from her lips with my finger and steal that forbidden sensation, ecstasy for my body which is addicted to hers.  I yearn for more.  I miss her so much even though she is sat beside me.  When we walk the grounds, enjoying the same landscape and decorative figures as many times before, I try to brush my hand against hers.  She knows my game and always dodges successfully.  As the summer sun begins to set on yet another day we make our way back to the bridge.  A routine kiss before we head home for an evening of love making.  As we kiss a bulge in my pocket presses against her leg and she pulls away.

“What is that?” she asks, already knowing the answer

I take a step back and get down on one knee. As I pull the small box from my pocket I can see the tears of joy building in her eyes.  Then I ask the question.

“You know I love you with every beat of my heart.  I know that even when my heart stops beating I will continue to love you for all eternity.  I want us to unite our hearts as one.  I want to know, will you be my wife?”

A tear rolls down her cheek.  She cries, too happy to accept my proposal.

 

Before I get the answer her face turns from elation to horror and at that point I stand and leave.  As I walk away I feel the pain in my back from a physical attack long since healed.  I drop to my knees and cry, knowing that behind me my love fears me dead whilst she defends herself from the mugger who stabbed me and is now fighting her for our engagement ring.  Blood begins to trickle down her arms as the non visible figure slashes at her until they wrestle to the edge. She is forced backwards, her back arching over the rail until she falls with a scream that shattered my unconsciousness, a sound that will forever be burned into my heart.

 

I get to my feet and walk away leaving roses in the rain.  I cry for my loss but a warmth begins to envelope me.  I may have lost her that night, almost 14 years ago, but I had just perfectly recreated our final day with her spirit.  Every move and gesture had been replicated so that each year I can spend the happiest day of my life with her once more.  I had felt her presence when I had the strength to return to our bridge and when I came to lay the dozen red roses on our anniversary, I saw her.  I couldn’t believe it at first but as I watched her I realized her essence was trapped to relive that fateful day.  I learned the routine, the conversation, every minute gesture that I had made so that at least once a year, we could never be parted.

 

As I walk past the carved dragon I stroke its head and whisper a word of thanks.  It may have nothing to do with her spirit returning to be with me once a year, but I am unprepared to risk losing her again.


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