The wet-asphalt smell hung heavily in the air. The heavens had let loose with a storm so violently beautiful it was almost a sin not to stare in wonder of the clouded sky and fat raindrops. Water fell from the sky in sheets, whizzing through the air like rockets before exploding on the ground in mini mushroom clouds before setting into the streaming rivers flowing over the concrete. The city was left in a haze. Street lights, traffic lights, headlights, they were all distorted with the falling rain. Everything was foggy and muted.
The night air was cool in contrast to the warm spring day. Inhaling deeply she welcomed the thick smoke of the cigarette into her lungs and exhaling left a trail of smoke to circle over her head. She stood, her back resting against the brick face of a building, having the need for shelter from the pelting rain she retreated under one of the many decorative overhangs to each quaint little shop. If only this were a nice area, and she wasn’t leaning against the broken face of a run down apartment building.
Her room upstairs was too stuffy, confining with its plain white walls and one overhead light; peeling wallpaper and ugly brown tile floors. At least here she could breathe. He was crouched close to the ground; knees bent and back hunched just waiting, for what she wasn’t quite sure, but it looked as if he could jump up at any time. His face was stone, eyes focused on something across the street. He was still, poised, waiting.
The only sounds were of the rain pelting and the occasional car that would drive by. When slowly, he began to sing. His voice was soft at first, gently gaining volume until she could hear him clearly. The song was one of his own, one that gained him his reputation, and the one that said he wrote the day after they met.
Her hands lifted to fuss with her hood, pulling it up over her dark hair while pushing herself away from the wall. She lowered herself beside him and sat Indian style on the damp cement. She joined in the song, her voice not as trained as his, but sweet and soft. The two of them sang together. Her eyes were distantly focused on something across the street when slowly memories started to stir and the present faded into the past.
The colors of that day were muted, the sun was on its slow decent and was retreating to its bed in the west, but the day was still warm, the suns heat lingering in the air long after it was gone. She felt like she hadn’t slept in days, probably because it was true. Her nights were an endless string of alcohol, parties and drugs. Her body, weak and tired was hinging on the edge of a black abyss, one that which she fell into, there would be no return. Her life had been constant pain, and never once was she in control of her own destiny. That was, until he came along.
His one outstretched hand grazed her fingertips and pulled her back from her demise. Away from the impending darkness and away from all things ugly. Since she had seen his face, there was nothing but beauty in her world. Tired eyes would become rested and her renewed sense of vision let the colors back in.
“You were full of contrasts then.” He said softly, “Alive, but so close to death.” His blue eyes glanced over at her, only catching a glimpse of her profile underneath her hood before looking away. “I couldn’t let you fall.”
Suddenly, he sprang up, seizing her upper arm in his hand, he hoisted her up as well. He dashed out into the pouring rain, dragging her out under from her shelter. The rain made quick work of their clothing, soaking through to the skin in a matter of minutes. His hand slid from her arm, down to her hand letting their fingers intertwine.