The Last Shower

I found her lying in the field among a shower of rain. The grass mingled with her light summer dress, pressed to her drenched skin. Wordlessly, I walked toward her and lay down beside her. I didn’t bother bringing an umbrella.

She had her eyes closed, but when I joined her I felt her hand come to rest on my arm. After lying silently for awhile, I spoke.

“It’s coming soon.” It came out as a raspy whisper. She opened her eyes at the sound of my voice.

“I know,” she responded. The rain filled the little moments of silence between us. It’s hard to know what to say when everything is like this.

“I’m glad for the rain,” I continued. “A sunny day would just...feel wrong. We haven’t had sun in such a long time.” The sun left us long ago. Now it was just rain, snow, and dark clouds.

“Yes,” she whispered. “Yes.”

We stayed there. I couldn’t tell if I was shaking because of the cold or the anticipation. I tried to calm it by looking at her. By thinking of how much I love her.

“You know,” she went on, turning to look at me, “The clouds are so dark. We probably won’t even see it. We’ll hear it, but we may not see it.”

I nodded. The rain was coming down in torrents. I had to squint to keep my eyes open. And now I was shaking more and more, until finally I couldn’t take it.

“Via.” I took her hand in mine as a tear slid down my face. “I need you...I can’t...”

“Shh.” She turned and wrapped me into her arms. A rumble of thunder sounded overhead. “Shh. I got you.”

I clung to her as the rain spilled over our bodies. The rumble of thunder never stopped, until eventually I realized it wasn’t thunder at all. It grew closer, louder, deeper.

“Pretend the grass is a soft pillow,” she crooned into my ear. Despite the rain, I could make out the tears on her cheeks. “Pretend the rain is a gentle mist. Pretend we’re going to sleep.” She ran her fingers up and down my cheek. “Close your eyes, my love. Pretend we’re sleeping.”

I shut my eyes and concentrated on the sound of the rain, not the sound of the rumbling getting closer, louder, deeper by the second. Not the sound of Via’s soft sobs.

Not the sound of the meteor as it hit.

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