Their rubber boots pounded the pavement, softened by the splash of puddles collecting in the uneven spots on the sidewalk. Jonas managed to hit every one of them, sending droplets through the air and hitting Debra’s already soaking jeans. No one would have noticed though. The extra drops were pennies in a lottery of a wet downpour, miniscule compared to the ensuing storm.
“Wait!” Debra fell behind Jonas as he took the stairs up to the door two at a time. She leaned over to catch her breath, hands on her knees. The water pounded her rain jacket, echoing inside her hood around her ears.
“What are you doing?” Jonas yelled through the pummeling attack of water. “You’re getting soaked!”
“I’m already soaked,” Debra mumbled. She straightened her small frame and the water rolled down the synthetic material keeping her upper body dry. She took a deep breath, remembering how she loved the smell of the rain, like buried soil upturned for the first time, ripe for planting a new crop. It smelled like life. She saw Jonas yelling, beckoning her with his hand to hurry up the stairs. She remembered a time when she might have skipped up those stairs to join him, or better, a time when he never would have left her. He would have held her hand, joined together by invisible glue, as they splashed through the puddles together, laughing and smiling.
“I’ve never been kissed in the rain,” she said. She could tell by Jonas’ furrowed brow that he had either not heard her or was confused about what she said. “I’ve never been kissed in the rain!” she said, louder.
“Are you crazy? The river is flooding! We need to get our things!” The rain pounded, harder and harder. The echoing inside Debra’s head compounded with each drop of water, bouncing between the words floating in the air. Are you crazy? Maybe. But every girl should be kissed in the rain. At least once. And if Debra were gathering her things, then she thought that should be one of them. She pulled her hood down, the echoing too much for her ears. The water soaked her long auburn hair, gluing it to her face and her neck. She closed her eyes, letting the water hit her face, the drops caressing her lips with a light patter.
Every girl should be kissed in the rain.
Debra opened her eyes, and Jonas’s tall, sturdy frame was gone. The door swung casually in the breeze, hitting the chipped white paneling of the house with a gentle thud. Thud. Thud.
She looked up the stairs, then down toward the bank. Three weeks ago they hadn’t owned riverfront property, but now Debra could see the edge of the water flowing through tree trunks and tall grass. Winding and tearing around fences no longer needed. Carrying clothes, boxes, pieces of houses. All claimed now by the water. By the river. By the rain.
And every girl should be kissed by the rain.