I Always Cry in the Rain
The next time he sees her is at the party. From the bar, he can watch her on the balcony. She’s perched against a table, the lights of the city rooftops behind her. She dresses like a wayward fifties’ bridesmaid – in red with a froth of petticoats swirling around her legs, a crimson rose punctuating her hair.
Outside the heat is like syrup – thick and heavy. He’ll stay inside. Inside is white and clean and crisp. Inside everything floats on the surface.
He tries to ignore her but she buzzes like an exotic insect at the edge of his vision. She is never totally still. He doesn’t need to be close to her to know: her teeth are stained with red wine; her fingernails tap to a tuneless song in her head; and she makes proclamations, swathing and caustic, and when she’s challenged her eyes gleam like a chastised child’s. She turns through people.
When a waiter opens the door, the heat floods in. He imagines it emanates from her, waves beaming from her body.
She has wilted in the sun, her petticoats droop, the flower turns brown at the edges, and her hair frizzes and grows wild with static. She takes another drink from the waiter.
When finally he goes outside, she sees him and laughs. It reminds him of the first time he met her. He thought she was ugly until she laughed.
The first drops hit unexpectedly. People extend their palms needing reassurance. She laughs. “I knew it’d rain,” she says. She says it triumphantly, as though the rain is something she can control.
Fat drops slam down on him, on his his back and shoulders. Tickling, refreshing, clearing away the grime. Droplets sparkle in her hair. Then the rain gets faster and harder. People run, snatching their glasses and their bags. It soaks into his shirt, his hair, his skin.
She turns her face skyward, encouraging the rain to drench her, rivulets running down her face, down her neck to her cleavage. The silk of her dress darkens and clings to her frame. Her nipples push against the damp fabric; she’d look less obscene if she were naked.
She pulls him to her, resting her hand on his waist, lightly, confident her touch is enough to keep him there.
“We’re never good together,” she says but doesn’t remove her hand.
The rain pushes them together, encasing them in a wall of wetness. Washing away the waiter in his white coat, washing away the sound of the band playing inside, washing away the things she’s shored up against him. She knows the rain won’t wash away the betrayal, and he knows it won’t alter the past. Still, he pushes up the layers of petticoat net that cling to her thighs.
The rain blurs his vision. He barely sees her, but he licks the droplets from the nape of her neck tasting the cold, fresh water mingled with the peach-warmth of her skin.
“I’m not angry with you any more,” she says then bites him hard enough for him to doubt it.
He knows this will be the last time he ever fucks her; he’ll make it good.
No matter where he touches her, she squelches. As his fingers work up her thighs, she laughs and yells, her voice absorbed into the rain-drone.
He can say he’s not angry too, but it means nothing. In that moment, there’s just him and her and the barrage of rain, just the familiarity of her mouth and the warmth of her flesh and the way he moves inside her. They are saturated but she clings to him, gulping in drenched kisses, clawing his back as though only he can save her.
It’s over quickly. They divide. The wet tiles around them reflect back the lights and the shine and the rain-sparkled distortion of them. He pushes back the hair plastered to her face and removes the bedraggled rose. With the heel of his hand, he wipes the water from her eyes.
“I always cry in the rain,” she says.
“You always cry in the rain.”
Copyright © 2008 by Kathryn O’Halloran. All rights reserved.
Kathryn O’Halloran was once told to write what she knows; despite that, she now writes erotica. She finds the research gruelling, but she goes at it with guts and determination. Her work has appeared on websites such as
Clean Sheets and Lucrezia Magazine and in anthologies including Yes Sir, Got a Minute? Sixty Second Erotica and The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 6. She’s currently working on her first novel and occasionally updates her blog (http://kathrynohalloran.blogspot.com/).
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