The cool breeze was just calling out to me in the evening and I really wanted to get some fresh air. I decided to take a stroll by the beach.
The breeze slowly switched into strong wind as I walked. I looked up and saw that the weather wasn’t getting any better.
Then, I noticed Lucy sitting on the sand looking out into the ocean. I walked towards her, “May I sit down?”
“Of course!” she smiled. She looked like she was in a good mood.
I sat down. She looked up at the sky, “Looks like it’s going to rain...”
“Did you come out to sit under the rain again?”
I laughed and shook my head. Why does she like to ask me this kind of questions? I thought.
She suddenly did something that caught me off guard. She dug two holes in the sand in front of me and stuffed my feet in. She did the same with hers.
“Doesn’t this feel good?” she looked at me with sparkling eyes.
She looked adorable at that moment. My feet felt so warm and comfortable. Her gestures always made me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. It felt like she’d filled up the empty bottle in my heart with the simplest actions.
It started raining heavily all of a sudden. I pulled her arm, gesturing her to go inside. “Come on, don’t you want to get inside?”
“I want to stay here under the rain with you. It would be fun!”
Lucy, this is the second time I’m soaking in the rain with you. But it is the first time I felt so close to you. If I told you I want to spend every other rainy day with you, what will you say?
“I... actually... I like... I like...” I couldn’t stop stuttering.
“Um... I mean, I like... I like to stay under the rain!” I didn’t know what else to say within that few seconds.
“I know that! You don’t have to keep reminding me.” she laughed.
I laughed stiffly, mentally scolding myself for being a coward.
Our short retreat ended just like that. I never gathered the courage to say those three words.
I sat alone in the newsroom one cool afternoon.
Clouds slide across the sky as the autumn wind leads
I stand still watching your silhouette
As silver raindrops fall, you stand beside me
Your smile lingers in my mind
I yearn to hold your hand forever
As day breaks and night falls
Three words linger in my mouth, never coming out
I yearn for you to stay by my side on rainy days
I was not satisfied with this poem. My writing was beginning to get rusty.
I folded the piece of paper into a paper airplane.
I aimed at the dustbin near the door.
The paper airplane fell right in front of someone holding an umbrella with teddy bear prints.
Wait... Teddy bears?! I panicked.
“Joon-sshi, it’s good to stay back to catch up on some work here. But let’s not litter, shall we?” she waved the paper airplane in front of me.
My eyes were wide open. I couldn’t utter a single word. But there was only one thought in my mind...
Don’t open it. Please don’t open it! NO!!!
She opened it.
“’I yearn for you to stay by my side on rainy days... Will you?’ What’s this?” she held up my poem and looked into my eyes. She smelled something fishy. She faintly smiled.
“Is it a love letter?” she teased. “It must be. Did another freshman write this to you?”
I sighed in relief. She didn’t figure it out.
“No.” I quickly grabbed the piece of paper from her and stuffed it in my pocket.
“It’s okay. Just say it. I won’t tease you.” she lightly punched my chest.
I smiled at her little gesture, secretly liking it.
Just like that, we sat down and continued chatting throughout the afternoon.
This was my first time spending hours alone with a girl.
“What? It’s raining again? It was so sunny earlier.” She looked out the window when the both of us stopped talking.
I followed her gaze. It was pouring heavily. But the sun rays peeped through. Silver raindrops covered the grass like a blanket. It was a beautiful scene.
“Come on! Let’s go outside!” Lucy called out.
“What?” I was taken aback.
“What what? Come on, quick!” she dragged me out before waiting for my reply.
“I don’t think this is a good idea. You will get sick.”
“No, I won’t. Isn’t it great to soak in the rain together?”
Great. Of course it’s great. I’m afraid what you’re thinking now is not what I long to hear all this while.
I didn’t realise I’d been staring at her as the rain soaked her hair.
Her voice broke my train of thoughts.
“Have you ever spent time in the rain with someone you like or someone who likes you?” she asked without warning.
I shook my head. I didn’t want to face her reaction if she found out the truth.
“Joon-sshi, may I let you in on a secret?” there was a slight twinkle in her eyes. Maybe it was the rain.
“The second part of my question... you’re actually experiencing it right now.” she looked right into my eyes.
I stood still and looked back at her. My mind was completely blank. My heartbeat continued to increase its pace.
“Silly!” she gave me a peck on my flushed cheek and smiled sweetly.