Davidson

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DAVIDSON


He tilted her head back further, until her neck craned and her eyes looked straight up into the heavens. He watched as she squinted and blinked away the fat rain drops that pegged her eyes. “Do you feel that?” he asked, his voice soft. His favorite moment was the point right before a storm, when the clouds seemed to part to give way to the rain. He loved the smell of the coming rain, which was harder to distinguish in a city built of concrete and metal and glass.

But he enjoyed the tail end of a storm as well, when the sky seemed to suck the rain back up into its graces, and the clouds parted to give way to the sun. The last drops of rain were a gift from the angels.

“Do I feel the rain?” she retorted with a laugh. “Yes, I do believe so. In fact, I feel it in my eyes.”

“That’s not rain,” he told her.

She titled her head until she met his eyes. He could tell she was trying to figure out where he was taking the conversation. “It’s not?” she asked with mock puzzlement.

“That’s hope,” he told her, and he went as far as to stroke the rain drops from her cheeks. The response he received was laughter, but he knew she wanted to believe him, wanted to believe in hope as much as he did.

“Hope,” she repeated, and the word sounded magical in her voice. A sparkle shone in her eyes, if only for a moment before it went out. Hope was something that they didn’t dare believe in, for it would inevitably be too much of a disappointment.

An urge overwhelmed him to tell her just how beautiful she looked, standing there in the rain, her white t-shirt sticking to her skin, her jean shorts undoubtedly uncomfortable as they formed a second skin to her legs. That brief moment of hope in her eyes had made her radiate and it was staggering. But he knew how these relationships would end, with these strangers he had come to know by happenstance. There would be no happy ending here. His hopes were realistic, and he didn’t want to ruin what bonds he had already formed.

Instead, he released her face and in turn wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Thrusting his head back, he opened his mouth and let out a yell that shook him to his core. Squeezing her shoulders tightly, once again reminded by just how frail she had become, he shook her body as he jumped up and down a few times on his bare feet, up here on top of just one of the hundreds of buildings littering the city.

“You’ve lost your mind,” she declared, but he had her laughing again.

“This is life,” he said as he stood still. “And it’s the only one we’ve got.” The moment became too real, too raw, too emotional and he needed to escape it before it consumed him. “Come on, let’s finish rounds.”

“You go,” she told him with a sad smile. “I wanted to drop in and check on Hayley and I can take care of Daniel as well. Sebastian and I are fine with what we have stored up for now. Go enjoy your life.”

“You sure?” he would take her up on her offer, for no other reason than he wanted to show her that it was appreciated. But it wasn’t as if he had a list of chores awaiting him back in his apartment. Left to his own devices for the rest of the day, he would default to his usual - cleaning his guns and reading one of the well worn World War II books on his shelf.

“Positive,” she assured him.

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