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Kiss the Rain: Chapter 1 part 4

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Oops. Not Cameron. A new face stood before me, a boy around my age, with a tuft of shiny black hair and glasses. He stood up straight, eyeing me. He was rather tall, and his long body cast a dark shadow over mine.

“Who are you?” I asked, blushing at my abruptness. He had completely caught me off-guard. I peered into the house for any signs of Cameron.

He followed my eyes. “Cameron’s working on a video project, so his mom sent me. I’m his friend, Ralph.” He extended his hand casually, and I shook it. That was weird. Who shakes hands anymore?

“I'm Raine.”

“Nice to meet you,” he snorted sarcastically. What did I ever do to him? “Let’s get started.” He gestured to the wrought iron table sitting in the middle of the driveway. As we began walking up the steep hill, carrying the lopsided table, he spoke:

“So I hear you’re quite a piece of work,” Ralph smirked.

“From whom?”

“I have my sources.” He laughed a quiet laugh, as if he was enjoying some inside joke. “Anyway, are they right?”

“Kind of. I’m not a very nice person,” I huffed, struggling to talk as I stepped sideways up the hill. What were we talking about again? How I was a piece of work? Not my idea of a first impression. “How about you draw your own conclusions?” I asked, scowling.

“Oh believe me, I am.” He chuckled again. What was with this guy? I remained silent.

Cameron probably ranted to him about me. I was never very nice to Cameron. I should work on that.

“So what brought you to Raleigh?” Such a general question to ask, but he still somehow managed to hit a chord deep within. My heart thudded uncomfortably.

Clearing my throat, I said bitterly, "My dad died, and my mom wanted to move away. She couldn’t handle the memories." I spoke easily, repeating the mantra like I had for a month now. "I guess here was the first place she thought of, and neither my brother nor I wanted to contradict her.”

He frowned. "That’s terrible,” he said, surprising me. There was no ‘I’m sorry.' I got so tired of hearing that phrase.

“It’s over now,” I said simply, peering at him. He nodded, agreeing.

Later on, after we’d delivered the load, he turned away, heading back to Cameron’s without saying a word.

“Wait,” I said loudly, and he turned around.

“Yes?” There was no emotion in his voice.

“Tell Cameron that I’m sorry, for earlier. I didn’t mean to be such a jerk.” I sighed, feeling a little better now.

Ralph rolled his eyes, turning away once more. “I think you’d better tell him in person.”

“Wait! He won’t listen to me,” I argued, “Please tell him for me.”

He whipped around.

“Tell me, Raine,” he said, stressing the "me" and spitting my name like it was offensive. “Why is it that you are so callous? You are the type of person who, upon finding something precious, like a flower, growing in the middle of a grassy field, ruins it entirely. The flower is so small that you rip it carelessly from the protection of the soil for closer examination. Once you peer into the intricate detail of the petal’s color and satisfy yourself with the aroma of its scent, you drop the flower on the ground, moving on. But don’t you see?” He leaned closer, his breath hitting my face, his voice burning with intensifying passion. “For during that one moment of acute fascination, you destroyed every chance of survival for the beautiful flower. You took no care for the consequences of your action, when all along, all the you had to do in order to see, and in turn, smell, the flower was to simply bend over.” He paused for a second then said meaningfully: “To drop down to its level.”

I didn’t know what to say.

“Think about that, then go apologize to Cameron,” he said, and stomped off. Since my feet remained cemented to the ground, I watched him go. After a while, I left my spot and strode back to my house. I walked slowly up the stairs and to my bathroom, filling the tub with hot water, avoiding the mirror. I really didn’t want to see just how bad I looked. I pulled off my dirty clothes in a trance, turned on my CD player, popped in a disk filled with soothing music, and slowly lowered myself into the steaming water, closing my eyes and mulling over the events of the past twelve hours in my head. The music became background noise as I sorted out my thoughts.





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