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We Deserved Rain This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     If the memory flickers through my mind, it is always raining in the background. It was that kind of night. Rick does not say, "Here's looking at you, kid" to Ilsa on a bright, sunny day. No way. Rain blasts the earth in that scene. There most certainly are clouds when Rick pulls Ilsa in for that last hug, for that long, last kiss. Those clouds were weeping. That night, my night, it should have been raining.

I knew what was coming but there was no way to prepare. No matter what I tried, as soon as I thought about what was to come, all the muscles in my throat went taut. Our seven and a half months were coming to an end. We weren't through, but this era was. The comfortable, warm days of living ten minutes away were being taken behind the barn and shot. Everything that I knew, that I loved, was leaving. My first best friend. Everything I had been dreading was approaching, and it wasn't even raining.

I was supposed to be on a double date with his friend. What better place for romance than a hot, sweaty gym incapable of sustaining an audible conversation? Some kid with shaggy hair showed up as third wheel. I luckily had a friend ambitious enough to set me up with a senior and then smart enough to let me know my perfect match was the tag along. He wore a leather jacket, had tan skin in the winter and the most beautiful shaggy hair I had ever seen. When he walked, I saw him alone. Slow-motion. I was in over my head. How I had the guts to keep up with a guy who wore a leather jacket I will never know.

For a girl still recovering from the awkwardness of blooming a bit late, this was a fairy tale. When I looked in his green golden eyes, my heart fluttered. They always looked mischievous, like he was about to tell me a secret. I never believed in high school love (how pathetic) and I never believed in movie love (just sadly longed for it). Somehow, I had both.

Each week got better. Everything was fresh and no high school romance had ever been remotely close. We knew we were the best couple and always seemed to have the most fun. While all my friends weakly tossed snowballs at their boyfriends on a snow day, mine turned me into a human toboggan zooming down Pine Hill. Our laughs were louder, our tackles bigger, and our relationship stronger.

As time progressed the traditional "Ahh, I like you so much" would no longer do. We had something bigger, stronger, but it wasn't love. Not yet. We decided we "loaved" each other. Then it became "Oh, Danny, I lurve you so much!" We could discuss when it was time to move onto the next level, and finally came "luff." Luff was our last resort until the big one. The only problem was, luff sounded a lot like love, and that was scary. As I began to realize I was falling past like, loave, lurve and even luff to being in love for the first time, panic set in.

One stuffy night I scratched Danny's back to help ease his aching muscles. He turned his head up to me and quietly whispered, "I lufve you." As soon as my heart began to beat again, I asked him what he had said. I had to be sure. I knew the moment I had missed as he flushed, turned his eyes down, and grumbled "luff." Once he fell asleep I was ready, for the first time, to tell a non-stuffed animal or family member that I loved him. It didn't take long to hear it in return. Only a day.

Time is a funny thing and pulls dirty tricks. The advantages of having an older boyfriend were great: the mystery, the car, prom. Age finally caught up with us, and even though we were only a year and a half apart, he still would graduate in May and go to college at the end of the summer.

I would be losing my best friend and first love to the seedy world of college, where college women walk only in towels to the shower and college men have no reason to stay with little high-school girlfriends. I was losing my favorite part of the day to a world of endless parties and growing up. I would be alone again. It should have been raining.

We sat in my basement for the last time. I told him all the reasons I loved him and he told me the reasons he loved me. He had made me a better person. He had made me love myself. He had made me happier than I ever had been. I had made him laugh. I had made him think. I had made him cry from happiness. We both began to cry. I can't remember anything but my couch and him. I nuzzled my nose in his neck to keep his smell with me. Warm and salty. It should have been raining.

Slowly we got up. There was no music, but he pulled me into his arms and we began to dance. My cheek rested on his, my right hand in his left. He had the greatest hands. I knew every crease, the white scar under his right thumb that is from a different accident every time I ask. I was in love with his hands. Our slow steps turned into circles and our hearts maintained the rhythm. My toes rested on his feet. Our time was running out but I couldn't leave his arms. It should have been raining.

The time came. We made it to the garage where I was past tears and into sobs. My lungs were shaking. I could barely put together the words "I love you." His tear-soaked face told me enough. We shook in each other's arms and were scared together.

When you find a best friend and a first love, saying good-bye is not an option. Our kisses slid off lips and cheeks. Neither of us could take much more or give up this exquisite pain. We both knew what giving it up would mean. I looked through puffy lids at the eyes I had first seen seven and a half months ago covered in hair. "I love you," he choked as he made a lame attempt for the car. I could only mouth back the words as I watched him walk out, then come running back. For our last hug, for our long, last kiss. It should have been raining.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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