“I’m sorry about this.”
We were stuck, parked on a sidewalk and surrounded by pouring rain. There were drops of it in his hair, hanging on as long as they could manage before rolling too far and falling into his lap. The rain continued inside the car, falling from us in torrents.
“It’s fine,” I laughed, shaking from the cold.
We sat in silence, neither of us wanting to talk through the spectacle that was going on outside. It was dark, too dark for midday. The outside world was grayscale, like a dreary black and white film. The sun no longer existed. It had been forced out of the sky by the clouds. The rain, constant and blaring, eventually cloaked the outside world in water. All I could see were blurs of washed out colour.
We both looked out the windscreen as the sheets of water shut us away from everything. It trapped us within a separate world. Nothing but he and the car were observable to me. It felt nice, to feel as if the world were as small as a 5 seater car.
“Would you ever want to move somewhere else?” He asked, breaking my illusion of a car sized world. Could I ever be anywhere else? Yes, of course. But would I want to be anywhere else? I looked at him as he waited. His cheeks were pink from the cold and his hair looked darker with the weight of rain. If the world was grayscale outside, it was all colours inside. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to leave the car, let alone the country.
“I’d like to see snow. I mean, if we’re talking about our pathetic excuse for a winter,” I answered, “But maybe I could just stay here, if we had snow.”
“We’d be buried if this were snow,” he joked, flashing a smile. “You’d get sick of it, I bet. You’d have to buy a shovel. Imagine that? Buying a shovel.” His brows were knitted, like he was genuinely put off by the idea.
“I think I could manage that. It’d be a nice change.”
“Nothing beats rain for me. The smell of rain is hands down the best.” I gave him a questioning look, “Seriously! It’s great, but there’s no way to describe it that makes sense…Here,” he said, opening his window. The outside world came pouring in, breaking our little bubble. He didn’t even notice how quickly it covered him, he was determined. He turned to me expectantly, waiting for something. Waiting for me to make a fool of myself and sniff the air.
I wound down my own window instead. I let the drops hit my face, breathing in the smell of rain hitting earth. He was right, it couldn’t be described. It just made me feel good. It felt like clarity. It made me want to drink warm drinks and wear a blanket everywhere I went for as long as it lasted.
I looked back towards him. There was a grin on his face, and he actually gave me a thumbs up. An actual thumbs up. I hadn’t seen anyone do that without being ironic. It was sweet. He was like a wet puppy, soaked from top to tail without even realising what a mess he was making. I had to smile at him.
It was one of those moments where the world just stopped. Broken down cars, or broken down friendships, didn’t matter. All that mattered was that in the right circumstances, rain could smell a little bit like hope.