song: "Rainy Day Man" - Sailor Moon US Soundtrack
Dedicated to Sarah who loves this song & to my rainy day man who inspires me.
He was always there for me.
If someone said his name and asked me to describe what he meant to me that would be my first thought: He was always there for me. If someone asked me to describe what kind of person he was, I would say that he was silly, loved to laugh and loved to play pranks on the other members. I would say that he had a temper that could rival any tempest and his fuse probably held the record of being the shortest in the world. I would say that he had the strength of three men but could be as gentle as a baby kitten. He was rough around the edges, but in the centre, where it matters most, he was my best friend.
He was always there for me.
The first time I realized this, we were still trainees. I was older than him, indeed, older than the other trainees that would form a group with us after debut. I remember that day clearly because it was raining outside. I remember the pelting rain, coming down in thick, hard sheets. I remember the bright, momentary lightning that cut jagged lines into the sky that resembled black velvet. I remember the roar of thunder that caused the body to jump and the soul to quiver.
The weather was both beautiful and frightening.
My phone rang and I heard her voice. It was light and airy. Her face came to my mind and I could easily imagine her as some sort of pixie or angel. Her with her heart-shaped face and big, almond-eyes. Her with her long flowing hair and beautiful, radiant smile. Her with her voice that soothed and laugh that lifted. She was my reprieve from the harsh days of training.
She asked me to meet her and I didn’t even have to think about the answer.
I met her at a park near the hostel where I and the other trainees lived. I remember it was dark all around us, especially since it was too early in the afternoon for the city lights to go on. I remember running in what seemed like a sea because the drainage systems in the streets were flooded and the ground was covered in inches of water. I remember the rain plastering my hair to my face, my forehead, almost blinding me with my own hair and thick drops of rain. I remember seeing her standing near the swing set, her sneakers slowly sinking into the woodchips and the layer of water atop them which almost reached her ankles. I remember she had an umbrella. It wasn’t anything fancy or interesting, but I remember it was black and I remember that she stood beneath it and didn’t offer to share her shelter.
I reached her with a budding smile on my lips, opening my mouth to greet her, but she cut me to the quick. Her words came out of her mouth and hit me like stones, each heavier and harder than the last. I stared at her, the smile melting off my face with the rain and I tried to focus on her, but all I heard was her voice and her words.
Gone was my pixie, my angel.
Instead was her. Her with her heart-shaped face and big, almond-eyes that now scorned. Her with her long flowing hair and beautiful, radiant smile that now spoke of someone else. Her with her voice that pained and laugh that scoured.
She had become my descent, my destruction.
And she left the wreckage without apology.
I watched her until I couldn’t see her anymore, until the rain became a blessing and became a veil between me and her… until my tears became a veil over my eyes.
I fell to my knees, sitting back against my heels, not caring that my jeans were now soaked, that I was kneeling in five inches of rainwater. My hands lay limp at my sides, my fingers weak and numb. My lips were slightly parted as if for one moment, one brief, crazed moment, I had wished to call out to her to ask her or, God forbid, beg her to come back. My chest hurt as if she had done me some physical harm, as if she had pierced the left-side of my chest with a thousand shards of glass and not once did I see her true reflection in them. My eyes burned, my vision completely compromised as hot tears mixed with the cold rain.
Then, it happened.
I felt less cold. It was not as if I was being warmed by something, but there was an absence of cold. Suddenly, it was as if an invisible barrier had carved itself around me and the rain didn’t fall upon me, creating a safe haven. Everywhere else it was raining, but not on me. Belatedly, I looked up. The sky was blocked by an umbrella. It wasn’t anything fancy or interesting and I don’t even remember its colour. All I remember is that it protected me from the building storm and the person who held it.
“Y…Youngwoon,” I murmured.
He smiled down at me, standing beneath the umbrella, “Wouldn’t want you to get wet, Jungsu.”
I blinked, suddenly realizing my blurred vision was because I was still crying. I slowly raised both hands, horrified to find they were trembling and vigorously rubbed my face to wipe away the rain from my face and the tears from my eyes.
“I’m already soaked,” I stated. Was he blind? Was this another joke?
“Well, there’s no point in you getting more soaked than you already are,” He reasoned, his voice light and cheery.
It made me want to strangle him.
It made me want to cry.
I opened my mouth to tell him to leave me the hell alone, when he continued on in that same voice, “But, if you don’t care about that, then I can’t let you be the only one.”
I watched, curious, startled and shocked when he tossed the umbrella to the side and then slowly sat down beside me, crossing his legs and tucking his feet beneath opposite knees. He could have been meditating in a dry, warm room for all appearances. But he wasn’t. He was beside me in the pouring rain, sitting in a make-shift pond in the park.
He grinned at me still, but his eyes were different. They seemed softer, kinder and I was almost positive that the rain wasn’t playing tricks on me. “Things happen in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to face them alone,” he stated, his words like a promise.
In that moment, how I wished they were a promise.
“Can you… sit in the rain with me… a little longer?” I asked, my voice suddenly raspy.
“Of course,” he answered swiftly, simply, softly.
I don’t remember how long we sat there. I don’t remember how fierce the storm got. I don’t remember when he finally stood with me. I don’t remember the walk back to the hostel. All I remember is that at some point, his hand covered mine, drying it, warming it and protecting it from the rain.
And that’s when it began.