I stared at the sky that made a loud grumble. Just a moment ago, I thought today will be one of the sunniest day of the year, because sun has been sharing its warm rays to earth, then in a blink of an eye, it abruptly turns into an unexpected misty sight.
A clot of dark puffy clouds certainly covered the azure above my head. The maddening mix of thunder roaring clearly in my ears and heavy raindrops suddenly poured to the thirsty ground. The view in front of me was precisely chaotic as the pedestrians try their best to avoid the harmless light drop of water from above. I tilted my head and squinted to the sky.
Why do you come now, rain? I thought to myself.
The cold wind that breaks into my bones makes me squeeze myself. I shivered and hastily stepped to the nearest shelter I could find—a closed tiny shop with low roof that I think is enough for two or probably three people to keep themselves dry at least until the rain stops. It’s like this place is isolated, no one’s bothered to stay dry under it but me.
After I warmed my hands by rubbing both of my hands softly against each other, I fold my arms and slowly close my eyes. The smell of wet leaves and slight noise of frogs’ harmonic croak deliberately penetrate into my subconscious mind, as if today I didn’t attend college to submit a pile of lectures to my least favorite counselor that will keep saying they’re not good enough, and my boss at work didn’t give me hectic work to do just because he’s in a scrap mood. I can’t deny how the calming environment can make up and align my tangled mind.
I’ve always been the impingement of people who think bad days only happen to them. They think that I never had a bad day, just because I never mention about it to anyone; or just because I accepted whatever they want me to do without hesitation. Being a teenager with a lot of pressure and coming from a broken home is not the reason to be happy and contended. People I meet everyday don’t care about other’s worriment and are too busy gathering their life pieces by pieces till’ they find it perfect to their eyes. I, however, care about my own happiness too, but I hate to see people that think they can count on me are unsatisfied. I want to show them that I can rack their requests up on my shoulder without any complains, at least to make them see me trying. But I’m not comfortable—not at all. I guess that’s why I hate my life so much lately, as it never seems right to my eyes.
As the rain poured even harder than before, I could feel my mind get cleared a bit.
“Rain...” I said to myself. “Will you keep purify my mind with your mellow ambiance?”
“Does that mean that you like rain a lot?”
I dashed out, almost slipped from the place I stood on because I was surprised that someone appears out of the blue next to me and ask me the questions that connected with the slurring thoughts in my minds right now.
“Uh, well in fact, I do.” I looked at the petite figure that ambushed me with her sudden appearance.
I watch she scooped her hands to catch the pouring rain that slid from the roof, release the liquid to the ground, and giggle. She did that repetitiously for a few seconds until she solely finished doing it.
“I do too.” she then dropped her eyes at mine with a warming smile. My cheeks just flamed up after she did that. I figured she’s only about six or seven centimeters higher than my shoulders. Her dark, long and curly hair with a slight tint of light brown crawled perfectly behind her back. She wore a white dress over a gray turtle neck long-sleeve shirt and I noticed a sketchbook is bobbed from her unzipped tan-leather sling bag behind her.
She made me think that she’s not even human, more like an angel if she doesn’t wear the dirty chucks that makes her look like another ordinary teenage girl.
“How much do you like rain?” she asked again.
“I think not as much as you...”
“But you seem to enjoy it a lot.”
I smiled, and decide to carry forward this conversation with her, as I notice that rain isn’t going to stop any soon.
“What’s your name?” I dragged a brittle looking bench that happen to be there since the first time I stood under here. I sit faintly on it, make sure it’s sturdy enough to sustain my weight. Not that I’m overweight—I even more to underweight that overweight, regarding to the thin shape of my arms and legs, but as this bench looks fragile, but I think I have to be careful with it. Subsequently, she took a seat as well next to me and looked at me with that pair of round raven eyes.
“What so important about it?” she reverts me with another question. I chuckled and shrugged.
“What about your age?”
“What about yours?”
We stared at each other for a while. Her smile never escapes her clean face, and the best thing about it is that it’s contagious. I caught myself smiling too, but unlike her sweet smile, mine is crooked.
“I’m seventeen, so what does that make you?” she recites.
“Nineteen...” I mumbled.
“How does it feel to be nineteen?”
“Do you solve problems on your own or run away from them?”
Her last question shot me in the head.
“Well...” I rub the back of my neck. “I tried my best to deal with it though.”
“You’re running away from them...” she said casually without any burden. “You shouldn’t, though, running away from your problems. That just makes your life feel even more bitter. Try to enjoy it. Dancing under the rain is more fun than trying to avoid the small droplets away, right?”
I took a deep breath after she said it and sighed. “You have no idea how my life has gotten lately.”
"At least your life goes on..." she said.
“How does it feel to taste the fresh air for that long time already?” she later added. I frowned.
“In two years time you’ll breathe the same amount of oxygen like me.” I said. “And taste the same amount of troubles, I guess, if you can’t keep them away.”
“Well,” she tilted her head. “We never know when we’ll stop breathing, right?”
I blinked a few times at her after she said that, conceiving that she’s not yet an adult, but her way of talking is different. I assume that’s why I don’t feel strange around her.
“I’d love to know how a trouble taste like before I die.”
Just then, a bolt of lightening shot across the sky shading light. Some kids around the place cried to their mother.
“The sky is sad,“ she begins. “Why would people be afraid about a sad thing? It expressed sorrow and unhappiness. Like human, it has a feeling too... Don’t you think?” she swing her legs front and back slowly as she stared at the gray azure above.
“I believe that rain was the heaven crying because it was hurt.”
“So you don’t fear lightning and thunders? Scary, isn’t it? To see how mad the sky become because it’s sad? Sometimes it scares the heck out of me when it sounds too intense.” we exchange stares as I came out with the statement.
“But you see, without rain, there’s no rainbow. No matter how hard the storm got, it would always get sunny again.” she smiled to me, then looked at the sky again. I didn’t notice that the storm evicts the heavy rain away, instead, it changes into dozens of powerless drizzles. “Rain brings happiness.”
She then pointed at the stripes of colorful transparent spectrums that peeked behind the dark clouds.
“See? It’s a rainbow...” her innocent tone whenever saying something to me makes me feel like she’s the rainbow itself, a gentle happiness.
She turns around and pull her bag to her lap. Her pale hand reached something and pulled it out. She turned her head to look at me, and then she flashed me a warm smile.
“You know, sometimes you have to believe in something that most people call as superstition...” she thrusts me an emerald colored four leaf clover, along with a mild look from the black pearl that I’d call as her eyes. I took the small leaf from her hand and stare for a while.
“But trust me, when you have a strong believe in something, who knows that you could probably invent a new belief.”
I smiled back, and then stretched my arms. Suddenly, I realized that she’s right. Everything she said to me gradually erased all the negative thoughts I had earlier. At that moment, I’m sure that everything is infinite. My life is a storybook that awaits to be finished page by page by the author that is myself. Blaming others and putting on fake smile in front of everyone won’t help me to get what I want. Life isn’t a negotiating object. If we can live it, we’ll live. If we can’t, then we won’t. Nobody can help me except myself, and this wishful thinking suddenly appear in my mind because of a short conversation I had with this girl I just met for 15 minutes.
“Ah... This is relaxing...” I remarked. “To knowing that everything is actually happens for a reason.”
“One leaf is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love...” she hummed a song I never heard before.
“...and the fourth is for luck.” she ends it with a sigh, then she opens her mouth to say another thing.
“Will you do me a favor?”
She handed me one painting from her sketchbook. I could see a couple of four leaf clovers painted perfectly that it seems like the laminated real plant on a cream-colored paper, when it’s actually an oil painting—I noticed that from the smell of it, and her too. She smells like oil pastels and rain, but not the repulsive one.
“This is such a gorgeous painting...” I complimented without looking away from the painting. “Did you paint it yourself?”
She nodded enthusiastically. “Can you help me get this picture framed and store it at that building?” she pointed at an old looking building that wasn’t too far from the place we sat on, right across the street. Although my sight is blurred because the drizzles hadn’t stop completely, I can capture the red bricks and antique windows and door on that building.
“Can’t we go together?”
She shook her head slowly and look away. “I have to go,” she stood up. “The rain has stopped.”
“Can we meet again? Here?” I grabbed her by the right hand before she walks away. She turned at me and giggled.
“Anytime.” she said.
I didn’t want to go yet. I wished the rain didn’t stop so I could spend another minutes, or even hours with her under here. For the first time in my life I feel like I don’t want to leave from a place I don’t belong to. All because of her.
“I hope you have a good day. See you, Kaito.”
She took her first step out from this haven. She walked straight under the small drizzles and just in a blink of an eye, she’s gone. One thing that I realized later, is that she called me by my name. Did I mention it before?
“She’s truly magical.” I told myself. “I have to grant her favor.”
Right at that moment, the drizzles completely stopped. I stood up with the first thought of walking straight to the place she told me to go. I took a long step while crossing the wide street, avoiding the busy vehicles that are speeding as if there’s no tomorrow. After I step on the sidewalk across the street, I was already in front of this crimson building. From the ebony glass window, I could see someone is painting facing the opposite side so I could only see his back and his painting—unclearly. I cautiously opened the door, making an intolerable cracking sound that surprised the white haired man in the room. He stood up and stare at me with curious eyes. Holding the painting I was given earlier, I approach the man slowly as he also walks toward me with his shaky legs.
“Someone asked me to get this painting framed.” I said as I show the medium-sized paper I held to him. I noticed that his eyes were locked to my hands. His fingers began to tremble as he reached for the painting as he let out suppressed sobs which shook my heart greatly.
“S-sir...?” I murmured as I held his shoulder.
“Did you meet the painter of this painting?”
“I did, in fact, just a couple minutes ago...”
“The painter of this painting is my granddaughter...” he said as he wiped the tears away. “She was so lovely... And she loved four-leaf-clover just as much as she loved painting it.”
I frowned. “So what’s the problem?”
“She died two years ago, in a car accident in front of this building...”
I stared at the old man in disbelief. Suddenly her words began to echo in my head.
“We never know when we’ll stop breathing, right?”
“I’d love to know how a trouble taste like before I die.”
“No matter how hard the storm got, it would always get sunny again.”
The scene from earlier flashed in the back of my mind like a movie.
“A car hit her right in front of this building when she wanted to show her painting that she submitted to an art exhibition to me.” he choked out. “Her right hand was...” he took a deep breath. “...crushed by the car, and that moment, her head hit the sidewalk so hard and she died right in the place.”
Suddenly, I began to get cold. Just less than an hour ago I held her right hand with mine. I still could feel the warmth over my palm then. The gloomy atmosphere seems like covering only me. My lips are opened, as I wanted to roll another questions to the man in front of me, but no words came out. Not because of fear, but it’s all just a sheer disappointment.
“I-I’m sorry, I...” I cleared my throat and tried to speak. “But what’s her name?”
“Kasumi.” he looked at me with a wry smile. “Her name is Kasumi.”
We both remain silent as I stare at him who was looking at the painting with tired eyes. I feel sorry for nothing.
“She even put the song she wrote herself behind here...” he then flipped the painting and I could see the lyrical writing of something I’ve heard before.
“One leaf is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love,” I hummed the lullaby that suddenly flow in my head. “...and the fourth is for luck.”
“Oh, you’ve heard her singing it? She used to be shy about it and didn’t want anyone to hear the song if it wasn’t her to start it... I guess she likes you a lot.” he smiled.
Still, no certain words came out from my mouth.
Why me? I’m just a coward guy who ran away from his problems and blame others about my discontentment. Why does she choose me?
“I thought this painting was lost...” he then chuckled with his wet eyes. “Please wait a minute, I’ll get this framed then you can have it.”
“Ah, no, you can keep it sir...” I looked at him. “It’s your granddaughter’s heritage.” I feel like swallowing my own words.
“No, no... You have to keep it... She gave it to you... Then you have to keep it...” he shook his head while walking slowly to the counter where I can see a lot of antique frames from many sizes are hung. He held the nicest auburn frame with the neat and complicated carving I saw, then started putting the painting carefully in it. In a few minutes, the painting seems even better in the frame that fits perfectly on it than before.
“Here...” he handed me the framed painting. “For the sake of your luck.”
I smiled back at his decency.
“May God bless you always, young man. Thank you for bringing her back to my memory.” he bowed at me.
“It’s nothing sir, I’m sure she wanted to see your smile again. Thank you for the painting, God bless you too.”
I turned around and reached the gold knob on the teak door. I stepped out and tilted my head to the sky that’s now decorated with white clouds. The sky seems so bright as if there wasn’t any rain an hour ago. Right above me, I can see a small group of cloud that shaped like a four-leaf-clover to my eyes, then I took out the same shaped plant from my pocket. It's just as green as the first time I saw it. I smiled at the view.
“I promise to solve my own riddle. Thank you for choosing me.” I’m still figuring out why did she choose me, but for whatever reason it is, I’m just thankful that she did.END
finally i finished it! *throwsconfetti* it took me more than 16 hours to finish this shit! INCONCIEVABLEEEE (屮ಥ益ಥ)屮 彡┻━┻ yet i know it's not a really good read orz;;; ANYHOW, this story is dedicated to the one and only, tomato_tan sensei that inspired and encouraged me to write! ९(ेД॔)७ if it wasn't because of your suggestion at the first place, i won't probably touch LJ until now ^^;; hehe i started to write this story yesterday, and it was raining so i got inspiration for the setting from that.
so... yeah, i'll stop talking now. thanks for sparing your time to read my unworthy story! ლ(இ◡இლ)