The Last Drops of Morning

Pitter patter. That’s the right sound, she thought, looking past her reflection in the glass of the sliding door. This is a pitter patter kind of rain.

She heard his steps from behind her. She didn’t turn around as she listened to the clink of mugs in the cupboard, the splash of coffee from the machine pouring into first one cup, then the other. The fridge hissed as he pulled out the creamer, added a splash to her cup. The ring of a spoon as it clattered against the inside of the mug.

“Still raining?” He handed the mug over to her; she wrapped her fingers around the ceramic to absorb some of its warmth.

“Yeah. Looks like it’s stopping, though.” She paused, then reached for the handle. “Here, we can step out.”

He held back for a moment, frowning, but she stepped out. The sun wasn’t yet up, and the chill of the night still hung in the air. The fresh prickle of ozone tickled her nostrils, and she inhaled deeply, catching the scent of the past storm, mingled with a whiff of her coffee.

Finally, almost timidly, he poked his head out through the open doorway. She smiled at the incongruity. He hadn’t lost all the muscle from his glory days back in high school, when he knelt at the scrimmage line in his helmet and pads, ready to charge the opposing team and fight them back. He carried his six feet of height well, looked fit and ready to handle a threat – but he hesitated before sticking his head outside.

“Oh! It has stopped,” he remarked, as if he didn’t believe her. She didn’t take any offense to the slight. “Just in time, too.”

She leaned back against the railing, took a sip of her coffee and then rested the cup on the side. “It really has,” she wondered, tilting one hand up as if to catch the last few drops of rain.

For a few moments, silence. His eyes dropped down to her legs, on display in the pajama shorts. “You’re looking good,” he said, almost shyly.

She smiled; even after a couple years, he still acted almost like a lovestruck mooncalf around her. “Thanks.”

Another moment of silence, comfortable in the coolness of the early morning. A thin plume of steam rose up from her cup, trickling away into the sky as it slowly changed from black to lighter blue.

Suddenly, she knew that she’d remember this moment. Something in the air, something indescribable, told her that this would stay with her, long after they left this little apartment, after the two of them either decided to stay together or go their separate ways. She’d remember standing here, out on the little balcony in the alley, the last drops of rain falling to the ground beneath her.

The moment lasted, timeless and ethereal and ephemeral as a soap bubble.

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