IX: When the Sky Rains

One… two…three …four …

Her strides meet the concrete in time with mine. I sneak glances at her when I can, my eyes roaming down her deliciously flat stomach and back up to the dip in her collar bone, the curve of her neck, the steady rise and fall of her chest as we run. Her pink-banded shorts grip her hips and cover little, leading my eyes down her legs when I have an occasional extra few seconds to look. She smiles each time, tossing dimples and winks my way.

Droplets fly as our feet hit puddles, tossing water up onto our legs. The sky is still drizzling, sleepy clouds floating overhead. My lungs burn and my chest heaves, even as I maintain my steady breathing pattern. One… two… three… in… one… two… three… out…

The bridge appears ahead, leading to the stairs that spiral down to the sidewalk near the narrow stream. I nod as we pass our landmark and we break into a sprint. Her long legs eat the ground far more easily than mine do, and I have to work twice as hard to keep up with her easy, loping gait. I reach the top of the stairs first, watching the ground as it halts in front of me instead of disappears under my feet. I jog in place as she runs up, knowing that she easily could have beaten me. My breathing eases and heat spreads from my chest to tingle in my limbs.

I watch as she leans forward, hands on her knees. We slowly make our way down to the waterside.

“I love when it rains,” She says, softly, “I love running when it rains.”

I nod. I love it, too.

We sit at the edge of the water, stretching lazily until we simply lay back on the concrete, feet dangling over the lake.

She turns her head and looks at me, unblinking. I give her a half smile, my cheeks turning ruddy under her gaze. Her smile widens, lighting her face. Radiant. Peaceful.

“I love you,” She says.

Her body wiggles until she scoots herself closer. We lay, side by side, shoulders touching, fingers entwined, as we watch the clouds pass by. Droplets slowly glide down to kiss our skin.

One… two… three…

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