“How is she today?”, he asked.
“I think it’s a good day. You can try talking to her”, the nurse replied.
He went up to her room, fretting apprehensively. He’d known her for so long but he still got butterflies in his stomach around her. Maybe because every day, he met her for the first time.
“Hello, can I come in?”, he asked earnestly.
“Yes, sure. Can I know who you are?”, she replied.
It was like something was piercing his heart. He heard her say that every day, but it never seemed to hurt less.
“Oh, I work here. I’m here to take you for a walk”.
As she got up from her chair, he felt like he was falling in love with her all over again. He could remember a time when her face was free of wrinkles, and her hair was completely black, without the white strands adorning them. So many years and he could still remember every detail about her.
As they were walking, and talking about the flowers, it started raining. He grabbed her hand, ready to run inside.
“I want to stay”, she said.
“But, it’s raining”, he replied.
“Yes, and I want to stay”.
She looked so happy and content that he could not bear to say no.
“You can let go of my hand now”, she said shyly.
“No, I don’t want you to slip and fall”, he said, holding on to her.
The rain reminded him of their first date, back when they were teenagers. She had been running, enjoying the rain and had obviously fallen smack on her ass. He’s expected her to start fretting and crying, but she surprised him by laughing and pulling him down with her.
The rain reminded him of his wedding day. They had argued about whether to conduct the ceremony under the skies or in an enclosed area. She obviously opted for the blue skies, and he couldn’t argue. It rained when they kissed and it just made the ceremony so much more beautiful.
The rain reminded him of the fateful day he found out about her disease. Alzheimer’s. Genetic. No cure. He had felt his heart breaking, but there was little he could do. She was so brave, holding his hand and telling him that it’ll be fine.
“Hey, let’s go back inside now, I’m cold”, she said while tugging at his hand. They’d been standing in the rain for ten minutes and he’d lost track of time while reminiscing.
He took her inside and handed her over to the nurse, who scolded him for letting her stay in the rain for so long. But the nurse didn’t know how much she loved the rain. The nurse didn’t understand the connection she had with the rain. Maybe she didn’t understand herself, not at the moment. But he did. He’d been with her for over forty years, and he understood. He understood that their best memories had taken place under gray clouds. As he went home that night and lay in bed, he smiled, preparing himself for the next day. For seeing her again and meeting her for the first time again.
(also posted on thegreentiara)