“Why do you hate the rains so much?”
She was sitting near the window, cradling a cup of steaming, hot coffee, with her legs pulled up. He was sitting up on the bed, papers strewn all around him. She had a mischievous twinkle in her eyes – hard to resist.
“I don’t hate them. I just…” He groped for the correct word – ‘detest’? ‘loathe’? Too strong. ‘dislike’? Too safe. ‘avoid’? Too open. “… don’t like them!” Perfect.
“What’s not to like? Rains are good. Rains wash away everything – from dirt stains, to heart pains.”
“That’s good. Send that one to the Readers’ Digest. They’ll lap it up.”
“Are you mocking me?” He thought he detected a flash of irritation.
“Me? Mock you?” He threw up both hands in mock-horror. She found it endearing. “The mere thought!”
“Oh yes, you are!” the mischievous twinkle was back. Before he knew it, she pounced on the nearest sheaf of papers, picked them up and ran out of the room, yelling to him, “They are yours, if you can catch me!”
“No! Wait! Not those!”
But she was already out of the room. He grinned, got up, and ran after her. She bounded down the stairs like a cat. She reached the bottom, turned and held the papers high – as if mocking him.
“Shhh! You’ll wake up the baby!”
“Oh sorry! Gimme those!” This time it was a whisper.
Sh whispered back, “They are yours if you can catch me!”
A suave smile appeared on his face. “You know, you don’t stand a chance,” he said.
The mischievous twinkle had thrown down the gauntlet. He sighed, smiled and started down the stairs. “Wait for me!” he yelled after her, but she had already disappeared outside. “Watch out,” he cautioned, “Those stones are wet!”
All he heard was a thud. All he saw was blood.
They were the last words she ever heard.
Rains wash away everything…
“Dad, do you hate the rains because of what happened to Mom?”
She had caught him by surprise.
“Don’t hate the rains, dad. Rains are good. Rains wash away everything – from dirt stains to heart pains.” she said.
And he smiled.
He still hated the rain, though.
Finally. A complete story. :)