Unrequited


Word prompt is Rain

“The rain can’t help me now,” he said grimly as thousands of soft, clear drops fell from the sky and trickled down our bare heads.

I knew exactly what he meant by it.

He had been living in a drought of sorts. Affection had been rationed, love was to be had on only special occasions because there wasn’t enough to go around. Gratitude had wilted away in the heat. He hadn’t noticed how parched he had been until he met me.

Sitting outside on a park bench, I held my breath as he pondered what he would do next. Would he stay in the desert, in which he had grown accustomed to salvaging what little water he was given or would he enter the oasis and risk discovering that it was only just an illusion?

I kept quiet. The rain felt like a million hard kisses on my face. It almost stung. I wanted to tell him everything and anything at once. I was dying to tell him how much I loved him. How I always have. How I always will. That I could never deny him of anything. How I would never ration out love or affection or gratitude. How he would never be left in want, but instead live in an abundance of all the things he had always desired. That the oasis was real, if he only dared to accept that it was.

I choked back the impulse to blurt out how I longed to hold him, even at his worst. How he didn’t scare me. That I would never abandon him, physically or emotionally. How he would never have to guess what I was thinking because I would be an open book to him. How I was already so dedicated, so willing, so intent on being with him that one word would seal it all. That I would end his drought permanently.

But I bit my tongue and salt water mixed with the fresh droplets on my face. Because I knew I could not save him. Not from his situation. Nor from himself. It was not up to me. He had to make the decision. He had to choose for him.

So I silently prayed that he would, that somehow he would find his way to free and flowing water once again. The raindrops hid my tears as I simply replied, “Yes, the rain can’t save you now.”

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