You visited me in my dreams last night. I woke up so suddenly, my throat dry from the heater left on all night, my eyes darting left and right searching for you — for your body which was with me seconds before I lost you once again to the depths of my memory. Behind the closed curtains next to my bed I heard the gentle pitter patter of raindrops. I reached for my phone — it was 4:19 a.m. — and checked the weather. The rain had started an hour ago, it showed me, and would stop in two.
I thought about how it usually rains more at night, while everyone is asleep. It was so quiet, the sound of the rain so gentle, almost like a whisper, a well-kept secret. Listening, I closed my eyes. The rain will stop in two hours, I repeated to myself — and when it stops, the city will wake up to a sunny sky, clueless about the wet melancholy of the night. They will find traces of it, though, like raindrops on windows and small puddles over sidewalks. “It must have rained last night!” they will say while leaving their umbrellas at home, glad that the rain has ceased — because to them rain will be merely an inconvenience, a natural phenomenon. But you and I will know it is nothing other than the shattering of a heart, a helpless cry for help, the breakdown of the sky — so lonely, and so big yet so small. Aren’t raindrops simply the tears of a hurting soul?
I thought about the lonely sky, hanging above us all, seeing so much pain, so much beauty lost and destroyed — what a heavy burden to carry all alone. The rain will stop in two hours, I remembered. When the city wakes up, the tears will cease and the sun will rise; the sky, finally swallowing its cries, will arise bright and strong. Exposed in all its blue glory, it will once again start waiting for the night. But, I thought, for at least these two hours — while everyone’s still asleep and all eyes are shut to the world around — the sky is left in its loneliness, free to explode in sorrow, free to drown the whole city in an ocean of tears. The memory of my dream still vivid and your presence still strong, I felt like an intruder listening to the rain, like an unwelcome voyeur forcing her way into a vulnerable scene, witness to an explosion of some deep, pent-up feeling. But at the same time, I understood. Thinking of you, I understood so well. Watching the rain slide slowly down the glass as if struggling to reach a finish line, I reached deep into my soul to the cave of loneliness carved deep in my heart by the loss of you, aching with longing and the violent stab of memory. And just like the sky, I cried.
My tears raced those on the glass, hurrying to get somewhere yet with nowhere to go. When the ghost of you let me breathe, I wiped the tears off my cheeks, contaminating my sleeve with sadness and spreading the wetness across my face. With nobody to do the same for them, the tears on the glass remained intact: raindrops, waiting for sunlight to turn them into air, waiting to be forgotten, to disappear once again into nothingness.
The rain stopped in two hours. I didn’t sleep until it did, and the sun started to rise. It felt violent, the way the sun illuminated everything and drove all feeling away. But I knew the truth, and so did you — you woke me up to show me the truth, to show me I am not alone. With a wave of exhaustion I went back to bed and closed my eyes. I thought of you, hoping to put myself back into the dream, exactly as we were, hoping you would visit me again. But I feared — knew — you were long gone. Like the rain.
Pat. Pat. Pat.
One by one, the puddled raindrops over my window made their way to the windowsill. Traces of the rain, of the night. Traces of you. And just like that, with you in my mind, I drifted off to sleep.