‘He left me.’

I felt relieved. ‘In that case, isn’t it time to move on?’

‘Probably.’ Grabbing her bag, she looked at me mischievously. ‘I changed my mind, let’s run to the station.’

‘Now?’

She rolled her eyes. ‘Yes, of course. Or are you chickening out?’

‘Give me a second,’ I said, locking the counter. Before I left, I kicked my umbrella to hide it under the table. Just one of those crazy things you do for love.


Question. What comes in mind when you’re thinking about rain?

Girl – Romance, I guess? Is this some sort of psychological test?

Boy – It’s a trick question, isn’t it?

 

‘RHEA!’

‘WHAT?’

‘ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO GO AHEAD? IT’S STORMING!’

‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU!’

‘I SAID IT’S STORMING!’

‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU!’

Losing patience, I chased after her and grabbed her arm, shouting, ‘I SAID I LIKE YOU!’

 

No, that wasn’t what I’d planned to say.

 

I’d blurted it out without thinking. My goodness, what a mess I’ve made. And now, she wasn’t talking anymore. Die, die, die. I felt like digging a hole and bury myself. What was I thinking? What should I do now?

 

When Rhea finally spoke, she said, ‘My hand hurts.’

I quickly let go of it. ‘Sorry, I was joking. I mean…’

‘You just joked that you like me?’

‘Yes, I did. No, not like that! Okay, it wasn’t a joke. I do like you.’ I took a deep breath. ‘I know this is not very romantic, but… Rhea, would you be my girlfriend?’

She said nothing and I got even more nervous.

‘Yes, no? Answer me, please?’ I said. ‘Come on, we’re standing in the middle of the street under the pouring rain. I don’t know about you, but I’m really cold.’

She shook her head. ‘I’m sorry.’

‘You’re sorry about making me wait, or are you turning me down?’

Again, no answer. Instead, she walked away.

‘Rhea, wait—‘

‘NO, DON’T!’ she screamed. ‘Sorry, but don’t follow me. Please, I need to be alone to sort my mind.’

I stood there, dumbfounded. Was that for real? That must have been the worst rejection I’ve ever gotten in my entire life.