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April 14, 2018

Meeting in the fog and rain

Photo by Hari Roser
Fiction: Meeting in the fog and rain

Mary catches a few rounds of giggles before they subsided. Under the dark sky and in the fog and rain, she winds gingerly around blurred shadows and black umbrellas and all the while, her arms hold onto the bundle of packages and envelopes wrapped in a large cotton scarf. The curved handle of her unopened, half-torn umbrella hangs on the corner of her coat pocket. That very morning, after the fog settled in, her aunt has sent Mary out to the mail office. Mary hasn't really wanted to go as she had been weeding the garden all day yesterday and could hardly move. But as she walks, the rain soaks her in a dewy coat and she imagines herself a fresh rose. She shifts the bundle every so often to keep herself balance. Two ladies walk pass her with one of them carrying such a large umbrella, it cause Mary to lean back a little. A chortle comes near her and it makes her wonder what they are laughing at. Three boys runs in front of her and the last one steps on her foot. She shakes her foot a little to ease the ache but before she could straighten herself out, some force push against her and make her fall backward. The bundle flies out her of her hands, her umbrella drops away and her back hits the ground. She blinks to adjust her vision but then she is pulled to her feet. The young man apologizes again and again as he picks up the packages and envelopes. The bundle is tied and back in her arms before she has time to think. He apologizes again and then pushes the handle of an umbrella into her hand. She tries to suppress a laugh. The young man has such an awestruck look on his face. His grey-green eyes gaze back at hers. Then she realizes she is staring and she turns timidly away. 

Jem tries to suppress a laugh but it escaped him. His friend Freddy is teasing Jem again about how clean and proper Jem dresses. His aunt always ironed his clothes so well. But Jem likes it. He have always felt more like a gentleman when he is properly dressed. Freddy again knocks against Jem's shoulders and Jem, unable to keep his feet on the ground, tries unsuccessfully to grab onto something before he falls on top of some poor soul. People quickly walks off as if none of it is their business. Jem quickly pulls himself up and apologizes and picks the girl up by her arms. He apologizes to her again as he picks up her piles of white envelopes and brown packages and wraps them back into the scarf and places the bundle back into her arms. That is when he really saw her. The girl have a heart-shaped face, a short thin nose, light blue almond-shaped eyes and all framed by loose strands of red-gold hair. She hardly twitches her pale lips. He finds himself involuntarily smiling at her. How bright her hair is among all the shades of gray. Even her pale skin appears translucent. Then, noticing her umbrella laying on the ground with a piece torn apart, he picks up his unopened umbrella and places the handle in her hand. There is a slight amusement in her eyes. Freddy tucks at Jem's arm and says, "We must go. The ladies are waiting." Jem wants to stay and talk to the girl but Freddy begins to pull Jem away. Jem turns to have one last look. The girl stares at him for a bit and then she is lost among the crowd. Jem sighs. He wishes she would have not gone so soon.  

The watcher smiles as she flicks her fingers and an envelope disappears from view among the piles on the ground. The young man gathers the envelopes and wraps them and the two packages back into the scarf. He is agile and moves with such quiet grace. The young lady stands all pale with sparkling eyes. The watcher's lips quirk up at the corners. Those two are made for each other. She just know it. She have never been wrong. There was that one time but he was pretending to be a gentleman and she and everyone else had been fooled. But she will not make that mistake again. The young man is an honest fellow and this young lady deserves someone as kind as he. The watcher sighs at the pair of them. Why do humans act with such good manners at times like these? It irks her quick heart for she have no patience for slowness. She is glad for those blasted letters. If she have been able to interfere further, those two might not have taken so long to meet. There goes the young lady. Why does she not stay for a minute? Why does he allow his friend to drag him away when he really wants to stay? Humans are such fastidious creatures. Ah, but at last, they have met and she have advanced the first step. When he comes back, he will find the envelope with her aunt's return address and hopefully, he will know what to do. If not, she will just have to put the idea into his muddy head. She watches the pair walk in separate directions and sighs again at the absurdity of humanity.

a to z challenge 2018
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