Thanks to Lyn for the beta! Post TSbBS. Something's lost - but something's gained.
The rain keeps falling harder against the window, the sound hypnotic and somehow comforting. It's almost putting me to sleep, distracting me from the thoughts I know I shouldn't have, not anymore. Because I alone decided to make the cut, and everything, the dissertation, and what I've been hoping to get out of it, is in the past now.
Along with the misunderstandings - so I really should be glad. Grateful.
It's just that this sadness sometimes grips me without warning, unexpected like this rain the weather forecast hadn't predicted, but then again, that's Cascade for you. When is it ever not raining?
"I like that sound," Jim admits.
"You do?" I'd thought he'd dial his hearing down, unnerved by the staccato beat of raindrops against the night-black window. Go figure.
"Yeah. Reminds me..." He hesitates a moment, but hey, Jim, this is me. I appreciate talk.
"Of my childhood, somehow. You know, when you were lying awake at night, making all kinds of plans about what you were going to do when you were grown-up? When everything seemed possible?"
I smile in the darkness at this revelation, special to me like every one of those snapshots Jim shares with me sometimes. Only with me.
"I don't know. I always wanted to be..." And then I have to swallow hard, because I've been that close to saying 'anthropologist', and it's true, I knew what I wanted to do even before I knew the name for it. But there's no point in hurting him, hurting me with it. In the past, you hear me?
We are silent for a moment, waiting for the world to shift and right itself again, as it did not so long ago. So many changes, new directions.
"I know," he says, his arms tightening around me, and I can let go a little more. It wasn't the end of the world. In fact, it was the beginning of a different one.
It's good to be close. Closer, even. "Don't mind me," I say. "I might get all sentimental sometimes, but I wouldn't trade this. For anything. Everything happens for a reason, right?" Knowing I really mean it, makes me breathe a lot easier.
Jim snuggles a bit closer, kissing my neck, running his hand along my side to fit into mine, fingers entwined. Every move bears a startling familiarity, as if it had always been that way. Easy to get used to. Easy to love.
This is where we were heading all this time.
"You know what, Chief?" he says. "It still feels like... everything is possible."