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Friends Of The Beautiful (I)

The sun will rise
and hearts will burn for you,
the beautiful.

Dark clouds waged war against the sun; upon victory they rendered the sky insipid. Meanwhile, the wind danced along the streets like the prodigal son it was. Whatever drew him to the window at that time, he did know. But there she was under the whistling pine, unsafe from the impending rain. Her unfaithful gown threatening to abandon her for the wind. Even her hands could not chaperone the wanton gown. Then there was the matter of her hair, every bit a tousled mass. It was indeed a most curious sight.
While he watched, darkness stole the room. He sighed as he turned to look for his matchbox. Actually, most of the looking was done in his mind as the absence of light forced his eyes into temporary disuse. At last a match was struck and the rain would defer no more. As the earth received thousands of raindrops, his heart flooded with thoughts about the girl he just observed. What worried him most was the downpour and the cool breeze asserting themselves on her. It was akin to a rape, he thought, and he was allowing it.
"The true measure of our lives lies in what we give", he felt as if his mother was repeating those words to him that cold April night. He looked around and saw nothing but books. "Mother!", he grumbled...
Crossing the road in the heavy downpour, it occurred to him that he had not considered the girl's reaction to his offer. Now, three steps from her he decided he would receive her offer with manliness. The proximity made him realise she was younger than he had thought. Her gown no longer battled with her. The last and most disturbing discovery made by the good Samaritan was her placid disposition. She was supposed to look distressed and his offer was supposed to be the good news. But assessing her now, she looked as though the rain and wind were luxuries.

"The rain must have driven you here. This seems the only tree on this road". She smiled at the young man who seemed to have lost his way. "Oh no, in fact, I live just across the road", was the answer.  "Then what are you doing here?" her naivety resembled apprehension.

The thunder roared and his heart sank but Collins had pledged to be a man, a position that did not offer him the privilege of turning his back on disappointment: "I saw you through my window and it occurred to me that this tree", he pointed, "would not be good shelter from the rain". What he really wanted to say was "come into my house while it rains", but that would sow misthoughts in her. So he resorted to what he thought subtlety. She simply smiled, looked towards the house and said "no". It was so soft he almost did not hear it. 
"no to what?" "you want to shelter me from the rain, but, no. I'm fine here" "you are fine here, but will you be fine here?" "it is not your-"
He extended his hands till his umbrella sheltered her completely from the raindrops. They hit his skin like tiny wet slaps and the lady under the umbrella gave him a cold stare. He ignored both events.
"your health and safety are not guaranteed under this tree. It is late, can't you see? At least if you want to harm yourself, go do it somewhere else!" He did not know when anger found its way into his voice. "please, take my umbrella and find your way home. It's unsafe here at night and mine is the only house around" Seeing her reluctance, he took her right hand and deposited the handle of the umbrella into it.

All the while she didn't say a word. She just stood looking at the man as if he was a riddle. By the time he entered his house, the rain had gotten worse. His shirt and trouser were almost very wet. He divested his body of them in favour of a sweater and jeans. His worries were confirmed when he returned to the window to observe the beautiful girl under his umbrella….

(what could be going on in his mind?)
By: Osumo Michael

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