Keeping to my promise of posting the rain story if there were ten hands raised (I barely managed to get the required ten, sigh!) in request. This story is perhaps only the second one I wrote ‘made to order,’ on a theme/prompt presented by someone else (I will post the first too, one of these days). It was written (in 2006) as part of a challenge for Brenny‘s ‘Rain Fest’ as I mentioned here The challenge had been to write a three hundred word write up, fiction or non-fiction, prose or poem, with ‘rain’ as the theme. I could not confine my story to three-hundred word limit. So I went a-begging to Brenny for a few more words. He very magnanimously granted me the use of those extra words I needed to complete my story. What you see below had been the end result:

The old woman peered across the dark corridor.

Ah! There he was in his armchair. Waiting for her as usual. A smile spread across her wrinkled face. Momentarily she forgot the rain that lashed outside and the cold that chilled her bones. Thunder rumbled above. Lightning streaked across the skies. She smiled as she remembered how it used to send her running into his arms earlier.

She had arrived here on just such a night. It had been pouring. She was hesitant to get out of the safe cocoon of the car as she heard the thunder roll. Then a warm hand had covered her own and squeezed it as if he understood. She looked into his eyes and her fear seemed to dissolve magically. It had been their wedding day, a rainy wedding day! She crossed the courtyard with him to where the elders waited with the traditional aarti to welcome the newly weds. She had dripped water all over the polished floor as she walked in holding the lit oil lamp.

She dragged her arthritic feet along the corridor. Giving him a toothless smile, she sat at his feet as she had always done. He caressed her hair, like he always did. They sat together. Happy. Silent. Content.

Her son wanted her to move to a modern house. But her memories were here… Her love was here. This is where it had begun. The beautiful love story of hers and this man who now looked at her with rheumy eyes full of love. She settled her head on his lap and sighed contentedly as his knotted hand buried itself in her white hair. She smiled when she remembered he had none anymore.

The next morning they found her with her head on the faded seat of the old armchair. She was cold and lifeless. What was she doing there out of her bed on a cold rainy night, they wondered?!

“Her son is already on the way…”

“He had been informed yesterday of his father’s death…”

“Now to lose his mother too!”

“He was planning to take her with him….”

“Poor soul, she did not want to stay back without her husband!”

The voices went on…

The lightning streaked across the skies.

The thunder rolled.

The merciless rain continued beating down.

A new love story would begin somewhere… once again.