When It Rains

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Rain poured from the sky on the day that Lynnie and Miles packed up the last of their belongings and said goodbye to their one-bedroom apartment. As they drove down Highway U, wipers flapping back and forth over the windshield, Miles talked excitedly about updates for the new house and Lynnie prayed for the rain to stop.

Miles liked the house more than Lynnie did. It was an old farmhouse sitting back from the road with the southeastern Wisconsin countryside sprawled out behind it. Miles said it was the kind of house he had always dreamed of owning—a house with history, character, and a long list of home improvement projects. After looking at houses for months, Lynnie had been ready to buy anything. The farmhouse had its problems, but its age and architecture made it seem romantic enough to appeal to the writer in her. Besides, it was under budget.

The storm continued into the afternoon as Lynnie and Miles brought in and unpacked their rain-stained boxes. Wind blew through the trees, bending their branches to the point of nearly breaking, and eventually rain broke through the roof. To catch the incessant drops, they opened the boxes marked “kitchen” and distributed pots and pans under every leak.

“Well, at least now we know the roof is in rough shape,” Miles said as he sank down onto the couch. “I’ll start fixing it as soon as this rain stops.”

“You better,” Lynnie teased. She placed a kiss on his lips, then wandered into the bedroom to unpack their clothes. As she moved from box to drawer, she found herself lulled by the sound of the raindrops dripping into the pots around the house. She heard Miles stretching out on the couch and soon his breathing fell in sync with the rain. As Lynnie listened to it, she began to realize how tired she was from all the running around and all the packing and unpacking. She walked over to the couch and touched Miles on the shoulder. His eyes fluttered open, then he smiled and opened his arms. As she snuggled next to him, she watched the rain stream down the bay window pane and pulled his arm around her.

It was easy to be in love on rainy days like this. Only later would Lynnie realize just how rare a day like that could be. Soon, rainy day memories on the farm would be anything but romantic. Instead, she’d remember both of them drenched and cursing as they tried to get the car started in the pouring rain. She’d remember trying to write while Miles took a hammer to something and how her only relief from the noise was to run to the old barn in back, a crumbling building that always held the dampness of rain. She’d remember the nights she locked herself in their bedroom after an argument and watched the downpour from their window. She’d remember the time that Miles took his DIY fixes too far and decided to dig out one of the basement walls. The promised second bathroom crumbled as rain-soaked clumps of soil tumbled into the basement too fast for them to brace. The room was a mess—everything covered in mud and reeking of spit and earth. Looking up from the floor, Miles said, “Baby, I don’t know if I can fix this.”

It wouldn’t be easy to be in love then, but Lynnie didn’t think about those kinds of rainy days while she was falling asleep next to Miles. She could only watch the rain come down, snuggle in deeper, and hope that things would always be like this.

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