He left before it rained.
He’s across from me on the couch, sitting crisscross applesauce, and he picks at the hem of his brown t-shirt. My hands sandwich between my legs as I bounce my knees up and down against the grey-blue couch cushions—like a butterfly without flight. Shadows from my legs make dark, mountainous humps in the low, orange light. His green eyes jump from my gaze to his hands and back again.
“Um…” He pushes a hand through his black hair.
Words surge up my throat, but I pin them down with my tongue. I want him to say it first. Right then, that short phrase I’ve been waiting for staggers from his lips.
“I—I like you.”
My face lifts with warmth and I release the breath I’ve been holding. Every bit of skin on my body tingles. How have I overlooked him all this time? I scoot forward until my knees bump into the solid resistance of his legs. His green eyes are like a mirror, able to see and reflect all of me, and I can’t stop the surging glow within me.
I say, “I like you, too.”
Forever, this is all I have left of him.
Because he left before it rained.