The rain had not stopped for days. Luke slept better on rainy days, window wide open. The regular soothing noise, the soft moisture in the air. In his lung and eyes.
He would forget his umbrella in places he could not remember. Offices and homes and shops may be. They all looked the same. His hair would curl slightly, little unruly hair on his temple. He had curly hair when he was a baby.
It had never occurred to him before that the rain made him look different. His wife Elisa would tell him: "You look different". She did not know why.
On rainy days, he enjoyed walking through the park next to his home to go to his office. Taking the long road to work. The leaves and grass where shinier and greener than ever. The humidity would carry scents of earth and flowers which reminded him of his childhood.
He lived in a rainy country back then and the garden was often heavy with water after the rain, muddy, exhaling humidity through its bushes and water puddles and flower beds. The garden was alive, breathing, dripping water, butterflies with heavy wings nested in the flowers. He liked it that way and never understood why all around him where happier on sunny days. The harsh burn of the sun. The garden losing its smell and watery soul.
"I love the rain" he would say. People would look at him with a frown or a smile. Elisa would laugh and tell him "stop it, Luke, don't be so conventionally British. You are convincing yourself you like the rain because you live in a rainy country".
He disagreed. The rain suited him. His body. His mind. Escaping the dryness. Liquid dreams. People walking fast, umbrellas brushing against his hair. Some people running, holding their bag over their heads, like in a Magritte painting.
He was concerned about the rain ending one day. Waking up to a long dry season, days spent waiting for the rain to come. But not now. Not yet.
The rain had not stop for days and Elisa was complaining. Tom had ruined his shoes playing in the mud and Elisa had caught a cold, getting her hair wet all the time. In the garden, the French beans were growing visibly and grey slugs had invaded the salad bed. The clouds were low and heavy. The sun had disappeared without leaving any trace, any rift in the clouds with a promise of light, any hopeful touch of brightness in a corner of the sky.
That morning, the rain sounded different. It was sparse, falling in slow motion. Luke did not open his umbrella, the cool rain felt good against his skin as we wandered into the garden. He thoughts the drops landing on his face were little liquid fragments of memories, childhood, happy family, gazing through the window when the rain was too heavy, a window of possibility, those far away years when he was running under the rain, laughing.