We had been spending long lazy days indoors, hemmed in by the downpours of rainy season in a tiny town called Dali, southern China. Throughout this time, a small spark of flirty friction had been smouldering, growing between us.
I once was involved with an unsuitable man. Here’s a note from me to him to the ether.
It might not be the rain. It’s more a combination of city streets, and late at night, and that particular smell after the rain has come down. There are some places that still jolt my heart a little, even though you and I are a story long ago. Some streets I cannot walk without thinking of you. You marked your territory in your mind, and I can write over it but you (and I) are still there.
One rainy night I came to meet you, even though I knew I shouldn’t. I got on the bus (though I knew I shouldn’t), and walked into the bar, (though I knew I shouldn’t). I was pretending we were just friends (though I knew I shouldn’t). Yes, that same old story.
Why go to meet you, when we’d agreed that this proximity taunting of each other needed to stop? Why go to meet you, stand next you and make polite conversation with your friend when I wished no-one else in the room?
Two drinks in and you unexpectedly make our excuses. Outside, it is pouring down as only October can. I worry about your friend making his way home, and you say we should lose him. We’re off down a side street and I feel stupidly giddy. I have you to myself, we’re getting drenched and I don’t want to go home. There’s a minor scuffle over whether your jacket is going over my shoulders, leaving you in shirt sleeves. I can’t remember whether I accept - did I?
The rain gets heavier and you pull me into a doorway. Snug. Ever so friendly in here, isn’t it? Of course we kiss. I spent most of my time with you trying not to kiss you. My feet are getting wet from the little rivulets of water, with my unsuitable canvas shoes. I want you. I wanted you so badly. And always these temporary kisses: sheltering from the rain, on our way home, in the dark corner of a bar. Our kisses were always stolen somehow.
The rain ceases to matter. I would have kissed you in any meteorological condition. How to explain without reverting to worlds not turning, and our lips meeting… There was only you when we kissed. There was no just friends, there was no shouldn’t be there, there was no rain. Just me and you.
You should know that.
And then you walked me to the bus stop. And I sat on the bus alone; thinking of no rain, and my heart in the pit of my stomach.
Take Me Dancing…
… Naked In The Rain”
Set to the soundtrack of the “Blue Pearl” song; a solitary kiss from a girl from just south of the Tyne. “I’m a Maccum, not a Geordie” she informed me, just outside the pool hall of the holiday park I was staying on.
She wrote to me once, beautiful girl. A handwritten letter, a tape of songs with too much meaning inferred. I don’t remember her name. We were 14.
One Moment of Self-Control
In the light early hours of the morning I walked her home. It was the end of just another night out and we wandered slowly through the empty streets, looking occasionally (as people will do) through the windows of the houses we passed. Most were still and empty, though some were actually stirring despite the hour.
I can’t remember when or how I noticed her hand holding mine. I wasn’t aware of any sensation or touch until I looked down and saw it, as of the sudden, sharp feeling of pain when you observe a cut.
I held her hand tightly, the pleasure and comfort far outweighing the guilt (of course, I’d already kissed her boyfriend, a man obviously far too beautiful for his own good, hours before), not too far from her home.
It was only as we turned the corner onto her decidedly grey street that the rain came, suddenly and more or less out of nowhere (such an odd description but it feels apt). We reached her front door and, in one movement, she turned and kissed me, almost biting my lip in the suddenness of it all, shivering with anticipation and the cold running down our backs.
She muttered something about getting out of the downpour and into bed and we both laughed at the blunt way she said it as she took me by both hands and pulled me toward the door.
I wish I knew what stopped me, why at that point I decided this was something I shouldn’t do. Perhaps I’d have ignored the thought, were it all to happen again. But I did stop and with a long, long kiss goodnight I turned away and started the long walk home.
It was a Sunday and our first date. We had take away hot chocolates, smiles that made your face hurt and shelter from the pouring rain inside a small wooden train in a kid’s playground.
I once went nuts and took a girl on a first date to Amsterdam. But that date hiding in a train during a downpour still wins… and still makes me smile 5 years later.
Realising i loved him.
My ex and i shared one of our first kisses in the rain and at that moment i realised i loved him. We were on our 2nd date so i didnt think i should express my love to him right yet but it turns out he felt the same way that night when we kissed.
We were coming back on the bus from town and because we were having such a good time we decided to miss both our stops so we had to walk home. We were close by to mine and decided to hug because we still didn’t want the night to end, we were stood in the middle of the road, there was no one about and it was such a peaceful night with the moon shining at us. It was december and he wrapped his coat around me to keep me warm, snuggled inside his coat together we kept staring at each other wondering who would make the first move. And then it happened, it started to rain but instead of wanting to run into shelter we felt the need to kiss, it felt so powerful, romantic and amazing i can see why we fell in love at that moment.
A thunderstorm in Oxford. A walk home over a bridge. Clothes soaked. A bed, not as warm as it could be. A text sent: “Consider this a romantic rain-soaked kiss goodnight. x”
Waking up the morning afterwards, I found my phone had buzzed in the next. A text received: “Then consider this you seductive kiss good morning. x”
Two Xs have never meant so much.
I kissed him and in that instant I knew: I knew that I loved him.
The heavens opened above us as we kissed, rain drops flattening our hair to our heads like glue and seeping in through my winter coat causing it to stick to me in odd patches like damp cotton wool. Not that I noticed at the time - I was too caught up in that moment & that kiss to notice much of anything. All I could hear was my own internal voice giddily repeating the words: “I love you” over and over again inside my head. All I could smell was the scent of his shampoo mixing with the grey December rain. There was nothing else.
When I think back to it now, I realise that it’s not entirely true to say that it was in that instant that I knew I loved him - the silent, unspoken part of me had known it long before that kiss in the rain. Instead, that kiss acted like a key, opening the gate between the spoken and the unspoken. It give me back my internal voice that had been buried and trapped since my controlling ex had ditched me a year ago & stayed that way throughout my on-off rebound fling. It made me reconnect with myself in a way that I thought I’d lost in a sea of pretending and putting on a brave face for everyone else’s sake.
The kiss ended and before I had chance to think I blurted out the words “I love you” to him in the same slightly breathless giddy tone as my internal voice. A second ticked by. Then another and I could feel the blush starting to spread across my cheeks as the internal voice switched tracks, asking me: “What if he doesn’t love you?”. I started to panic, to urgently concoct an explanation for my words, a way to take them back and reset the clock on my confession. A third second ticked by and then I heard the words: “I love you too” come tumbling awkwardly out of his mouth. I looked up at him, not entirely sure that I’d actually heard him right and then I saw the smile on his face and I knew that I had.
I grinned like a Cheshire cat as we turned to face the street again and set out on our way home with the sound of the rain and drunken Christmas party goers as our background music. I watched them, sliding over the cobbles in high heels and designer jeans as they groped their way past each other towards the taxi rank. Then I looked down at our hands, fingers entwined and I knew - this was real. This was love.
No fortean event, just someone’s good fortune
someone I used to know- too cold- someone I used
to share surprises with: a kiss, a cigarette in the rain.
Rain pooled us for one night, a collective
of two piled in under a shared raven of umbrella
one wing flapping, prescient now -
now she’s a coconut grin in an flare of static,
the dust jacket gives peep to a face, almost familiar,
a Eur-Asian babe that once wrapped a half of scarf
around my bruise of neck - shared what she had
concrete. No ethereal analysis in her, no help, only secrets
unspilled and the tease of thought in her eyes.
And the rain that day, how it poured to sweep away the sour
streets of an unfamiliar city. And that was ok, we’d find our way
hands clasped. The surprise of warm lips, gloss-supple. A blush.
I just needed to know, she said, for the future.
A copy arrived in the post today. Adorned with yellow
post-it’s asking forgiveness for page forty-seven, where ink
runs into sunflower blots. No need to read to know the prose
will be gorgeous, lush with the memory of rain, sour street
rain and running through it, the raven call of a cool night
where one wing flaps, useless as a flag under sour rain.
Maybe you should kiss me?
I actually asked for a kiss in the rain because we had just met, we both liked each other and it was April.
We had started running to find shelter - but it was too far. I shouted, ‘Wait! Maybe you should kiss me?’ Why he asked. ‘Because it’s raining’ and he did.
I had always wanted too and I guess my fantasy really dictated that first kiss! Thanks must go to The Notebook.