When I met her, it was raining, so I offered my umbrella.
'Here,' I said, touching the girl's wet shoulder lightly, 'Borrow this.'
A small smiled fluttered over her face, 'No,' she murmured, 'The rain, it's inspiring.'
I didn't understand, 'But, but... You're drenched!'
Slowly, she turned to look at me, her eyes were heavy with pity, 'I cannot take up your offer,' she said quietly, 'When the sky is mourning the loss of summer it is only kind to suffer with her. The summer is her child, and every year he vanishes. If we allow ourselves to taste the agony of a grieving mother on our lips, and recognize it for what it truly is, then we ourselves become stronger. More sentient.'
Still perplexed, I asked, 'But aren't tears meant to be salty? This rain is fresh.'
Quite to my surprise, the girl laughed, 'Oh! Don't be so silly!' Her tone wasn't mocking, but it bruised me all the same, 'Whoever said the rain was tears?' She continued, 'No, the sky is better than us lowly people, when the sky laments, she cries soul. Every drop of rain, every drop, is a globule of her heart and longing and love.' The girl shook her head, 'But you'll learn one day, if you listen more closely to the world around you, you'll learn.'
So I went away, and I tried to learn. The girl's lyrical words haunted my sleep, and twanged bitter notes in my soul. One day, I brought a leather bound note book and presented it to her. I wanted the words to keep. I wanted her to write things down for me, so that I could rest easy at night with the words' dangerously intoxicating power beneath my own head, not dancing on her lips.
'Here,' I said, it had been some months since our last encounter, but she was still there, gazing at the sky, 'I've got a gift for you.'
Amiably enough, she greeted me with a smile. However, her expression quickly plummeted when she saw the book.
'A cage,' She said, bluntly.
Shaking my head, I corrected her, 'No... It's a, uh, it's a book. For you to write in.' As I tripped and stumbled over my vowels and consonants, I longed for her eloquence, 'You could be amazing.'
And, deep inside, I wanted to be a part of that.
'It's a cage!' she cried, 'A cage! For words are as beautiful and free as the birds that grace the summer skies, and you wish for me to pin them down? Like butterflies in a Lepidopterist's case? That is murder, that is disgusting, and you want me to be an accomplice? No. I refuse, take your cage and be gone.'
Quite disheartened, I left. My heart was empty of words and skill. No person had ever managed to enchant me as she had. Hypocrite, the girl was a hypocrite. She detests the idea of trapping inky little words, but she was happy enough to hold me captive.
I echoed her.
Angry, I turned around. My eyes were hot, a tear leaked down my cheek.
'You....' A thousand hard, craggy insults waited to be pushed over the edge of my tongue, 'You... you...'
Blinking, she asked, 'You?'
Sighing, I said, 'You... I think... I might love you.'
Her deep brown eyed became speckled with intrigue, 'Love? You love me?'
'Yes,' it was the easiest thing I'd ever said to her, 'Yes.... Please, my friend, please say something beautiful.'
Her eyes closed, but her tone was quite happy, 'No, because you just did. I cannot find a more beautiful word for you, in this moment, than that. Than yes.'
More tears dribbled down my face, carefully, the girl caught one on the end of her fingertip and kissed it.
She frowned. I bit my lip, 'What? What's the matter?' I asked.
Smiling, she said, 'Your tear, your tear is fresh. Fresher, I daresay, than the falling rain.'
My soul was crying, because it had never been so happy. It had never been so free and it had never been more alive. Sometimes it rains in summer. Sometimes tears are more than tears, sometimes they are magical.
Just like words.