The soft pitter-patter of the rain on the window filled the silent room.
Eyes unfocused, she sat in front of the coffe table where a teacup and an open book lay forgotten.
Rainy days always seemed to have that effect on her: of losing focus when concentration was needed the most.
At the same time, feelings became clearer and things found an easier way of getting imprinted in her memory.
‘Love is a beautiful thing.’
That’s what they told her. And curious as she had been since she was a child, she made it her mission to find it.
Looking around, she found love in the spark on her parents’ eyes, in the smile on her brother’s lips and in the joy on her little friends’ faces and she believed in it. It was indeed beautiful.
With time she grew up a little and all the stories, all the movies, all the songs she discovered reaffirmed that love was a splendorous thing, the most powerfull magic in the world, that it made you become prettier and, although she hadn’t experienced it yet, she kept on believing in it’s endless power.
The day came when she fell in love for the first time. She saw the smiles, the spark in the eyes and the joy they talked about and promised she’d get. But when the time came for her to grab it, it flew away without a second glance.
She ran, and ran, and ran but it kept getting further away from her. Eventually, she stoped chasing it.
Suddenly, without time to catch her breath, she lost her ground and became lost and felt betrayed…the perfect image of love she had been conceiving all her life shattered in tiny little pieces.
She learned that life and fiction were full of “unhappy endings”. That love could be cruel, deceitful and ugly. That pain and tears appeared without the physical pain of getting hurt and lasted much longer than they should have. She learned the meaning of the word “heartbreak”.
And when things seemed hopeless, little voices started ringing in her ears:
‘Things will get better.’
‘Life’s just saying it’s not your time yet.’
‘Boys will think you ugly, if you cry.’
She listened to them again. Althought picking up the pieces was hard and it took quite some time, she moved on and grew up some more. She grew so much she became a beautiful woman. Living her life to the fullest, with a permanent smile on her lips, she stored so much love in her heart that it became difficult for it not to overflow. So she gave it to her friends and learned that ‘friendship’ was a form of love too. This time she could giver her all and there was always someone who reached for your hand too.
But, one day, her new friends fell in love too (as she had) and found their happy endings (as she hadn’t), even if they had to try several times.
She was inspired! And she tried again.
She fell in love again, and again, and again…but life kept telling her it was not her time yet. So she got angry and shouted. And life answered her to wait. And wait she did, until she got tired and gave up, once again.
Even so, she never cried again.
‘Tears are a sign of weakness.’
‘Sadness is un ugly and unhealthy thing.’
They kept telling her. She kept listening. And the emptiness, the loneliness never ceased to grow.
For a moment her eyes focused and she could distinguish the words written on the page before her.
Smiling softly, she let the words sink in and as they did so did something in her stomach and her chest tightened.
Her vision became blurry once more, and although the smile hadn’t left her lips, soft sobs echoed in the small living room, followed by tears.
One by one, they fell on her clenched fists, her lips finally quivering, as she bowed her head low, long tresses of hair hidding her face. And she cried as she had never done before.
On the page of the book forgotten in front of her, between the steam and the sweet aroma of tea and honey, lay the words she wished to hear on day:
‘When he found her in the rain with tears to match the downpour, he silently thought she was beautiful when sadness dressed her skin.”