The sky above the tent was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel. Framed in the background, a straight river with a thousand million concentrically overlapping waves, rippling together as rain fell out of the gloomy clouds, patternless to infinity. A playground, plastic and wood and steel, jungle gym and swings, slanted house; sitting damply in the invariably existing sandbox.

I stood there, lost in the rain, until she tugged at my hand and we started forward. She. Her. The girl. For what would it be without one. As soaked as me. Ahead. Bolder, one must admit with a sense of chagrin. Younger, it must be said because everything counts and nothing does. Lovely and perfect regardless.

The tent lies ahead, reaching into the sky, circusy and colourful, striped, slanted, big. The edges turned up slightly, bulging down and arcing up, water collected in the distended material, water balloons sighing with envy. She glances back at me, catching my gaze for a second. Something glistens in her eye slightly, from the rain probably; but maybe not. My breath catches slightly in my throat. Not the rain.

The bench she leads me to is covered by the tent, but only barely. Wind shifts and rain blows in sideways and up and down and we sit there. Staring at each other. Saying little. She makes this expression. As hard to describe as she is. For what adjectives run together to make a person like her. It's sad, hangdog, heartbreaking. I have no idea why. Or what it means. Or what I should do. All I want to do is kiss her. Instead I smile at her, laugh, coward that I am.

Her normal face is back. I mention that expression she had on. No explanation but it comes back, and I lurch inside. It's easier to not kiss her then admit everything that would come with leaning over and slowly kissing her rain covered pink lips, moving closer on the bench... I do nothing.

I condemn myself, as I sit here in the damp. Sparkles of rain hitting our faces. I think too much. The ramifications. The possibilities. Time. Distance. Life. Feelings. Emotions. Does she want me to kiss her. What happens if I do. What's next, what's the second after, rejection, a kiss back, there's only a couple of days here... I hesitate, lost in the moment before the moment.

Normal her is back, momentarily. I reach for strength. Although I know not what for. To kiss her? To not kiss her? To flee? To stay? My head races, because I'm an idiot, a fool, lost, scared. Frightened of her and myself and us and rain flows still, wavering in the background, a dense background coating the world outside of our shelter.

She looks at me, staring into my eyes like she knows what she's doing to me. Oh god, I hope she doesn't. Or do I. I shiver. Fromthe cold, from the wet, from her most of all. I sit there, everything slowing down as adrenaline floods my system. The rain dies away. I can hear my breath rattle in my lungs, watch hers rise and fall and the breasts with them. I look back up into her deep brown eyes and it's the same expression on her face. Sad, and yet something else underneath. Longing? Want? Need? Nothing at all?

Right here is a crossroads I know. She's a friend. I can not move. Sit here like a deer in the headlights and stay friends. Maybe sometime in the future it will happen again, maybe not; but this is the safe way. The way where I don't get hurt. Or. I can slide over on the bench, lean over and kiss her upturned mouth. And. Die. Live. Be destroyed. Be reborn. I tremble.

This briefest of moments ticks over, the quivering vibration of the second hand. Time in a crawl, slowed to honey. The drop ofelongated rain glides so slowly towards the ground. The barely flapping wings of the hummingbird in the movies. My focus narrows. The world going away into all encompassing grayness. Because one thing is more important then anything else, even for just now just then just...

I lean over into the swallowing eyes and my hands cup her face and I kiss her slowly. No tongue, but certainly not chaste. Our lips touch with slightest of pressure and gradually, gently, so slowly and I can't think of anything but the soft taste of her, we lean in. Die. Am reborn. I don't know how long we sit there in the rain, pushed against each other, connected at the mouth. Tasting each other. Feeling each other. It doesn't really matter. Someone pulls away slightly. I awake to find myself pushed next to her, our bodies warm and vibrating melded together. The rain is coming down harder then ever, wind borne chills and wetness slanting in at us.

She looks at me. I look at her. I can't move. Everything is locked down. It all hinges here. She smiles a little bit. The edges of her mouth crinkling upwards, freckles shifting position. I wait. I can't not. I can't do it again. I can't. I can't do anything at all. She's staring into my eyes, I think but am not sure that I have a panicked expression on my face. Confronted with what I've done. I swallow. An eternity. Her smile is slightly wider. Leans into my body and kisses me again. My arms go around her, and the world vanishes.