She walks down the old, worn road. The puddles made by the pouring rain are rippling as the drops fall from the sky. Her jaw shakes each time there is thunder, and her eyes are tightly closed as if to fend off the lightning that is emblazoning the sky. She alone can smell the peppermint on her collar and the roses in her hair, as the wind whips it around and slams it into her rosy cheeks, her closed eyes, her chapped lips, and she alone can tell where she is going.
She can't hear anything above the roar of the gales and the tremors of the din that surrounds and envelops her senses, adding damp wet to the list of things she can smell, and spinning knives to the list of things she can feel. The fingers of one hand are stretched tentatively forward, while the others grasp an umbrella so hard the blood drains from their knuckles. Her hand encounters smooth metal that drips with perspiration, and she knows she's made it.
Her eyes open slowly to reflect the stormy skies; a grey expanse that seems like it will continue on forever, but it will not. She wants to scream, to let out all of the anger and hurt that never goes away, not even in sleep when nightmares plague her exhausted mind. To keep screaming, and screaming until there is no sound left to come out, but it seems as though it's already gone. Only a small whimper drops from her lips, but it is enough.
She stares off of the bridge that she's standing on, glaring into the murky water below, and seeing only her own reflection. The umbrella drops slowly sideways, and falls to the ground to let the relentless downpour beat her back and legs until they are numb. Within seconds, her heavy locks are drenched, and her thin clothing is doing nothing to keep the heat in. She can still smell the peppermint and roses, but it fades quickly and is replaced by a scent much like fresh laundry and a light but significant musk.
His chin rests against the crown of her head, and his long, warm arms envelop her waist. She leans back, only to stumble into nothing. Now she can't tell the difference between reality and memory, nor the tears streaming down her ruddy red cheeks from the drops of water flowing with them. As she weeps, the sobs crescendo and take the place of the rushing wind, the booming thunder, and the footsteps that she should have heard even in the tumult.
And she stands. Like a wilted flower in harsh sunlight, or a beaten stalk of grass on a trail, dilapidated from long days of crushing force and angry storms that come and go like the wind. Her shoulders slump forward, and her tempestuous eyes shut once more. She doesn't know whether she's trying to keep the reminiscences out, or hang onto the ragged threads that remain, but he knows he wants to keep them alive.
He steps behind her, like he used to do so many days ago, and wraps those comforting and protecting wings around her. His nose is nestled in her hair where it falls gently to her pulse point, and smells the damp roses and faded peppermint that bring back so many memories. She takes a shaky breath, taking in that smell of fresh laundry and musk, and thinks she can feel the difference again; amid remembrance and actuality, but is still tentative the second time she leans to have him hold her.
And he does. Until the rain is only a soft drizzle, and there is no longer tremulous thunder or static lightning. Until there is only the sound of their breathing and heart beats, throbbing as one being to signify that they are together once more. A soft kiss on the lips is all they need before they part, and she walks back the way she came with light footsteps; he with longer strides. They are happy again.