With Every Passing Season of Rain

Submitted into Contest #112 in response to: End your story with a character standing in the rain.... view prompt


Sad Romance Coming of Age

The rainy season came too early that year. It disrupted my “railroad life” as my mother called it when she was drunk and upset, which is also when she thinks she’s the most clever. I hung up on her and continued to walk to work. When you’re already half soaked, there’s not much point in seeking shelter.

Naturally, my shoes weren’t meant for the rain and my day became clouded with the uncomforting sensation of damp socks. I left a squeak behind with every footstep and my world was altered by my water-smudged glasses. Who needed a raincoat when the day was meant to be bright and sunny, the way it had been for all the years I cared to remember? 

We had a new intern that unlucky day. Her name was Keiko and in her nervousness, her cheery voice was littered with squeaks and she apologized for nearly everything even when it wasn’t her fault. She was assigned to my team and quickly, we became strangers.

She became friends with my coworkers and soon reached a respectable position in the firm. Rumors of her engagement swirled through the office and eventually, I’d caught wind of it. I congratulated her on this happy news at the water fountain.


I held onto my tiny paper cup. “I said congratulations on your engagement. I heard from Mizuki and the others.”

She smiled and took a small sip of her water. “Thank you for your kind words.” She threw her cup away and walked back to her office, the clicking of her heels fading as I turned on the tap.

A few months later, she was married. Out of kindness, she had given me an invitation but it was a Saturday and I couldn’t interrupt my weekend routine to go. I’m not sure if she was upset but when we both found ourselves at the water fountain again, she didn’t seem to be so.

“Thirst seems to strike us at the same time,” she remarked with a flash of a smile.

“So it seems.” I grabbed a cup from the tall stack. “It’s an unusual day weather-wise.”

She nodded her head. “Mm. It’s unusually hot. And you’ve brought your raincoat for nothing.”

I threw my cup away. “It’s the rainy season so bringing it is just routine.”

We would have these chance meetings often and I started to look forward to them. Normally, we would just exchange a smile and walk back our separate ways but whenever conversation found its way between us, it was always brief.

“Routine seems to be your friend,” she said and mentioned the raincoat draped over my arm. “I’ve forgotten mine and it’s downpouring.”

“Yes, I’m naturally a creature of habit.” The water tank was empty that day and only a few measly drops splashed into my cup.

“I’ll have Mizuki refill it.” She looked down at her cup. “Now I feel bad.”

I turned around and noticed hers was full. “How come?”

“I’m breaking your routine.”

I thought about this for a second. “That’s unusual guilt to have. Please don’t feel that way. The water tank was bound to be empty eventually.”

“Yes, of course,” she nodded, “Mizuki will refill it soon.”

“Thank you.”

She stared down at her cup and spoke after a moment. “This reminds me of my wedding day.”

My heart jumped at the mention of her wedding. “I’m sorry I couldn’t go.”

She looked up at me and waved her hand in dismissal. “Oh, that’s alright! I didn’t mean to make you feel bad.”

I nodded in thanks, but I was curious. “What does this have to do with your wedding day?”

She sighed and pressed her lips in a smile. “It was unexpected. Like this, the empty water tank. Some things didn’t go as planned.”

“You sound regretful.”

She unexpectedly laughed. “Do I, now? No, no, I was very happy. But sometimes, don’t you feel that little odd spark of rebellion in your heart? When you’ve made a plan, it ignites and you secretly hope for the opposite to happen. And when plans go exactly how you set them to be, you’re disappointed.”

I realized this was the first time I’d heard her laugh. While Mizuki began replacing the water tank, I stared at her and mulled over her words.

“You planned for things to go astray? That sounds counterproductive.”

“Yes, I realized that after I became a wife.” She drank her water and then moved to the side, her hands displaying the refilled tank. “Please, go ahead.”

She walked away after I filled my cup and like any other day, her heels clicked in the distance as I sipped my water. 

The rain poured down hard on my umbrella as I stood at the bus stop. I worked late that day so it was the first time I realized we took the same busline home. 

“Shall we start calling each other by name?” I asked her as I reached out my umbrella. She stepped close to me and smiled thanks.

“I’m grateful for your consistent nature today. I’m already soaked, but I’m glad I’m out of that storm now. And I suppose so, now that we’ve shared something.”

She shivered and hugged her hands close to her chest in a fist. “I have a habit of making big things out of small things. I’m happy about my marriage, you know.”

“Keiko,” I tested the name out loud. “We’ve shared more than just an umbrella.”

“Itsuki. How come we’ve never shared names before?”

“You came here and started to work. I came here and continued my work. There wasn’t much time for introductions, I assume.”

“Yes, I see.”

“Out of the many habits people have, I admire yours. It’s difficult for me to see the intricacies of ordinary things.”

She hummed, pondering this. “To be honest, I’m not sure which is better.”

Ahead of us, the bus headlights seeped through the heavy rain and the large machine clanged as it chugged to a lazy stop. Keiko thanked me for the umbrella and climbed onto the bus. My bus came soon after and I followed Keiko’s actions. Eventually, I was home.

It’s strange how people appear in your life. Often, to make friends, it’s necessary to make an effort to continuously see them and eventually fall into a comfortable friendship or to drift apart. But in some rare circumstances, whether it’s fate or coincidence or some intrinsic unconscious drive controlling your actions, some relationships form seemingly from out of the blue. This connection secretly and slowly intertwines into your life and soon you can’t imagine what life was like before.

At the time, I couldn’t see Keiko was this once-in-a-lifetime golden link to my life. She came and then she was there, standing next to me at the bus stop or refilling my cup of water for me. This became exciting, and then it became expected. 

“I’m finding it hard to believe I’ve been married for a year.” Keiko snacked on tiny heart-shaped cookies and she offered me some. I accepted and sat next to her on the bench.

“These used to be my favorite snacks. I would buy them after lunch every day.”

She munched on a handful. “Why’d you stop?”

“I’m not sure. Some things have a way of slowly ending without you being aware of it.” I stared at the little cookie, noticing the engraved bear on top. “They changed the bear. It used to have a bow.”

“Oh really? I just started buying these so I wouldn’t know. A bow would be cuter, I think.”

The hydrangeas were beginning to bloom and the mornings were clouded with a mist that grew heavier each week. It seemed the rainy season was upon us just in time.

“You’ll be carrying your umbrella from now on,” Keiko mentioned while scanning the surrounding field, tiny white and yellow flowers popping their heads out of the green meadow.

“Yes, I will.”

“I’ll have to return yours back to you soon. I’m selfish for keeping it, you know.”

A bus that wasn’t ours huffed past us, the windows blurred with faces and standing figures. “I don’t mind.”

Keiko stretched and balled up the empty cookie bag. “Yes, but it’s yours. It’s the right thing to do. But I don’t want to. How selfish is that?”

“Sometimes being selfish is nice.” A laugh escaped me at my words. “Yes, it’s very nice sometimes.”


“Yes, occasionally.” The wind began to groan as the branches swayed and the leaves shivered a rustling sound. “Has it been a year?”

“I find it hard to believe it myself. With every upcoming season of rain, another year will go by. It’s a strange association now.”

“One that you want?”

Keiko took a while to respond. “I’m not sure. But it’s one that I recognize. That means it must hold some importance to me.”

Was it strange how I knew this seemed like the end of something? Nothing was different in our conversation or our gazes or touches. But an anxiety came over me when Keiko stood to throw away the balled-up wrapper even though she sat back down the next possible second.

“Shall I point out the obvious?” I asked her.


“It’s been a year since we first slept with each other.”

“That is the obvious thing to say.”

I swallowed down the nervousness that stuck in my throat. Keiko must have noticed as she turned to me with a warm smile. “It’s a beautiful day today.”

“Now you’re pointing out the obvious.”

“Yes, I am. I think it’s because I feel I can sit here and point out every little thing to you and I won’t have to worry about what to do next.”

I took a deep breath of the air and looked up at the overcast as Keiko continued her gentle words. “I won’t worry if you think I’m boring or annoying or whatever. Because I feel I know how you feel about me. And maybe that’s selfish of me too.”

“Maybe that’s what it means to be in love,” I told her while I watched the clouds shift and move further every slow inch.

Keiko sighed. “It is possible.”

We sat there on the bench for a while. Keiko was the one to break the silence.

“My husband gave me my anniversary gift. I got him a tie, which now I think is the only thing I could think of to get him.”

“Do you think it’ll rain soon?”

Keiko joined me by looking up. “I don’t have the skills of a sailor and I don’t want to guess.”

“I won’t mind if you’re wrong.”

“I know. I just don’t feel like it. Maybe that’s odd.”

I put an arm around her.

“My husband surprised me with his new promotion in Okinawa. We’re moving away this weekend. It’s strange to see how quickly you can put everything we own into a few boxes.”

“Okinawa? It’ll already be raining there.”

“Yes, the rainy season comes a month before. I don’t know how I feel about that yet.”

My nervousness had dissipated. I wasn’t aware of what form it took next or where it went, but I knew that there was something that had grown inside me that wasn’t there before. It was small at first, like a freshly planted seed. It began to germinate that day. It was a powerful emotion that sat inside my heart, a deep-rooted hope. Something like a spark. It was stupid to assume that spark would get what it desired, I knew that, but I clung on to that and let it fan out as Keiko stood to climb aboard her bus. 

Just as I had predicted, the rainy season was timely and it marked its presence by the light drops of rain that fell from the heavy clouds. I sat there to let it embrace me.

September 20, 2021 22:11

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Kiara Hernandez
18:11 Oct 01, 2021

This story was beautifully written! The rain felt almost like a third character in this story. Just as important as Keiko and Itsuki. That feeling of knowing when something good is coming to an end is very relatable. Overall a lovely read.


Sarbjeet Kaur
03:51 Oct 02, 2021

Thank you for stopping by and for your lovely words! It's a bittersweet feeling, isn't it? I really appreciate the comment! :)


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Del Gibson
01:58 Sep 30, 2021

Well done. I felt the rain the entire way through the story. I like the way you subtext the fact she has fallen in love with Keiko, well that is the way I interpreted this. Keep up the great work!


Sarbjeet Kaur
03:23 Sep 30, 2021

Thank you for your kind words! I really appreciate the feedback! :)


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Alizah Muhammad
14:07 Sep 26, 2021

Very well written 👏👏👏❣


Sarbjeet Kaur
15:09 Sep 26, 2021

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it! :)


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