Wonderfully Private

Wonderfully Private

A Story by Ann Elise Monte
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"I liked the rain. It drove normal people indoors so outside it was wonderfully private." Lena finds out just how special rain can be. (Revised!)

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I liked the rain. It drove normal people indoors so outside it was wonderfully private.
On rainy days, I’d take my favourite heavy coat and gumboots to school. I always walked home on these days, which annoyed my brother and sister to no end. They thought I was crazy.
“Lena!” my twin brother, Connor, called. “It’s like a monsoon out there! Would you just take the freaking bus like a normal person?”
I glanced out the window. “It’s not that bad.” The rain was heavy, but the trees weren’t being blown around too much. It was my kind of day.
My younger sister, Amber, rolled her eyes. “You’ll be swimming home. Have you lost your mind?”
I probably did years ago. I’m not the sanest person out there.
“I’ll see you later, okay?” I replied, ignoring the question. Amber had probably meant it to be rhetorical anyway.
Amber touched my arm. “Maybe we should go with you. Dad won’t be"”
“I’ll handle Dad. Don’t worry about it.”
Dad wasn’t particularly strict. As long as we weren’t taking drugs or killing people, he could be reasoned with.
“But what if Jolene’s home?” Connor pressed. I paused for a moment, considering. Jolene was our stepmother and preferred to be called ‘Mum’. We rarely did. She tried to be a good substitute, but she couldn’t replace our real mum.
“I’ll handle her after Dad,” I replied. “He’ll help if it looks ugly.”
Amber sniggered. “Ugly.”
“What?” I didn’t always understand Amber’s train of thought.
Amber rolled her eyes again and explained, “Jolene is ugly. What was Dad thinking?”
“Do you really want an answer?” Connor replied. We all had a giggle.
“All right.” I gathered my things and shoved them into my schoolbag. “I better start walking if I want to get back before dark.”
“It’s already dark,” Connor pointed out, having one of his trademark ‘Captain Obvious’ moments.
“I mean night dark. I’ll see you later, okay?” I span around on one foot and nearly skipped down the locker hall, which doubled as the main school corridor.
A random footballer stuck his foot out and tried to trip me. I just hopped over the offending appendage and kept going. I was in too good a mood to care.
“Bye, Lena!” one of Amber’s giggly friends called. I waved as I passed her on the way out the front doors.
The instant I stepped outside, ice-cold rain splashed into my face. It was refreshing. Ill-prepared girls around me shrieked and ran for the undercover walkways. I kept walking in a straight line towards the gate.
The footpath was nearly a canal in this sort of weather, but that didn’t pose a problem for my gumboots. I sloshed through the wet, receiving quizzical stares from everyone else. They were all miserable and huddling under umbrellas, porches and any kind of shelter they could find.
Once I reached the turnoff for my preferred shortcut through the park, the world seemed to empty of everyone except me. The park was utterly deserted. World War Three could’ve broken out and I would have been none the wiser. Well, unless bombs started dropping. I think I’d notice that.
In the very centre of the enormous park, I stopped and stared upwards. The stormy sky was silvery grey and fat raindrops plummeted to the ground all around me. It was beautiful, and I was the only one willing to just look at it. Even as the rain fell into my eyes, all I did was blink it away. I was transfixed.
I felt like I was five years old again, Mum dressing me in a bright yellow raincoat. She had liked the rain too, when she was alive.
“There’s nothing to fear from the rain,” she told me once. Mum was beautiful. Her honey-brown hair fell around her face in gentle waves, and her eyes were almost the same colour. They glittered in the sun. Dad often said I looked just like her.
Through the gentle splattering sounds of the rain, I heard sloshes and splashes so ungraceful only another person could have made them. Who had come to disturb my solitude?
“There are easier ways to drown, you know,” said the intruder.
I whipped around to see Mathias Holt, his tall and broad frame dripping with water. He was in my year level and lived right next door. It was no secret that he wanted to ask me out, but I wasn’t one to jump into things. Up until recently, I’d hated his guts. Mat was loud, boisterous and had little respect for personal space…especially mine. He was good-looking, but impossible to shut up.
“Shouldn’t you be on the bus home?” I asked.
Mat shrugged. “Yeah, but so should you. Geez, this place is creepy. It’s like we’re the only two people on Earth.”
“Maybe it’s creepy because you’re here,” I replied. I still didn’t particularly like him.
Mat ignored the jab, like always. “I guess you’d like this place. You’re not big on your fellow human beings, are you?”
“You make it sound like I hate the world.”
“Yeah, that came out wrong.” Mat laughed. It was higher than normal, and had a hint of anxiety. He tended to do that whenever I spoke to him.
I pushed my drenched hair out of my face. “Well, it’s been nice talking to you, but I really should get home.”
Mat grabbed my hand. “I live right next door, remember? Maybe the cold’s messing with your brain. Come on, then. I’ll get you home nice and safe.”
I pulled my hand away. “I’m perfectly capable of walking home unassisted.”
Mat took my hand again anyway. “Yeah? Well, that’s nice. Let’s go.” He pulled me along in the wrong direction.
“We’re going to wrong way,” I pointed out, resigned to his company.
“I know a shortcut.”
“Sure you do.” I sighed. He probably didn’t. He wasn’t that bright, after all.
“I do!” Mat exclaimed, overreacting. “Trust me.”
I didn’t really have much of a choice. I couldn’t really get away from him, even if I ran. Sometimes it sucks being vertically-challenged.
“Fine. Whatever,” I muttered.
To Mat’s credit, it really was a shortcut. He took me off the path and we wended our way through the trees. The rain in this area was all noise. I hardly felt any moisture because the trees were so dense and served as a shield.
It made me all twitchy. I hated being under shelter while it rained. I liked to feel it.
“This place is good for privacy,” Mat said. “Though, I guess you don’t really need that when everyone’s inside hiding from the rain, do you?”
Something in his voice softened me. There was no joking in his tone and he wasn’t trying to make his voice sound deeper than it actually was. His usual façade was gone.
As the trees ended and the gate came into view, I opened my mouth to speak. My brain was a little muddled so nothing came out.
Mat stopped and forced me to stop with him.
“What now?” I meant to snap, but the words came out too weak.
Mat let go of my hand and crossed his arms with his back ramrod straight. “Would you try to kill me if I did something…drastic?” he asked.
“If you plan to burn down the school, I’d say no,” I replied slowly.
“Good to know,” Mat said with a quick laugh. He was pale.
There was a moment of silence.
“I honestly have no clue what you’re talking about,” I admitted.
Mat relaxed slightly. “Yeah, I got that.” We laughed.
More silence.
Thunder roared its way through the quiet. We jumped.
Glancing nervously up at the sky, Mat cleared his throat. “Well, I guess it’s now or never.”
“For what?” He was really starting to annoy me.
Mat set his shoulders. “I"uh, probably won’t get another chance to do this, so"”
“What the hell are you on about?!”
“This.” Mat took me by the waist and pressed his lips against mine. I tried to pull away but he was too strong. He held me tightly against him.
He moved his mouth away for a moment and I gasped in a breath, about to swear at him. I didn't get the chance.
Then, he was kissing me again. Funny thing happened this time, though. I was suddenly gripped by some primal urge I didn't know I had.
I pulled him closer to me and kissed him back. He was so warm...and a good kisser.
We stood there for a long time, wrapped around each other. I completely lost track of time.
Finally, we broke apart. I nearly fell on my backside, dazed.
“Whoa,” Mat breathed.
“Yeah,” was all I could manage. My heart thudded in my chest.
Mat exhaled. “Well, I"I guess we should go.”
“W-wait.” I gathered my wits. “We should go out sometime. I mean, it might not work…but who cares?” Not my usual reaction when someone violates my space.
“Are you asking me out?” Mat blinked, and it wasn’t because of the rain.
I think Amber’s right. I’ve lost it.
“Yeah, I guess. So? Answer me before I change my mind. Yes or no?”
“Hell, yes!” Mat seized me again and everything disappeared except him. I couldn’t even feel the rain.

© 2010 Ann Elise Monte



Author's Note

Ann Elise Monte
I'm Aussie so some of the spelling is Australian, like I spell "Gray" as "Grey". I thought I'd add that this story, and "Moonlight Burning" were actually based on the same set of characters from a novel that I plan to write once my main project is finished. I changed names, appearances and some behaviours around so they seemed like different people.

My Review

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Featured Review

Stick with "Grey" - it's the better of the two though both are correct. As I am delighted to say is the rest of your writing - it shows an excellent knowledge of grammar and spelling but also care in choice and order of words.
The story- well I am sure you only mean it as a light-hearted piece with a fresh and wholesome look at today's youth. As such, it was delightful and augurs well for future writing. By the way, I love the rain too but don't want any tomorrow as I've organised a coach trip to the countryside for 50 elderly people. Imagine the story I'd get out of that on a day such as you describe!
John

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 8 Years Ago


3 of 3 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I like this story, well written and detailed :)

Posted 4 Years Ago


Very well done, thanks. The story has a good flow, you made me care about Lena early in the story and she staid in character and interesting throughout. Excellent!

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Congrats on your wonderful first place story.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Its so sweet and beautiful, I liked it. And I have even added it to my library. What I liked about the story was the way it flowed. Totally smooth. I like witty dialogues and this one was full of them so i totally loved it!

P.S. : I LOVE GETTING WET IN THE RAIN TOO !

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is really good! Kept me interested from beginning to end. I love rain too and everyone thinks I'm crazy because of it, so it's nice to see I'm not the only one (even though this character is fictional, hehe). Keep up the good work!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I'm not much into reading stories but this one caught my attention from the beggining !! very well written !!! :D

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow. This is a lovely piece. I'm not much into reading stories, then I stumbled across yours. It's a grand piece very lovely. I wonder...were you the lass in this story?

Grand job though! Keep up the good work! :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

awesome! another tied 4 top!!!!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I love to walk through the rain, and I love your description of the main character's feeling on the rain.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I really liked this story and think you should continue it!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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2140 Views
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Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on August 22, 2009
Last Updated on January 5, 2010
Tags: rain, kiss, romance, park
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Author

Ann Elise Monte
Ann Elise Monte

Fantasyland, beside a mass grave of dead story ideas, Australia



About
I write Young Adult fiction and my longer works tend to contain strong fantasy and romantic elements. My shorter works have more variety because I find it easier to maintain non-magical stories for sh.. more..

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