It was raining that day as she walked through the streets of New York city she turned her amber eyes up to the sky seeing it was a bright blue. She had always wondered how it could rain when the sky was so clear and beautiful. She didn’t have much time to think as she stepped out of the way of the large wake of a speeding taxi. She found herself now soaking wet her long brown hair clinging to her pale cheeks. She was lucky she wore her long tan coat out the door this morning otherwise her new white blouse would have shown the pink bra she was wearing. She took a deep breath as she passed by a shop window seeing her face was ruined the make up smeared due to the water. Her black shoes muddied from the filth that was always on the street. She was beginning to believe that today she was cursed and it was all that dam black cat’s fault her neighbor’s kids kept feeding.
She looked around the street even on a day like today people still filled the street bumping into each other grumbling yelling for taxis that she knew would splash her on their way past. She reached into her black purse and pulled out her thin silver cell phone a small pink charm hanging from the antenna. She giggled a bit as she poked it and watched it move to show its face. It was gift from her little sister that she has kept on every one of her cell phones though after five years it was worn down to a pink blob. She opened her cell phone and pushed a few buttons before putting it to her ear, “Hey Cindy it is me Audrey I am calling to say I can’t make it into work today tell the boss I had a family emergency.” She waited for a second, “I know I am not married tell him it is my mother tell him she slipped in the tub and need to look after her until the nurse comes tonight.” She sighed, “Please I really need today off. If you do this for me I will bring you those cookies you like tomorrow.” She smiled, “Thanks Cindy you are a life saver and tell your brother I am sorry but I don’t think of him that way. Bye.” She hung up her phone before putting it away. Audrey looked around wondering wear she could go to dry off. Most of the buildings around her were offices or delivery services for the offices so she decided to walk around a bit.
As Audrey walked down the street she was bumped by a man which caused her to drop her purse into a large puddle. The man in a black coat holding a black umbrella looked at her, “Watch where you’re going b***h.”
Audrey took a deep breath as she pulled the soaking bag out of the puddle she wouldn’t fall apart she was stronger then that and this wouldn’t break her. She put the bag over her shoulder again and began to walk turning down a small one way street she spotted a small bar. The sign in front read Douglas’ bar she knew it wouldn’t be much but it was better then standing in the rain. She hurried across the street between two cars and slipped into the building looking around at the dark dated décor. The counter was a dark oak with a marbled line through the center. Behind the counter was a wall of old bottles most of them probably filled with water to make it look like an upscale place. The stools were dark brown with red tops that looked to be reupholstered for a fifth time. The walls were dark wood half way up and a red that matched the seat upholstery. There was two TVs playing a college football game a few people sat at the counter while others were scattered through the booths and sitting at small round tables. She looked to the man behind the counter he was an older fellow slightly pudgy with a grey beard and hair. His blue eyes showed that he spent a lot of time listening to those who came in. He wore a red flannel shirt and faded jeans under a white apron. He was drying out a beer mug as Audrey approached him and spoke, “Where is your washroom?”
The man looked up and pointed to a set of black doors in the far corner neither marked with faded signs, “Left is for women.” He set the mug down, “Place an order before using it.”
Audrey thought for a second, “Vodka and sprite please.” She reached into her purse and placed a wrinkled wet five dollar bill on the counter before walking to the back. She pushed open the worn black door and looked around the small washroom it was a clean room with two stalls a single sink and an air hand dryer. She looked at the white tile floor and white walls she took a deep breath and walked up to the dryer and taking her jacket off. She placed her jacket on the sink and turned on the blow dryer. She held her hair and let the warm air brush through it. She shook her head twisting ant turning her body to try and dry it evenly. She had to keep hitting the button on the white wall mounted device over and over finally her hair was dry enough that it didn’t stick to her face. She opened her purse next emptying it of its contents which was her cell phone compact and wallet. She never carried much in her purse because she didn’t want to be one of those people with every stuffed into a bag. She held each item under the blow dryer and then held her purse open under it. She looked at her shirt and grumble a bit undoing the top few buttons and turning on the machine again. She slowly waved the shirt back and forth the air drying her skin and the wet fabric. She looked to the door as it slowly opened a man standing there looking at her as she was bent forward shirt open her hand pushing down her black skirt. Her face turned bright as she yelled, “What are you doing this is the women’s washroom!”
The man quickly backed up out of the room and closed the door quickly, “I am sorry I didn’t know which one was the men’s and which was the women’s.” The man was tall with dark black hair and cinnamon colored eyes. His skin was slightly tanned his dark blue sport coat hung open over a dark green shirt his pants matching his sport coat while his shoes were a polished black. He most likely worked in an office building like her and ran into this bar to escape the rain.
Audrey came out of the washroom a second later her hair still wet her shirt and the rest of her body was dry now but her shoes had been covered in to much filth. She looked at the man for a second, “Well I can’t fault you for that seeing as how the names on the door are worn out.”
The man smiled, “Then for not holding it against me I will buy a drink.”
Audrey shook her head, “No that’s okay it is to early to drink it is only 10:00 in the morning.” The bar tender tapped the table the drinks the two had ordered were ready and the change sat beside them. Audrey walked over to the table and picked up her drink taking a sip of the white drink the little lime swirled around with the ice after each sip.
The man picked up his glass of rum and coke, “I am Edan Roper.”
“I am Audrey Elton. I can assume you don’t come here that often.”
“It is my first time through the doors I just came in to escape the rain.”
Audrey smiled and sipped her drink a bit more, “Me too I am amazed at how much this weather affects everything.”
“I kind of like it.”
“Well it gives all the buildings a sort of aura when it rains they look like magic waterfalls with no rivers for them to start. It makes people huddle closer in the pockets where the rain doesn’t touch it gives the city a warmer atmosphere.” He took a sip of his drink and closed his eyes, “Plus the sound of rain hitting the side of my building helps me sleep. It is also a good excuse to cuddle up with somebody you love under a blanket.”
“I never believed in needing an excuse to cuddle with the ones you love every day your alive and well is a day to celebrate in an embrace.”
Edan smiled at her his smile was warm and fit his face perfectly, “So what do you do for a living?”
Audrey ran her finger around the rim of her glass noticing for the first time that she had joined him at a booth near the back of the bar, “I am a floor manger at an information distribution and collection agency. And what do you do?”
“I am in charge of information processing and accessing in a firm just up the street. Basically I take the information you find and break it down in a way most people can understand it and use it.”
Audrey nodded, “So you hate your job too?”
Edan nodded, “More then anything in the world.”
Audrey began to laugh hers was light almost a giggle she could hear his between hers it was deep and low like the hum of a motor. “So why do you stick with your job?”
Edan thought for a second, “I guess it is because I haven’t found a reason to quite.”
Audrey nodded, “Me either I just hate feeling so trapped.”
Edan looked at her for a second before he stood up, “I am going to go get us some wine okay. I saw a bottle on the shelves behind the bar.”
Audrey nodded and watched him walk away liking his cute but she blushed a bit and turned away, “Maybe order us something to snack on.”
Edan came back a minute later with a bottle in one hand and with two glasses and a cork screw in the other. He smiled, “I got us a 59 Pétrus. The owner says it has been here since the bar opened and we are the first to ask for it.” He set the bottle down on the table and began to slowly open it before sitting down. He then poured each of them a glass, “To days of cloudless rain.”
Audrey nodded her head as she clinks her glass against his and took a sip of the sweet whine. A smile was on her lips as she drank unsure why she was she just went with it. Audrey and Edan spent the rest of the day together talking about whatever popped into there minds. They would laugh and gently touch each others hands never going past a gentle brushing of their skin. Soon the bar tender came over to them and spoke in his rough voice, “Okay you two I am closing my bar now.”
Edan looked up and nodded, “Sorry we didn’t notice what time it was.” He slowly stood up and held his hand to Audrey.
Audrey blushed a bit as she took his hand and got up putting her jacket on once again as Edan paid for everything they ordered. He then held his arm out for Audrey and she took it leaning into him a bit as they began to walk to the door of the bar. Edan slowly opened the door for Audrey and she walked out noticing it was still raining. Edan stepped out beside her and Audrey looked at him, “It is still raining.” She liked how the two of them shared the bars small canopy together and it gave her another excuse to be near him
Edan looked up at the sky and nodded, “And there still isn’t a cloud in the sky.”
Audrey looked up seeing the feint stars she nodded, “I have never seen a day like this before.” She looked at her dirty shoes then she looked at him, “I guess I should get going home.” It was in that second she felt his hands take her shoulders and pull her into his chest. His soft warm lips pressed against her and her eyes closed as she leaned up into the kiss her hands gripping the sides of his jacket. He let go of her shoulder with his left hand and placed it upon her warm cheek a moan escaping her lips. She didn’t know why this man held her like this she had never thought of herself a pretty girl or even cute. She felt her face was to pudgy and she was a bit over weight but this amazing man was holding her like she was a great treasure. She parted her soft pink lips inviting him deeper into her soul as she tugged on his jacket trying to keep this kiss forever.
Edan slowly pulled away from her lips and looked down at Audey’s red cheeks and closed eyes, “Then take me with you.”
Audrey looked up at him and blinked, “Isn’t it the guy who takes the girl home?”
Edan smiled stroked her cheek, “It is but I believe if I don’t know where you live I might never find you again.”
Audrey smiled, “And what if I decide I want to keep you there forever.”
Edan thought for a second, “Then I would gladly live in your home for eternity.” He held his arm out to her to take so they could start there walk through the rain.
Audrey took his arm again and leaned into him putting her hear on his broad shoulder with a happy sigh, “Then let me take you to your cage.”
A young girls voice spoke out, “Then what happened?”
An older woman spoke, “Well that isn’t for the ears of somebody as young as you.” The old woman was holding a glass of vodka and sprite swirling it around, “But I guess now you can see why I like rainy days I always dream of having a day like that.”
The young woman nodded she had long blonde hair done up in a pony tail so it was out of her soft sapphire eyes. She was slender and dressed in a white shirt black skirt and black apron. She held a tray in one hand as she listen to the story the old woman told a smile on her face, “Come on it was just getting good.”
The old woman smiled sipping her drink before putting it down and running her pointer finger around the rim of the glass. “It is to embarrassing to go any further.” The woman had snow white hair that was curled up in a loose perm. She had on a white blouse and black skirt on her feet were a pair of dirty black shoes, “Now if you will excuse me I must use the ladies room.”
The young woman nodded and stepped away as the old woman got up and headed towards the washroom. The young woman walked over to the counter of the bar. The counter was straight black with silver lights hanging down over it behind the counter was an older man with brown hair and green eyes. He was dressed in a black shirt black pants and white apron. The stools in front of the bar were black with metal legs the whole bar was painted white with a red stripe going through the middle. The chairs and booths matched the black and metal décor with splashes of red across each table. The woman looked at the man behind the bar, “That was such a sweet story she told.”
The man smirked, “Just watch.” A few minutes later an elderly man walked in dressed in a dark blue sports coat and pants with a dark green shirt underneath. He walked up to the bar ordering a rum and coke before he began to walk towards the washrooms. The man and young girl watched as he opened the door to the woman’s washroom and step back putting his back to the wall. The man looked to the waitress before he pulled out two wine glasses and a bottle of wine. He slowly began to push the cork screw into it, “Those two have been coming into this bar every year on this day since they met reenacting that special occasion. It is a legend passed down from owner to owner over these past 50 years. They have been married now for 47 years and have 3 children and 8 grand children all of which know this story. After about the third time they came on that day the owner Douglas asked them what they have been doing. Apparently they quite there jobs the next day and sold all their stuff they bought two back packs and two plane tickets and went to Europe. They spent a year together working and collecting wine they found hidden in old barns putting them all in the care of a wine collector. You see the wine they bought that day for 100 dollars and drank was worth 1500 dollars. They came back a week before the date they met and sold off a bulk of their collection and were able to start a fine wine store here in New York.” He watched as the two of them picked up their drinks and walked over to the booth they had shared years ago. “Now they are retired and do a bit of traveling but they have never missed the anniversary of the day they met. They will stay there all day and then after closing they will stand in the street and kiss and if it is raining that day they will walk to the park down the street and sit in a gazebo until it stops then go home.”
The waitress smiled, “How come this is the first time I am hearing about this?”
The man looked at her, “Because you just started working a few months ago.” The man popped the cork on the wine and handed it to the old man who had walked up to the bar, “Here you are Edan tell Audrey she looks just as beautiful today as she did last year.”
Edan chuckled his same deep laugh, “Every year you try to steal her away from me.”
“It isn’t everyday a woman as beautiful as her comes in.”
Edan nodded as he began to shuffle away, “I know I am truly a lucky man.”
The young waitress came in to work the next day holding a newspaper in her hand with tears in her eyes. She set it down on the counter and the man looked over at the picture on the cover was Audrey and Edan holding each other in their arms inside a gazebo. The two had died the night before as they waited for the rain to stop, “I can’t believe it they died.” The young waitress sniffled as she looked at the bartender.
The man nodded, “I knew it would be today.”
She looked at him, “Why?”
He sighed, “Last year Edan was diagnosed with cancer they gave him a year to live.”
The waitress began to cry harder, “But why did she die.”
“Because they were so close their hearts became one and she couldn’t live without him.” He smiled at the waitress, “How about we do this every year on this date we sell wine for half price and if it is a day with cloudless rain it is free.”
The waitress looked at him, “Why would you do that?”
The man smiled, “Because they are my parents and I named this place after them.”
The waitress looked at him, “Aren’t you sad they died.”
The man nodded, “But they died the way they lived in each others arms and on the day they loved.” He turned to look at a picture he hung on the wall of his family on the day they opened this bar the sign above their heads read ‘clear’ a meaning only those in the family knew.
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