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|In the Rain|
"Dear passengers, we're sorry to tell you that all trains have been delayed for the next hour due to complications on the tracks. Thank you for your understanding."
Pulling on her hood, Jinora continued her way to the station, dragging the heavy trolley behind her along the wide platform. People were streaming into her direction, engulfing her soon in a wave of masses, among them several people hurrying mindlessly to the other end, scooting angrily with their belongings through the crowd, and others sharing their discontent in the most frustrating ways possible.
Low growls emerged from the gray sky above, dark clouds slightly shifting their position, followed by a series of endless raindrops eagerly falling down from the sky, clinging effortlessly on anywhere they came in contact with. Not soon after, the grounds were covered with puddles, reflecting everything that would appear over their surface.
Stopping in front of a puddle, Jinora looked down, seeing her very own reflection which was in an orange rain jacket with its hood pulled up, framing her now damp face in an oval shape. After taking a moment for herself, she averted her gaze again, tugging lightly at her yellow trolley. Striding further along the platform, a station came into view soon. Only a handful of passengers had opted to stay during the rainy weather, occupying themselves with mostly their phones or a cigarette to pass the remaining time. Taking a look around, her eyes fell on an empty bench, and moved towards it. She discarded the trolley and took out her phone, well aware that the roof that stretched along the entire station would give her enough cover.
Pressing the on-button, she waited for the device to open up and saw that she had about two missed calls, both from her parents, and a couple of messages. Most of them were from her friends and family, asking her about the trip and to write them back as soon as she could. Seeing that she still had left just under an hour, she decided to write back to them.
As soon as that was done, she turned her phone off, figuring she should save as much battery as possible. She didn't need to look up to know that the rain was still pouring down and that the trains would be delayed even more now.
Luckily, Jinora had come prepared. She put her phone back into her pocket and instead pulled out a novel from her bag. It wasn't a long one, about 200 pages only, but she didn't mind. Its profound plot and compelling story made up for it, and soon, she was captured in the book, not aware of time or reality anymore.
That was until a polite voice snatched her out of it.
"Excuse me, mind if I sit down?"
She looked up, meeting emerald green eyes.
"Of course," she smiled.
He flashed her a grin. "Thanks."
She moved to make space for him which he gratefully occupied. It was then that she noticed that this was the only bench on the entire station. She watched him pulling out a notebook from his bag and starting to scribble something down. Feeling ashamed, she quickly looked away and went back to her book.
Soon, silence stretched out over them, accompanied by the light drizzling of the rain and the sound of soft scratches on paper, but it was the kind of silence that was welcoming, not awkward or uncomfortable or that made you want to scream. No, it was nothing like that but pleasant. In fact, it was a nice shift in her life that was usually filled with hectic and chaos. She didn't know how or when exactly, but some time during her life moments like these had ceased to exist or at least became less frequent. If she'd have to spend an entire hour on a train station during bad weather with a stranger next to her to relive those moments, she wouldn't mind. She didn't. After all, things could be way worse. Sure, she actually preferred being alone but she couldn't just have shooed him away like a bird. Not that she shooed away birds, but people got the point.
So, no, this wasn't bad, not at all. It was peaceful.
It was nice.
She couldn't help but glance at her neighbor and take a closer look at him. His brows were furrowed, deeply concentrating on his task. The first thing she noticed about him were his eyes she'd looked into earlier. Although the moment hadn't lasted long, it was long enough for her to tell that they were beautiful. It's not that she hadn't seen green eyes in her life before, but his were different than the ones she'd seen so far, but different in a good way definitely. Those were the kind of eyes she could get lost in for hours, but she'd rather not do that because of fairly obvious reasons. Staring at him like that was already creepy, but she kept going nonetheless.
Her eyes wandered down to the lower part of his body. She hadn't really seen his whole body due to their different positions, but now that they were on the same level she could see that he was wearing a dark brown leather jacket with a gray hoodie beneath it and a pair of blue jeans as well as a pair of black sneakers. She also didn't miss the way his arms and chest were toned or how cute his undercut looked, albeit his hair was damped due to the humid weather. In hindsight, he was quite handsome.
Her thoughts, however, were interrupted when he suddenly looked up from his notebook, directly looking into her face. Fearing she might have been exposed, she felt the heat coming to her face. She didn't know if he noticed, but fortunately, he seemed to be completely unaware of her actions.
"So, uh, If I Stay, huh?" he said, pointing to the book on her lap. "I watched the movie with my friends, I think one of them actually started reading the book too. Heard it's good but kinda expected more from the movie, you know."
He looked at her nervously, rubbing his neck with one of his hands. Jinora couldn't help but think it was actually cute. The fact that he made an effort to have a real conversation was kinda sweet as well, but maybe that was just her. They would have to share a bench for an hour after all, so it wouldn't be bad to get to know each other while doing so. It made things less awkward.
She still hoped that he didn't notice the slight blush on her face. "I-I haven't seen it yet. The novel is good, though. I'd recommend it."
"Nah, I'm not much of a reader," he replied casually. "I'm kinda the guy who prefers senseless action movies. Stupid, but still good fun."
"I kinda want to get into action movies, but I haven't heard of good ones so far," Jinora admitted shyly. It was still difficult for her to believe that she was actually sitting somewhere on a station with a stranger in the rain, talking about action movies.
This made him curious. "Really? There are actually pretty good ones. You should definitely watch Deadpool. It's got good humor, kick-ass characters, a good story and badass fight scenes. Pretty much the definition of a good action movie."
She'd heard of that movie before, but it didn't get her interest. She actually thought that the main character looked like Spiderman, but maybe she should give it a shot. Her brothers wanted to go see it in the theaters anyway. A third person wouldn't hurt anyone, after all. Well, besides the fact that they would make her pay for it, but that was something she would deal with later.
"I'll think about it," she gave him a smile. Her eyes found their way to the notebook on his lap.
"Are you a writer?" she asked.
His eyes widened for a split moment, but that went away soon enough. He looked down onto the notebook, and somehow, his hand ended up on his neck again. Jinora came to the conclusion that the movement was really endearing.
He smiled nervously. "Not really, I'm taking art classes, so, uh, I'm practicing in my free-time."
This actually made her curious. Not that she was someone who had preconceptions at first sight, but she wouldn't have taken him for someone to study art.
"Do you mind if I could take a look?" she asked.
"Uh, sure." He handed her his notebook. "This is more of a hobby, though. I'm not really good at it," he added once she had opened the first page.
Jinora wasn't an expert in arts, but she could tell that he put a lot of effort into each drawing. It were mostly just sketches, but those were some of the best sketches she'd ever seen in her entire life. They were mostly drawn with pencils, each picture depicting a different theme, varying from simple cars to motorcycles to flowers or trees. Every picture had one thing in common, however; there always was a signature on the bottom of the page.
Mesmerized, she looked up and saw the nervous expression on his face.
"I've never seen anything like these before. You're really talented."
At that, his eyes lit up. "You think so? My teacher told me that they'd need some fixing and.. Well, he told me that they wouldn't be good enough." Saddened, he looked down.
Noticing his sudden shift in demeanor, she added "Those sketches are great. You shouldn't let yourself down only because one person might say otherwise." It was obvious that drawing meant a lot to him and even though they just met, she admired his passion. No one should be doubting themselves only because someone else did.
He looked up to her, with a small smile on his face again. "Thanks. I appreciate it."
"You're welcome," she smiled. "Say, what do the letters in your signature stand for?"
"They're just my initials. Kai Fong," he replied, a faint blush appearing on his cheeks. "Maybe I should have told you my name earlier.."
Right. She'd been too distracted with looking at him that she didn't notice that they hadn't even told each other their name. Luckily, that was a fairly small issue. Nothing that couldn't be fixed.
"Jinora," she said, extending her hand.
He smiled. "Kai," he replied, taking her hand into his own and shaking it.
As said, things really could have been worse, but this was far from it. Jinora never would have thought that she'd find herself talking with a stranger in the middle of pouring rain during a cold day, but there was a first time for everything. And, hey, things turned out fine. More than that, actually. Soon enough, she found herself deep in conversation with the fellow stranger, talking about everything and nothing, their mutual fears and worries thrown aside and accompanied by a constant smile on their faces.
So, yeah, if you should be sitting alone somewhere in the rain and a stranger approaches you out of nowhere, you should take the chance. After all, you never know that this person could turn out to be your friend eventually.
Yay, another one-shot. Came up with this one literally a few days ago when I was out and it was raining. Guess rain is quite inspirational. Hope you enjoy this one!
For the collective works of the author, go here.