Here we go again.
She had always loved the rain. The way it fell, an endless waterfall from the sky. How clean it was, erasing everything as it soaked all. The repetitive tapping was comforting, constant, a song for everyone and just her. But most of all, the color. Whenever it rained, she would stare dreamily up at the sky, smiling, unflinching as the drops glanced of her face. The deep blue grey is always beautiful to her,
It is raining, now. It is night. It stands to all reason Sarah should be smiling her smile. She had a beautiful smile, one full of childlike wonder and amazement, one that you couldn't help smiling back at. Round, pushed-up cheeks and the slight dimple, her eyes smiled too. But Sarah isn't smiling. The rain makes it all a little easier, but she is not happy. She is sobbing. It is the second-worst night of her life, and it is about to get a little worse.
He is angry, wet from the storm. It only makes him seem angrier, wilder. The anger is in his tight, clenched muscly fists and in his twitching mouth and in the look in his eyes. He is shaking, barely even hurt anymore, just angry, endlessly angry. He is shouting, anger in his strained voice and anger in the poison in his words. None of this would even come close to making Sarah cry. In the times before that he was ever angry with her, and it was a precious few, she stood her ground, eyes dry. But now she sits on the bed and soft tears are in her eyes and on her cheeks.
She has only cried a handful of times in her adult life. At her parents funeral, who had died within a week of each other, she cried into her brother's shoulder, tears soaking the black fabric. And then again, a few years later, in the hospital as he lay dying. She had told herself to be strong for him before she went, looking into her own steely face in the mirror, wanting to be someone for him to cry against. But even on the white cot, mangled and twisted with disease as he was, he managed to be the strong one. He told her it would be okay as he slipped away, reassuring her even in his last seconds. The tears came then, as he said his last words. He had asked her if she could try, for him, to make everything in the world a little brighter, not a lot but just a little. Between wracking sobs, she promised and told him she loved him and told him she didn't want him to go. And then he was gone.
Then, she had cried because of loss. Because it hurt. But that's not why she's crying now. She's crying because of what she feels coming up, what she has to do. Even with cheeks wet with tears, her face is strong against the tempest of fury emanating from him. She can not show further weakness. Not now. He is shouting, screaming almost, but she can barely hear him. It doesn't matter. She knows where he's going, what he's going to do and say. She's crying because of what she's going to say next. What that will mean.
On the bed, her small fist clenches the sheet, squeezing it tight. The same sheet she lay on, shuddering in ecstasy, less than an hour earlier. Anger is rising in his now, like bile, but she forces it down. Got to keep that in check. Unlike him.
"I still can't fucking believe it," he says, complete incredulity in his tone. Like she was insane for doing what he did. Her anger rises again. "Just no fucking way." Like he wouldn't have done the same fucking thing. It had taken her weeks after coming home to step outside, he surely would have been out long before that. She can't believe this is happening, and it almost feels like a bad dream. Confrontation always is surreal, like anger and emotion at their rawest form just seem fake and unbelievable. She can't believe the words that are coming out of his mouth, even though she can see it happening. This is not the man she fell in love with, not the man she married. That man died in the crash.
"I thought you were gone," she says softly. No malice, calm. "I made my choices like you were gone." And as she finishes the sentence she shivers and her voice cracks. He sees it as fear towards that concept, like she is scared of the thought of him being gone. He thinks he can press on now, safe from any further resistance. He is so, so wrong. There is no fear in her. She trembled because she realized something, something horrifying and brutal and terrifying. She realized that she wishes he was really gone.
Unaware, he pushes ahead, skipping over most of the meandering and getting to what he really has to say. His words bite with venom and violence. "Someone like her? What the fuck were you thinking? I thought you knew better." Her face changes instantly, twists and for a second her beauty is frightening. This was the wrong thing to say. He has crossed her line.
"Fuck you!" she yells, standing, "Who the fuck do you think you are?" She can no longer contain it. Her anger is a wild animal, far wilder than his, all teeth and claws. It's all coming out now. "When you judge someone like that, when you tear someone down like that, so fucking blindly, maybe just stop and think for a fucking second that there might be someone who fucking loves them." She stares straight into his eyes, no longer crying, and there is rage in her eyes like he had never seen. And now the truth lies out in the open, ugly and awkward. The ultimatum stated, the battlefield razed. He turns and walks out, making a dazed retreat to the kitchen, a dead and lost look on his face. This is not the woman he fell in love with, not the woman he married. That woman died in the crash.
She stares at the doorway, fury pouring from her eyes. She is unfocused, thrown off by her outburst. She didn't think she was going to tell him. She thought maybe it would have been figured out and dealt with easily, painlessly. No way for that now.
Except for the soft pattering of rain on the windowpane, it is silent in the apartment. It is an uncomfortable silence, but a strong one. One that you want to break but can't. The phone rings, then, loud. Sarah looks at it, like it is not a phone but something intangible, something that does not matter to anything. It rings again.
She steels herself the best she can, swallowing hard. Her hand is shaking as she picks up the phone. She puts it to her ear.
Peter hears the conversation from the kitchen, drink in hand. "Hello?" Unsteady, but calm. "Oh. Rachel. Hi." He doesn't know who that is. Is that her? He feels the anger rising again, ready to take him again. Then he hears a gasp, so soft and so full of pain it rocks him. The anger leaves. And he feels it, deep in his chest, but knows he can not let it out. He hears the phone drop against the floor, loud on the hardwood. Then there is just the dial tone. He walks slowly to the bedroom. Sarah is laying on the bed, hugging herself and shaking harder than before, staring with eyes so hollow she could have been dead.