by Belinda Roddie
The raindrops glistened on her eyelashes as we danced. The rain was heavy, and it was cold. It made the grass clump against our shoes and the gray pavement a slick, oily black. It made nearby cars shine and lamp lights glitter with dozens of metallic stars.
"Twirl for me, sugar," she murmured in my ear as she pulled herself into me. I twirled for her. "That's a good girl."
When we were done dancing, we went outside and took off our wet coats, and we settled into wooden chairs before she put a kettle on the stove. The kitchen smelled like rain and tea leaves and salt. I never knew salt had a distinct odor until now. I breathed it in, and I was by the sea hundreds of miles away.
"Do you dance in the rain often?" I asked her.
"Not often. I could get sick."
"It's very cinematic of you."
"Romantic. People dancing in the rain. Kissing in the rain."
"Have we kissed yet?" she asked.
I shook my head. The kettle whistled. She poured the tea into two small, green mugs and handed me one. I sipped slowly. It tasted like cream and cinnamon.
"My mother used to dance with me when I was young," she said, her eyelashes still sparkling with tiny beads of water. "Inside or outside. Rain or shine."
"Was your mother a good dancer?"
"She was a seasoned dancer." She laughed. "I could never get the hang of it. She always seemed so choreographed - I could never keep up."
"You're not a practiced dancer."
"I am. But I prefer to improvise."
She drank some of her tea. Her lips looked red against the green mug. Like Christmas.
"You like the tea?" she asked. I nodded. "It's a strange tea. It comes from a tiny shop on the edge of downtown. I find it appropriate for the winter."
"I can't say I've been to the tea shop."
"Not very many people have."
The wooden chairs creaked. Something in my chest felt tight and rusty. The room smelled like rain and tea and dust. If we danced more, we'd kick up more dust. We'd cause a tornado of it. Twirl in it. Until we were carried away.
I finished my tea slowly, and so did she. Once she put the cups in the sink, she sat beside me and clasped both my hands. Her fingers were so small compared to mine, her hair long compared to me. Her lips crimson against my pink lips. No. Not now. Later.
Her father could come home at any minute.
I left the house and promptly got drenched in the storm before getting into my car. I pulled away and saw her watching me from the kitchen window. There was still a little bit of rain on her eyelashes.
This week's prompt was provided by Arden Roddie.