The pleasant air of her favourite lullaby had tided her over until she had heard the comforting sound of new music filling her ears, the music in her head which struggled to get out. A flurry of minims and treble clefs and enharmonics spilled into her consciousness. And then, silence. A boy stood forty five degrees to her left, hazel flecked eyes locked on hers. He slowly approached the second path, nothing more than a trail, the pressure of his feet only adding to the mud that the rain was creating. Her blue irises reained unblinkingly on him. And then one word. Hello.
Alex was taught from a young age not to talk to strangers, not to give personal details, name, address to people you didn’t know. And whilst he doubted that this girl had more than six months of an age difference on him, he refutedly kept his mouth shut. Was he just going to stand there? He had obviously interrupted her and, in keeping with his character, had no desire for a confrontation. She was still staring. And then he felt a quiver in his left hand. The shadow of the tree, the grey sky, her perfectly blue eyes.
After the picture, they walked. Neither was sure where, or even why, they were walking together. As of yet, all conversastion between them was limited to the legal requirement of asking permission to take a picture. Another paradox to their travel was the now hostile shower of water falling on their heads. The mist had not subsided as anticipated but had only grown in its fervour, displaying all the symptoms of the approach of a feverous storm. Both boy and girl should probably have begun the trek home. But neither did.
The snails near the arch were in the process of grieving. The greenflies comforted the bereaved widow and the slugs extended their condolences to the family. The rain had strengthened so much that it seemed two or three of the surrounding communities of vapour loving insects and also attended the wake. Hidden in the grass, the species tried to prevent further tragedies as the clatter of footfall grew ever closer.
They dwindled in the archway as the clouds brewed further overhead and the faint sound of thunder could be heard some distance away. What was once habitable was now torrential and the departure was now inevitable. He wanted to leave so badly, or rather his habitual sense of logic was telling him to, but that lullaby, those eyes…
“Alex,” he said, in a voice slightly louder than usual, so as to be heard above the impending storm. “My name is Alex, nice to meet you.” He held out his hand to shake hers.
For the first time in her life, she was hesitant. There was this random boy who had taken her picture in the shadows of a tree, strolled with her in the rain and most worringly, silenced the sounds in her head. None of this was familiar, unused to regular life as she was, and she stopped a moment to consider. Thunder rumbled closer over head.
He pulsed his hand slightly, in case this intriguingly odd girl hadn’t seen. As one more roll of thunder sounded around them, she clasped her hand into his.
Above them, electricity sparked.