Rain: New York City

The light was yellow and he stepped down off the sidewalk as if to make a dash for it, then it changed red and he abruptly reined in to the curb.  She nearly walked straight up his back, rearing on her toes to regain balance.  Righted, she stayed where she was, up on the sidewalk, half under her umbrella, half under his.  From that vantage point in her heels, her head was perfectly on a level with his.  There was something sheltering, not exclusionary, about his back to her.  It felt warmer next to him, and drier.  She stood still, as always perfectly at ease in his companionable silence.  She stood close enough to see constellations of raindrops beaded on his coat.  Close enough to see individual hairs on the back of his neck and a loose thread in his collar.  His presence was solid, inviting and undemanding, and with her late-afternoon lethargy came a very natural and easy desire to lay her temple on his shoulder, to give him some of her tall weight, just for a moment.  She had nothing to say; she liked him, liked the look and feel of him, and it would be undoubtedly lovely to put her head against him, perhaps rub one or two circles between his shoulder blades.  She wanted very much to connect with him physically, but there was no reasonable context to do so.  And no good could come of it.

Death by sensibility.

The light changed.  The north-south cogs and gears of the city lurched into motion.  He stepped out into the crosswalk, a spray of rainwater from the edge of his umbrella in his wake.  She followed, falling neatly into step at his elbow where she belonged, and said nothing.

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