“Hey, breakfast is ready.”
She’s probably still asleep, he thought, as he gently turned the knob of his bedroom door. He found that it was locked, so he knocked gently, hoping that she was already up and that he wasn’t disturbing her. Still, there was no answer. He knocked harder.
“Juliet, are you in there?”
He figured she was still asleep, considering the rough night she’d had. He decided to go ahead and eat breakfast, and then heat up some leftovers for her later. Still in his pajamas, he rushed to the kitchen to get his bread out of the toaster.
He was just in time. His toast was perfect. He took a bite out of the buttered toast and poured himself a cup of hot coffee. He forked some scrambled eggs onto the toast and sat down. The delicious aroma of the coffee wafted in the air as he took a sip.
Delicious, he thought to himself.
He was looking around the small apartment when something caught his eye. It was a bright, yellow card stuck to the refrigerator with his name written on it in small, tiny letters. He recognized the handwriting right away. Juliet.
Coffee mug in hand, he snatched the card from the refrigerator door and read the small, cramped script. His eyes widened as he read its contents, and he immediately grabbed his clothes off of the sofa and got dressed.
He was pulling on his rubber shoes, and it was right at that moment when it started to rain. The rain was so perfect for the situation he was in, he almost laughed. He opened the door, ready to leave, when his eyes fell on a blue, velvet box on the table. He hesitated, grabbed the box, and slipped it into his pocket. He stepped outside into the misty, rainy morning.
A cool gust of wind suddenly blew and playfully rumpled his soft, brown curls. He took both hands out of his pockets and ran through the curtain of rain, his grey eyes filled with worry.
Hold on, Juliet. I’m coming.
She stood on the edge of the pier, her arms spread out so wide, she felt as if she could hug the world. She looked up and let the rain wash away everything she was feeling. Fear, pain, and just a flicker of hope.
Wet strands of long, honey blonde hair whipped at her face. Clinging tightly onto the railing, she lifted a foot and let it dangle above the waters that angrily lapped at her feet. The dark waves seemed to taunt her, as if they were calling her to join them in a watery grave.
Suddenly, everything started coming back to her. A tidal wave of memories and emotions overwhelmed her, and she immediately withdrew her foot from the edge. She sat down on the edge and buried her face in the red sweater she was wearing. She didn’t believe in God, and barely prayed, but right now was an exception. She took a deep breath.
“God, take care of Alex, and let him find it in his heart to forgive me.”
Alex fiddled with the velvet box in his pocket. He’d brought it along with him, just in case. He put up his hood, which was useless, since he was drenched anyway. He looked to his right and saw that little coffee shop in the corner, the place where he and Juliet always met up after work. Images of last night flooded his brain as he stopped and stared at the shop.
He saw her standing outside the shop, waiting for him. She was dressed in a small; dirty white t-shirt, and old, blue jeans. Her thick, black eyeliner was smudged and her long, honey-colored hair was tied up in a loose bun. She was smoking on a cigarette, her eyes bloodshot and tired. He walked over to her and gave her a hug.
“Thanks,” she said, her voice muffled by his sweater.
“No problem. You can crash at my place anytime,” he said, smiling. Alex took off his red, knit sweater and put it on her. Then, they started walking up the street to his apartment. Even though Juliet had fallen in with the wrong crowd, her strength and beauty was still there. He knew that deep down, she was still that stubborn, witty, yet kind girl he’d fallen in love with years ago. He just needed to help her break out of her shell.
He shook himself out of his daydream and continued wandering down the road, looking at all the familiar places and wondering where Juliet had gone.
She stood up once again, still struggling inside. Should she do it? All she had to do was jump, and all of this would be over. Still, she hated to leave Alex. He was, after all, her best friend in the whole world. After everything she’d done and said, he was still there for her. He listened quietly to her cries, dried her tears, and made her feel special. He even missed a whole week of work once to go with her to a few self-help sessions. That’s what she’d always liked best about him. His compassionate, gentle, and loving spirit.
Juliet’s eyes widened and tears formed in the corners of her eyes. She didn’t deserve to be his best friend, let alone a friend. He was always the one saving her and helping her, and how many times had she done the same for him? Almost never.
Amidst all her failures, he loved her.
She breathed deeply, letting the cool mist kiss her tear-stained face. She managed to put on a small, broken smile as she realized the truth. This whole time, she’d just wanted to feel loved. She’d been too blinded to realize that what she’d been looking for had been there the whole time. Why had it taken her so long to realize that she loved him?
She knew what she had to do, and she was going to do it now.
Alex was tired and desperate. He had asked all the neighbors and strangers if they’d seen her. Apparently, no one had and no one cared. He decided that he wouldn’t give up until he found her. Suddenly, he knew where she was. He bit his lip and ran towards the pier, fearing the worst.
“Juliet!” he exclaimed, dropping the glass of water he was holding. Water and broken pieces of glass crashed to the floor. He didn’t mind getting wet, something worse had happened.
She was sitting on the kitchen floor, shaking. Her wrists were bleeding, and she was clutching a plastic bag filled with a white, powdery substance. He immediately grabbed the bag and threw it into the trash bin. Throwing open the cupboard doors, he took out a roll of soft bandages and ointment, and placed them on the counter. He gently lifted her and placed her on top of the counter.
“I can’t do this anymore, Alex,” she sobbed. “I thought he loved me.”
“I know,” he said, running tap water over her wrists. The cooling sensation calmed Juliet, and she stopped shaking. He patted her wounds dry with a towel and placed some ointment on them. He finished by neatly bandaging her cut wrists and carrying her to his room. He put her on his bed, and then stood up to leave.
“Thanks,” she mumbled sleepily, as she slipped into unconsciousness. He nodded and smiled sadly before closing the door.
Why did Juliet always have to fall for jerks like Adam?
There was a sudden flash of lightning and roar of thunder, followed by a downpour of hard rain. Alex ran faster, gasping for breath with each step. He squinted, trying to make out the figure a few feet away from him.
The breath was knocked out of him as he was locked in a tight embrace. He looked down and saw that familiar, honey blonde hair buried in his jacket. He hugged Juliet back, feeling her shaking.
“I’m so sorry, Alex. I’ve been such a jerk, and I—”
Juliet was interrupted as Alex suddenly knelt down and pulled a deep blue, velvet box out of his pocket. He opened it, revealing a cheap, silver band. The ring seemed to sparkle in the rain. It was cheap, a bit scratched, and it wasn’t even real silver, but to her it was worth more than anything in the world.
“Juliet,” he yelled to make his voice heard above the rain. For a moment, he felt ashamed that he couldn’t afford a proper diamond ring, but he put that thought aside. All that mattered was what was happening right now. He took a deep breath. “Can you, I mean, would you, no, will you—”
“Yes!” she cried, flinging her arms around his neck. A sudden clap of thunder made them both jump and laugh.
“Great!” he yelled, slipping the ring onto her finger and grabbing her hand. “Now, let’s get out of this crazy rainstorm!”
Looking up, Juliet saw that the sun started to come out from the dark curtains that had concealed it. A rainbow danced in the sky, making the streets glitter and the puddles shine. Everywhere they looked, everything was being made fresh and anew.
Hand in hand, they ran through the heavy sheet of rain, forever remembering Sunday.