(IP) City Rain

(IP) City Rain

The two young women huddled together under the umbrella, talking quietly, though they could barely hear each other over the wet, insistent voice of the rain.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” The blonde one asked, so close to her companion that their hips brushed. “I know I’ve asked that already. But I just want to make sure that this is really what you want.” Her cheeks flushed, two bright crimson spots in the gray, rainy day. Even to herself, she sounded like she was mothering, overbearing.

But they’d been best friends since grade school, and she was happy for her friend, but she couldn’t deny, at least to herself, that it was painful to let go.

But that was what old friends did, wasn’t it? They grew apart, and moved on, with only memories to sustain them in the future. Just thinking about that made her heart implode, crumbled like a used paper cup.

“I’ve already committed to this, so I’d say that the answer is yes,” Her friend replied, shrugging her slim shoulders. “I won’t say that I’m not nervous, though. Going all the way to England? That’s a whole world away from here.”

“I didn’t exactly mean the move, Renee. I meant… him.”

“This again?” Renee asked, sounding more amused than exasperated, thankfully. “Of course I’m sure. I wouldn’t have said yes if I weren’t. I know that you two don’t get along, but I wish you’d give each other a chance. I’m kind of sick of playing middleman.” She frowned, adjusting the umbrella slightly above them; as she did so, a massive, teardrop-shared diamond glinted on her left ring finger.

They’d had this argument so many times that Renee had lost count eventually. For whatever reason, Luna had never liked her fiance, and Renee had been spent the last year and a half trying to figure out exactly why. But the issue had long worn thin between them, so much so that Renee hated bringing up her intended.

But she could admit, to herself at least, that it hurt her to leave Luna behind. They’d been attached at the hip, two people in a set, since they were little. And it wasn’t like she could take her best friend to England to live with them, as much as she wished that she could have.

“We’ve been engaged for almost six months, Lune. I’m not backing out.” Renee said, her mouth mashed into a thin, forbidding line, her brows drawn together as she tried to fight the urge to snap. “You don’t even have a good reason for disapproving of him. You’re my best friend, not my mother.”

She felt Luna flinch away from her, eyes downcast as she adjusted the strap of her bag, moving it higher up on her shoulder.

There was only the sound of the rain and wind for a moment, the silence growing between them.

“Do you still want to come over for dinner tonight? I… I’ve been lonely, and Ian isn’t coming until the weekend.”

God, she hated appearing vulnerable, even with her, the woman who knew her better than almost anyone. But she felt compelled to offer an olive branch; she always did when they fought. She couldn’t help herself, even as she was counting down the days to leaving for England, away from the crowded city they lived in, the tiny apartment that felt haunted by memories she couldn’t quite forget, no matter how much she drank or smoked.

Luna, for her part, chewed her bottom lip. She wanted to say yes, but she also dreaded what would happen if she did. It felt as if she were the female replacement for Ian when he was abroad, and she wasn’t sure how she felt about it. Especially when there were alcohol and drugs involved. What was her alternative, though? Coming home to a dark, empty apartment, the silence broken only by the phone ringing and the television blaring, late into the night? Even being used by her best friend was better than being lonely.

Wasn’t it?

“Well?” Renee asked, and if Luna didn’t know better, she could’ve sworn that she heard pleading in her tone, saw hunger in her eyes.

 "I got the ingredients for pumpkin soup and grilled cheese.“

Those were Luna’s favorites, and Renee knew it. Before she could stop herself, she asked, "What about dessert?”

Renee’s bright, white smile gleamed, a sharp contrast to the gray, rainy day around her. “A bottle of wine, some apple pie, and… other things.” Her grin turned sharp and wicked, and Luna felt her heart swell, both with hope and fear. Renee was looking at her as if she wanted to devour her, and she found herself nodding.

“Yes, of course, Renee. Let’s go home."The two women walked through the rain, under the umbrella, arm in arm.

**