Chapter 13 in Rainstorm

  • June 30, 2022, 10:15 p.m.
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Julia didn’t know why, but each time she saw Rain she wanted to see more of her. She wanted to get to know more than the few trivial things she knew about her. She seemed to be the only one whose company she actually enjoyed lately, though she wasn’t sure that she was quite ready to admit that she was actually attracted to the woman. Where did this come from, anyway? she wondered to herself. She’d never been attracted to a woman before. At least not like this. It wasn’t that she wanted to get it on with Rain, or even kiss her; so much as that she simply found her pleasing to the eye and longed for her company the more her curiosity was piqued.

Julia felt a surge of delight when she pulled into her driveway one day just as Rain was checking for mail. She noticed Rain was taking her time as if hoping to say hello. The doctor exited her car as quickly as she could and headed for her own mailbox.

“Hi!” Rain called from across the street.

“Well, hello there. How are you doing today?”

“Great,” said Rain as she crossed the street and approached the doctor. “I’ve been wanting to come over and say hello, but I hesitated to in case you’re one of the ones that like to be called first, and well, I don’t have your number to begin with of course.”

“Oh, you can come on over anytime in the afternoon. Come on over now if you want. It’s hot out. Let’s have some lemonade or iced tea.”

Rain closed her empty mailbox and followed the specialist into her house.

The living room wasn’t as spacious as one might expect it to be, but it was well shaded from the sun, and rather cozy with many houseplants scattered about it. “What a cozy place you have here.”

“Yeah, we’ve done a lot with it over the years.”

“Why do you suppose some of these houses are two stories while some are only one?”

The doctor shrugged. “Don’t know. That’s just the way they built them, I guess.”

Rain followed Julia into the kitchen, which was also cozy but not cramped. Above the kitchen sink was one of those greenhouse windows in which a few more plants sat. Rain slid onto a stool at the center island. “How many bedrooms do you have up there?”

“Just two.” Julia put her messenger bag down on the end of the island. “Iced tea or lemonade?”

Rain thought a moment, then said, “Iced tea, please.”

“Okay, coming right up.”

“It isn’t decaf, is that okay?”

“Yeah, it’s early enough in my day. Anything I can do to help?”

“Nope. I’ve got it.”

Rain watched as the doctor pulled a pitcher with a dark liquid in it from the refrigerator. The pitcher had a design of bright red strawberries scattered about it. She poured the drink into two large plastic cups. Those had watermelons on them. Very summery.

“Since it’s not that late yet and therefore not that hot out, would you like to go outside?”

“Sure.”

Rain followed her out back to a covered patio. “Wow, this is nice,” she said, gazing at the recently mowed lawn and the beautiful array of flowers alongside the yard’s parameters. “Such colorful flowers you have. I even see a vegetable garden.”

“Gardening is one of my passions along with cooking.”

“Good for you. I suck at both of them.”

Julia chuckled as they sat on a comfortable bench swing. One of the things she liked about Rain was her unpredictability and bluntness.

Rain sipped her tea. “Delicious.”

The doctor smiled and took a few sips from her own cup. “So now that we’re neighbors and friends instead of doctor and patient, tell me about yourself, Miss Rain.”

“Hmm…” Rain said thoughtfully. “I’m fun. I’m creative. I’m real. I’m liberal. I’m open to new things. And I’m a real bitch before periods.”

Julia chuckled much louder. She was really liking the younger woman she probably would have considered herself to be above and beyond under the usual circumstances. “What kinds of new things are you open to?”

Rain thought a moment, then said, “Pretty much anything legal that doesn’t involve heights, spiders or brutality.”

More laughter came from the doctor.

“What about you, Doc? Then again, do you mind if I still call you Doc?”

“No, not at all.”

“Good, because to me you’ll always be Doc. It’s just kind of hard to break the habit and think of you with any other title.”

“You should meet my daughter Amy. She has all kinds of titles for me.”

Rain studied the doctor. “Good ones or bad ones?”

“A little of both.”

“Yeah?”

Julia nodded. “She’s the one that lives in town. She and I have always had a bit of a stormy relationship, pardon the pun.”

Rain giggled. “What about the other two in New York?”

“Well, Pamela is just Pamela. Decent. Good-natured. Loves animals. She has two handsome boys and one beautiful girl.”

“Any other grandkids?”

“Nope. Amy’s not the mothering type, and my son is gay.” Julia said in a matter-of-fact tone of voice.

“I’ve been with women before I met Troy.”

“Really?”

Rain nodded. “Yeah, I’ve had a few girlfriends, but Miss Right turned out to be Mr. Right in the end, much to my surprise.”

“Why were you surprised?” Julia asked, surprised at her own curiosity. Wasn’t this discussion a little too personal given the short length of time they’d known each other?

“Because women are the better-looking sex in general, and most guys are assholes. There aren’t many guys out there like Troy who is both good-looking and real.”

Julia laughed at that one. “I think most women feel that way.”

“I love the hell out of Troy, but that doesn’t stop me from recognizing an attractive woman when I see one.”

Rain’s gaze suddenly flicked from the rosebushes to Julia as if she had suddenly realized just what she was saying. She then laughed and said, “You okay with such candid confessions, Doc?”

“There really isn’t much you could tell me that I haven’t heard before.”

“It’s not that it’s any big secret, but sometimes I wish I had the best of both worlds. It’s not something I absolutely have to have, though, or else I wouldn’t have been with Troy this long.”

Julia casually sipped her iced tea, also gazing around her colorful yard.

“Ever hear barking dogs in the back of you?” Rain asked, nodding toward the back fence.

“No. Why, do you?” Julia asked, even though she already knew the answer to this. She’d been reading Rain’s blog every night before bed.

“Yes. Someone’s little mutt behind us goes off at random times and it does get annoying. I’m undecided as to whether or not to speak up about it. I don’t want to complain because we’re new here, but we do have a right not to hear it, don’t we?”

“Since Troy doesn’t get home until late afternoon, you’re welcome to come over here when I get home and escape some of it.”

Rain looked at her, genuinely touched. “Aw, that’s sweet of you to rescue me like that from the mayhem, but I don’t want to bug you.”

“You wouldn’t be. But if you are, I’ll just throw you out,” Julia said with a wink.

Rain laughed.

“So, what brought you out west?”

Rain’s face immediately darkened and she nearly choked as she was swallowing her tea.

“Wrong question, huh?”

Rain sighed deeply and said, “It isn’t that I don’t want to tell you. It’s just that, well, it’s a hell of a story.”

“Well, that’s okay. You don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to tell me.”

“I’m running from a madwoman.”

The doctor blinked with surprise.

“I told you it would be quite a story. Sometimes not even I can believe it. It almost seems like a bad dream. But yes, it really did happen, and I have to remind myself that at times that’s how unbelievable it is, so please, if anybody comes around asking about me, you don’t know me. Or Troy, okay?”

“Nope. Don’t know you folks.”

Rain proceeded to tell the doctor the story about the crazy woman, leaving out the dog, as always, and some of the sexual details.

The doctor took a moment or two to digest what Rain had told her. No wonder she seemed so on edge at times. This would also explain why she was nervously scrutinizing her surroundings the other day at the block party. “You’re right. That’s an incredible story. And I’m very sorry that happened to you. I can see where that would have been terrifying to have to live with, never knowing what she was going to do and when she was going to do it.”

“Sure was.”

“So, you two never found out who she could be and why she was after you?”

“Nope. Never. I couldn’t even begin to guess as to her identity or motivation.”

“That’s too bad,” Julia said.

“There’s more,” Rain said. “Some guy tried to attack me when I was jogging through the woods a few months before she came into the picture, but luckily for me, he couldn’t get it up. Despite a witness, he wasn’t apprehended either, but we’re pretty sure there’s no connection.”

“Wow, what did you do after that?”

“I started running in the streets only.”

Julia could only imagine Rain’s suffering.

“I miss being in a house big time, Doc. I hate living attached to others, always being disrupted by their noise and always having to control my own noise, but we want to take our time and get to know the area before we dive into anything.”

“Makes sense. Why did you choose California?”

“Well, I was against it at first because it’s such an expensive state, but it’s far away from Massachusetts and it’s got more opportunity for us than we ever had in the tiny town we were in back there. This climate also appealed to me. You don’t have harsh winters or summers.”

“Not a lot of rain these last few years either.”

After a bit more chatter, Rain rose from the bench swing. She gave a mock bow and said, “Thanks for the tea, Doc, but this native Masshole must go now.”

Julia couldn’t wait to read her blog that night.

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