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Author's Chapter Notes:
In response to the Rain challenge. I had intended something much steamier - but I've learned long ago I can't control these things. Please be advised: those of you who have yet to answer this challenge - sicokitty and I have deemed that a "shower" does constitute as rain.

That is all. :)
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Eye of the Storm

They say rain on your wedding day is good luck.

Pam wasn't entirely convinced.

When she woke this morning she could hear the incessant pounding and the crash of thunder and all she could think was…

Someone is trying to tell you something.

She watched Roy's sister in law spread her makeup kit out before her and suddenly had vision of herself covered forehead to chin in the orange bronzer she seemed to slather on with reckless abandon.

I am so not going down the aisle looking like an Oompa Loompa.

She sat in the chair and instead of butterflies; instead of the giddy anticipation she knew she should be feeling she felt nothing but impending dread.

I don't want to go down the aisle AT ALL.

Pure and simple.

There was chatter all around her, as loud and insistent as the thunder outside and she couldn't take it - couldn't deal with it anymore.

This is wrong. It's all wrong.

Pam eased out the front door and sank onto the porch swing. She pressed her feet to the floorboards and pushed off, the rhythmic motion of the swing calming her immediately.

It was pouring buckets. There was no way she would be able to get into the car with out ruining her dress.

Without ruining everything.

Right now, the thought of ruining everything actually made her feel something. Right now, she didn't know where to but she wanted to run, straight through the raindrops and hide somewhere. Someplace warm and comfortable and...safe. She never felt safe anymore, just conflicted and confused and terrified. Right now, she was terrified to take chances…and terrified not to.

She opened the front door a crack and grabbed her keys from the bowl in the entranceway. She ducked her head, not caring that the rain would soak her half-hearted attempt at a fancy hairstyle. She just needed some distance. She just needed some time.

She hadn't had a destination in mind but her car seemed to go on auto pilot as she drove to the church. She'd never been terribly religious but just like when one boarded a plane or waited for an impending natural disaster, at times like those and this, she figured a little praying couldn't hurt.

Drenched from head to toe, her toes squishing in her waterlogged Keds, her jeans molded to her legs she walked down the aisle, knowing, deep in her heart that if she had her way this would be the only time she'd do this today. And just like any other time she's found time to think in the past month, she begins the same argument she's had with herself for what seems like forever.

Jim.

Don't think about him. Just…don't. He's away…

And why do you think he left?

He always wanted to go to Australia.

On June 8th? Terribly convenient.

He…

He said he loves you.

I know.

He kissed you.

I know.

You kissed him back.

I know.

She shivers and pulls her sweatshirt tighter around her.

You don't really want to marry Roy do you? C'mon. Admit it..

No. I…I don't think that I do.

It's OK. Really it is. It doesn't make you a bad person.

Is that true? Because I feel like a bad person. I feel like horrible person. I feel like…

It'd be worse to go through with it and resent him for the rest of your life. That's not fair to Roy.

No it's not.

It's not fair to you either.

No it's not.

You love Jim don't you? You can't marry someone else when you love him.

She can't fully admit it. Not even to herself. Not yet.

You do. You love him, Pam.

He's not here.

He'll be back.

He won't. He's moving.

There's a great invention. It's called a car. You get in it and drive and you are actually capable of crossing state lines. Or fly for God's sake. He's moving to Connecticut - not the moon.

What if he's changed his mind?

What if he comes back and you're married? You'll have made the choice for him then.

I can't…

Yeah. YOU CAN.

She takes a few deep, steadying breaths, her tears now mingling with the rain that dampens her cheeks. It seems she's made up her mind but she doesn't know where to go from here. She wishes she could see him. She wants to see him. She needs to…

The heavy door of the church squeaks open and she jumps and twists in her seat.

And he's there.

"Jim…" She breathes.

He's paralyzed. He can't move. It was so early he didn't expect anyone to be here. He didn't expect to be here. He had tried to board the plane two days ago and couldn't make himself walk to the gate. He came home and sat inside his room for a full day, not eating, not moving, just wondering how the hell he'd gotten himself in so deep.

Today he woke up and knew that he needed to finish it. He needed to make it stop. He just needed to see the place where he'd lose her forever so that maybe he could start to move on.

He's dripping wet, making a small puddle around him. He drops his hands to his sides and stares at his feet.

"I thought you left…" She says as she moves to face him. She grips the end of the pew, her nails digging in, clutching desperately, unsure that her legs will hold her.

"I…couldn't." He looks up at her sadly. "I thought you would be getting ready for the big day."

"I…couldn't." She admits as she takes a few steps towards him.

Defensively, he takes a step back. "Don't. Pam."

"Don't what? Don't come near you?" She whispers, the rubber soles of her sneakers squeaking along the marble flooring as she makes her way towards him. "Don't what?"

Exactly. Don't come near me. I'm just trying to get through this and you're here, looking…like you always look and I can't…

"Don't get married." He says, unable to stop himself.

"OK." She nods, moving closer to him.

If she doesn't really mean it, he'll die. His heart simply can't take it. "Pam."

She's standing right there in front of him, so close he can smell the rain on her skin.

Her hands pull on the lapels of his jacket. She tugs a bit and makes him look down at her.

She stares up at him, tears shining in her eyes, and for the first time in forever she feels the tightening in her chest lessen a bit.

"I'm not getting married, Jim." She says softly. "I finally realized that I just don't want to."

"Pam." It's too much to hope.

"I was trying all morning to get ready and I couldn't. I came here and all I could think about was…"

"What?" He can't dare hope.

"You."

"Pam." He can't breathe.

"Take me somewhere." She pleads.

"Pam." He can't say no to her.

"Please." She asks again, her eyes hopeful and demanding. "Somewhere else. Somewhere where I can think…"

"OK." He finally nods, as if he could even think about denying her anything.

She grabs hold on his arm as they make their way outside. As they stand on the steps to the church suddenly there it is. Suddenly, she feels it, what she's been craving all this time. Even with the breeze chilling the rain on her skin she feels it.

Warm. Safe. Comfortable.

It's still raining as they stand there, without an umbrella, but they're already soaked to the skin so it hardly matters.

She pulls on his sleeve, makes him look at her. She knows he's trying hard not to, and she knows the reason why. He doesn't believe her and she doesn't blame him.

Hoping to change his mind she slides her hands to his shoulders and rises on her toes. Before he can protest she presses her lips to his.

And in that instant, the rain finally stops.


xoxoxo is the author of 67 other stories.
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