I love umbrellas. They shield me from sun and rain. They allow me to brave bad weather with the confidence of a winner. Every since I was a little girl I have always been drawn to things that protect. My father always said, "A protector is the definition of kindness."
Monday mourning. I'm all by myself in the cold rain, on my weekly trip to the atm to get the money for the rest of the week, so I can get to work, and eat lunch. Getting to the bus stop in the dark before day break was always the scariest part of the day for me. Yet here I am, in my walking shoes, caring my pumps, and thanks to my little sister, umberllaless.
The street was dark, and the traffic had yet to pick up at this time of day... why is that guy staring at me? Where did he come from? I looked over there twice, and I know I didn't see him. Now he's just staring at me. Dammit, where is my atm card? I manage to get my wallet out of my purse, but it fail to the cold wet ground, spilling all of my cards out with it. I bend down to pick them up, but something told me to look and see if he was moving. He was! Ok, he was about 6' 2", long gray hair, thinly build, dressed in a long black over coat. Yeah, that's what I'll tell the police. He's still staring at me, and still coming while he's wiping his mouth. All man, why do he have to wipe his mouth?
He's coming fast with one hand in his pocket. Dammit, pick up the cards, come on fingers, pick up the cards! The rain drops on my eye lashes is making it hard to...[Excuse me miss, do you need some help?] And just like that, a kind voice holding an umbrella over my head stops the rain for me, a kind voice holding an umbrella over my head makes the tall, weird, gray haired, guy start walking the other way, a kind voice holding the umbrella...oh God he's cute!
[Your blushing.] Dimples, why do he have to be tall, fine, and have dimples? [Are you ok?] Now I'm gonna have to sleep with him. Dammit, I just swore off guys until I finish my internship. [Oh, here are the rest of your cards.] Come on silly, stop smiling and staring at him, and say something. Um...thank you. [Your very welcome. Did you drop your umbrella some where?] Ah... no, my little sister tied it to the back of my dad's car. By the time he noticed...she wants to be a drag racer when she grows up, she's only four. [Ha, ha, I see, and why don't you have your boyfriend's umbrella?]
I look at him.
I don't have a man. I focusing on my career right now. So why are you walking alone under this umbrella? [Well I'm just taking one last stroll of the world before I leave it. You see, I'm killing my self today.] Ha, ha, ha, yeah right :P [It's true. I've come to realize that, no matter how strong I love someone on this earth, they can never truly love me back.] You, you what?...This wasn't a line, he was serious! I can see it in his eyes, and in his tone. He had no swagger when he said it. His movements where soft, mellow, like he was...defeated. He was falling. I stared at those cute little dimples and and realized that if I don't do something fast and catch them. They'll soon be gone :[
[You see I've noticed, no, studied people for years now, and all I see is selfishness. No one seems to do anything for anyone, but for themselves. Even the smallest kindness have ulterior motives. Think about it, when you give a homeless person some money, do you do it to make them feel better, or yourself?] Well, I...[How can I stay in a world where everyone just wants to use me?]
Think of something quick girl, your losing him. Ha, ha, ha. [What? Your laughing at me?] Huh?, no.
I'm laughing at the situation. You see I was going to kill my self tomorrow, that's why I was drawing all my money out the bank just now. [Wow, really?] He wipes his tears. While I embellish my charade. Yeah my "fellow students" and "co-workers" keep passing around dirty pictures I took for my ex-boyfriend. It's been two years now and I can't seem to live it down. Now the school has found out and wants me to appear in person tomorrow so they can tell me their verdict. [Wow, you don't seem that upset about it.] The rain is hiding my tears. [Oh.] Am I good or what?
[So let me guess, your going to kill your self in front of this verdict committee tomorrow?] Yes.
[I see, nice touch. how are you going to...] With my father's forty five. I was going to tell them, "If you can't accept me, then I can't accept me." next, I would have blown my brains out all over there cheap suits. Boy I'm good, I should be a writer instead of a paralegal. [Was? Your not going to do it now?] No. I going to "exit" with you. [Whoa! I can't be responsible for your "exit." I can't have that on my soul.] Why not? At least you won't be alone. Use me, isn't that what you said all people do anyway? [No I can't do that!] Why not? at least this way I won't die alone either. [No, no. I can't, I can't.] He drops the umbrella, covers his tears, and runs over to the bus stop. As I approached him with his umbrella, I realized what a wounded soul he was. He must be trapped in a world where the only person who know what love is, is him. He didn't want me to die, but will he be willing to stay... for me?
[I don't want to hurt you.] Why not? The rest of the world already has. By this time real tears were in my eyes. Why should you be any different? [Because I am!] How? [Because I care!] About what?!
Me?! [Yes!] Liar! [What?] How can you care about me, you just met me? [Don't you understand, I had to.] Had to what? I don't understand. [Care! In order to step up and shield you from that crazy guy, I first had to make myself care.] Oh.... now your stuck. You can't stand to see me come to harm because in order to safe me from him, you had to force yourself to care about me. [Yes.]
Well, if your going, I'm going! [Oh come on girl, stop it!]
If you stay... I'll stay.
[Why would you do that?] Because I care. [Why do you care?] Because I saw you going over a cliff and... [In order to save me, you had to make your self... care?] ...Yes. Why would anyone do that for you unless they cared as much as you do? This tears are real. [But the story is fake?] Ohh... shut up, and watch my back while I get this money from the atm.
He laughed, I smiled. And through out the years, I had to reassure him now and then, to believe that he wasn't the only love on the planet. But we were happy. I was always there to protect him from that dark place, and he was always there to protect me from dark places. We were each others' umbrellas now. Daddy was right, "A protector is the definition of kindness." And love is perpetual kindness. Dimples and I walk under the umbrella together these days, braving all storms. I love umbrellas.