Mike watched the rain droplets roll down the driver’s side window. The small drops beginning at the top slowly joined more droplets, eventually creating one single raindrop to travel down the window. A smile stretched across his face as he remembered the days of riding in the back seat of his parents’ car, choosing raindrops to win in races down the window.
Reclining his seat back, Mike stared further out the window, past the raindrops towards the small blue house on the corner. He watched as lights turned on and off in different windows, assuming it must be Sarah finishing getting ready. Memories flooded Mike’s mind as he sat, eyes closed, listening to the rain. Images of Sarah running to the car in her shorts and tank tops were his favorite. She was always the most energetic in the summer. Winter was usually the funniest to watch when he would drive to her house to pick her up. She could never make it to the car without slipping on her sidewalk and usually spent the rest of the night laughing at herself.
Mike opened his eyes to check the front door. Still no Sarah. He glanced at the passenger’s seat and picked up a few coffee cups he had stashed on the seat. He always loved seeing her sit there. Around people, she is the quietest person Mike knows, but when she sits in that seat, she could talk for hours. He wouldn’t have it any other way. Mike finally saw movement out of the corner of his eye and he turned to see Sarah close the door and walk towards the car. Her body seemed stiff as she took quick steps and kept her arms crossed at her chest. Concerned, Mike leaned across the car towards the passenger door and popped it open. Without eye contact, Sarah slid inside.
“Hey, are you okay?” Mike asked.
“Can we just drive for a bit,” Sarah said quietly. Mike stared at her for a moment as she remained still in her seat. He finally shrugged and drove off down the road.
The two sat in silence for what seemed like years. Mike couldn’t read her. Her body was clenched up and her arms were still crossed. She watched out the window and sniffed about every five minutes. Mike reached over and placed his hand on her knee. “You can talk to me, you know.” he said. “We haven’t been dating for four years for you to not talk to me when something’s wrong.”
She turned towards Mike, tears streaming down her face. “We’re moving.” Her sniffs became sobs as she buried her face in her hands. Mike watched as the strong women he’s come to know fell apart in the seat next to him. He quickly pulled the car over and took a deep breath, thinking of what to say next.
“Where to?” he asked as he rubbed her back. Her sobs grew harder and Mike leaned back, knowing he probably asked the wrong question. As she calmed down, Sarah wiped the mascara smeared under her eyes and caught her breath.
“California,” she said, still sniffling. “2,237 miles away.”
Mike’s heart sank and questions built up in his head. They talked about their future together: getting married, starting a family, building a house. “My dad got a really good job offer there. It’s a nice neighborhood I guess. And my mom said we could get a dog if we wanted,” she said, trying to fight back more tears. That was the Sarah Mike knew. Even in the worst situation, she always tired to be positive. He sighed. How could I even live without her, he thought. Mike searched solutions. He glanced out the window to watch the droplets again. He saw multiple form together and move down the window, rolling off the car. An idea slowly grew in his mind. They had to be together. There wasn’t another option. They had to do whatever would work.
“Marry me,” Mike said, turning to face Sarah. Her crying stopped and silence filled the car again.
“What?” she whispered.
“Sarah, will you marry me?”
Her eyes grew large as she held her breath. She shifted back in her seat and folded her hands in her lap. Mike was okay with the silence. He wanted her to think this through. It was a big decision. He noticed her eyes light up while she turned to him.
“Yes,” her smile was the biggest he had ever seen it. Mike couldn’t help but let out a laugh of relief as he reached over and hugged her. He held her as she dug her face in his chest and laughed through tears. He grinned as he looked around his car again. The sound of the rain was comforting and calming. He gave Sarah a small squeeze, holding tight to the love of his life. Another memory added to this car, he thought.
I live in a small town in Ohio and I love to write. I began writing when I was in the 7th grade, joining a writing group in my school. We traveled to different competitions across the state and I slowly found a love for writing. I’ve been reading and writing ever since!
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