Before the Rain Falls
Before the Rain Falls
Author: CharlotteTownsend

Prologue

“So you’re really leaving then?” I asked with a hint of sadness. I was happy for him, really I was but as Killian stood there clutching the official looking letter in his hands, I couldn’t help feel things wouldn’t be the same.

“They’ve accepted my application Nissa, I’m really going to go to East Glendale!” He grinned, waving the letter excitedly. He’d always wanted to go to East Glendale, ever since he discovered his talents lay with technology. A degree from there, well, it meant everything to him.

“I’m so happy for you Killian,” I tried to smile reassuringly at him, but he saw through it. “Really I am.”

“Hey, hey, it’s alright Nis, it’s only East Glendale. It’s not like I’m moving to another country or something.” He stepped forward, coming to sit next to me on the bench under the small pavilion. Gently he put his arm around me, squeezing my left shoulder. “And you, you’re going to be a world famous artist with galleries and everything! I know it! We’re both going to achieve our dreams.”

I flicked my gaze up, taking him in for perhaps the last time. “Yeah you’re right. We’ll keep in touch won’t we?” I responded hopefully, though the back of my mind whispered cynically that it wasn’t going to happen. It’s just a big change that’s all. It’s natural to feel like this. 

“Course we will. Course we will.” Killian muttered softly, as though trying to reassure himself. Carefully he pulled me closer, tucking my head under his chin. He was silent after that, but I didn’t mind.

    I savoured the feel of his rugged chin resting on top of my dark locks, currently being ruffled by his steady breath, being curled up against his warmth as the cool sunlight filtered through the draping flowers. I locked the moment into my memory, relishing every detail. The colour of the flowers, the thin fabric of Killian’s shirt, the shadows playing across the wooden floor. It could have been seconds or hours for all I cared.

   All good things come to an end though and eventually he pulled away. “It’ll be alright Nerissa. I promise.” The use of my full name told me how serious he was; it was always “Nis” or “Nissa” with Killian.

“Yeah.” I murmured back, for lack of anything better to say. Burying my trepidation and determined to enjoy this time, I playfully nudged his side. “Don’t stay up programming all night when you’re there. I’d hate to think of your classmates facing the wrath of an all-nighter Killian.”

The jest lit his face back up. “Hey I’m not that bad!”  

At my eyebrow raise, he relented quickly. “Ok, I’m not that bad after some coffee following an all-nighter.”

“You’re impossible.” I grinned letting the happiness swell in my heart. This was us. This was our normal. And it’s about to be ripped apart. No, don’t think of that.

“What about you? I’d hate to think of your poor classmates having to face you when you’re hungry.”

“I will drop kick anyone if they stand between me and a pizza slice.” I replied seriously before giggling at the image.

“You laugh Nissa, but being on the end of your hunger moods, I can easily see that happening.” Though he was still smiling as he said it. I swatted him lightly with my hand.

“Then you should stay out of my way if I want food.”

“Bit difficult to do when we were going to lunch together.” He smirked.

I raised my hands in surrender. “You win this round tech boy.”

He puffed his chest out proudly at the stupid nickname. “Good to know.”

     The still flowers were interrupted by a brief breeze, swaying delicately as if at any moment they were prepared to drift away. “Will you be having a leaving party?” I asked, keeping my eyes on the calmly moving petals and vines.

“I don’t know Nis, I’d much rather have time together like this with people, without all the chaos of a party. But you know how mother and father can be.”

I did know. While Mr and Mrs Li were lovely, they tended to go overboard if the occasion called for it. Or even when it didn’t. Anything from birthdays and anniversaries to a good exam score was fair game for an extravagant party or event. Their eldest son going off to the most prestigious school in the country for computer science was definitely a reason to party.

“Well if you end up having one, let me know alright? I’d hate to miss the chance to say goodbye”

“You know you’re top of the invite list Nissa. You always are.”

      I guess that was true. Mr and Mrs Li always went out of their way to make sure I could come to their parties. “Still, make sure the invite reaches me ok?”

“Ok.” Killian acquisitioned, standing from the bench and stretching his arms above his head quickly. “It’s getting late.” He noted with surprise.

“I suppose it is.” I replied mournfully. I guess our time together is over. I could practically feel Killian’s gaze burning a hole into me at my words.

“Hey, thinking about all that talk of pizza and food earlier is making me hungry. Fancy grabbing a bite to eat before we head home?” His hopeful voice washed over me.

I turned to him, eyes wide with surprise before reaching out and curling my fingers around the smooth hand he offered. “I’d like that very much.”

    As we bounded down the little pavilion steps and across the shining green blades of grass, I had no idea we were being watched. I had no inkling of the figure staring at us with such jealous malice. Even if I went back in time and told myself he was there, my past self would have just brushed it off. Would probably laugh in my face for good measure. Yes, even if I knew then what I know now, it wouldn’t have changed anything.

    I’d have still ended up with this scar either way.   

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