Despite the Rain

2) On that morning Nehemiah lay in bed with her while the rain fell outside. He woke up laughing to Boo staring at his beard while he slept. ”What?” he asked opening his eyes for only a second. There was no answer. Boo instead lay on his chest for another hour and listened to his life move underneath his skin. “You want coffee?” she asked finally. “Yeah,” he said. She went back to sleep.

1) She was about to walk in when Boo saw Nehemiah outside a neighborhood tavern. She wore a cocktail dress. It was raining and he had been kicked out at the same moment her cab pulled up. “Baby girl, they kicked me out,” he said upon seeing her. “You look gorgeous.” A happy man. Soaking wet. Words slurred. No hello. Offensive misuse of the English language. T-shirt and jeans. Tennis shoes. A Yankees cap. Sidewalk puddles. Five-inch heels. Chandelier earrings. Flooded gutters.

They did not match.

Boo smiled. “Come on,” she said wanting to lead him, though he refused to walk underneath her umbrella. There was only one. He did not mind getting wet.

3) “Do you remember?” Boo asked lifting her face from his chest. She had been happy to see him after leaving one of those parties in unnecessarily dramatic rain. One of those parties with shiny suits and form-fitting dresses, expensive purses that hung from undancing shoulders. ”I remember everything,” he murmured with his eyes still closed.  ”Those ‘black professional’ parties are a lot like white supremacy when white supremacy was big–in their exclusivity,” Nehemiah said. Boo shook her head. “I’m black and I’m a professional. But sorry babe, I’m not going to go to a party just because I’m those things and I survived yesterday.” He laughed at his own wit.

They slept again.