The rain fell, because it could not rise to the occasion.
It fell, and fell, and fell, and did not hurt itself although it did not get up again.
The rain rained and would not be reined in, and it reigned over the night and the day and the next night, and the next day.
Tyler sat at the window, his chin resting on his hands resting on the back of a chair turned backwards, thinking increasingly soggy thoughts. At first the rain had merely been outside, as was proper. But the longer Tyler watched the rain – watched different segments of it, the uppermost part he could see from his second-story window, the middle part straight in front of him, and the lower part where it smacked into the pavement and individual raindrops joined the great wet – the more the rain came inside where he was and moistened his brain with raindrop-shaped thoughts and his brain soaked it all in like a sponge. Occasionally his brain could hold no more rain and some of it leaked out through his eyes, which he did his best not to notice.
Tyler was not immobile. He would occasionally get up, make and eat part of a sandwich, get a drink (because the rain both outside and inside parched his throat), go to the bathroom, feed his fish — all those things that sheer necessity forces upon a person, even one who wants nothing more than to sit stock still while the rain and life both trickle toward the storm drain.
But as much as he could, Tyler sat on his backward chair, looking out the window and feeling as gray as the clouds and the days.
Sometime during the rain a key turned in the lock of his apartment door. Only one other person had a key to that lock, and that was temporary because her absence, she had told him, would soon be permanent.
The last box of her stuff that had once been stuffed here and there throughout Tyler’s apartment sat on the coffee table, which was black with cream-colored highlights. From his bedroom where he watched the rain, Tyler could hear her open the purple envelope he had laid on top of her stuff where she could ignore it but could not help but see it. He could hear the card being slid out. Pause. She opened the card. Longer pause. Long sigh. He heard the card slide back into the envelope and the next sound made Tyler’s heart beat fast with fear because it was the sound of a card- and desperate plea-filled envelope landing on a black coffee table, perhaps near a cream-colored highlight. It had been signed, sealed, and delivered, then read, rejected, and returned.
An apartment key clanged as it hit the same table and Tyler winced. Then the contents of a small box jostled, the door opened, and the door closed.
Later, the rain tapered but did not gutter because the gutters were full of leaves, just as Tyler’s life was full of leave-taking and leaving him alone.