Another boom of thunder rang as the first raindrop began to fall. It had packed its bags and told the rest of the raindrops goodbye. The raindrop took one more look at the cloud : his home. And with that, it let go. The raindrop started falling faster and faster. It let go of its things and finally landed on the forehead of Kurtis May.
He opened up his eyes for the first time in a long time.
“Where am I?” asked Kurt aloud as he sat up.
Kurt looked around. He was laying on the grass surrounded by many trees. There were sidewalks cutting through the grass with benches along them. He could hear cars in the distance but he couldn’t see any.
Must be a park, Kurt thought to himself. The last thing I remember was leaving the club with the guys and...wow. What the hell did we do last night?
Kurt’s thoughts were interrupted by thunder. It boomed even louder than before.
“Looks there’s a storm coming in,” said Kurt. “I had better find my way back to the hotel soon.”
“Who the hell are you talking to?” said a voice from behind Kurt.
Startled, he turned around quickly. He found an old man sitting on a bench holding an umbrella over his head. He was a small, frail man. The wrinkles on his face held stories of times that were long gone. He had a small tuft of hair sticking out from underneath his hat.
“Myself,” laughed Kurt. “I didn’t know anyone else was around.”
“You’re in New York, kid. There is always someone around,” grumbled the old man. “So what the hell is your problem, huh? You’ve been laying there for hours. Then you started talkin’ to yourself. You some kind of crazy man?”
Kurt laughed again. “No I’m not crazy. But I did have a crazy night last night. I remember being out with some friends and then...boom. Here I am.”
The old man laughed a quiet laugh and the solemn expression on his face finally broke. “I remember those days. Never did anything quite like this happen to me. But I had my day.”
Another boom of thunder interrupted the old man as the rain began to turn into a shower.
“You should get going, kid. Weatherman says this is gonna be a bad one,” warned the old man.
“Yes, I should. What about you? No offense...but aren’t you a little old to be out here during a storm?” wondered Kurt.
“Well...it doesn’t really matter, kid. I could be sitting at home, alone. In my big red chair. Or I could sit here, alone, on this nice big bench. It doesn’t really matter...”
“Of course it does-” said Kurt before being interrupted by the old man.
“No, no it doesn’t. There is no one worried about me. I’m a grown man and an old one at that. I’ll do what I want. But you...you need to get going.” warned the man again.
The old man sat silent for a moment. Kurt could tell something was on his mind. “Ever since she died I haven’t had anyone to care where I was, what I was doing...”
Kurt could hear the loneliness in the man’s voice. “I’m sorry he said. You know I kind of know how you feel. My parents died a couple weeks ago...”
The old man kept sitting there. It was as if he had forgotten that Kurt was even sitting next to him. “I miss her so much..” said the old man very quietly. A tear slowly fell down his check. It filled a wrinkle and created a pool, almost like giving new life to an old story.
It began to rain quite heavily now. “Well it was nice talking to you sir,” said Kurt as he got up from the bench. The old man looked at him and cracked a smile so small, you could barely tell he had moved his mouth at all.
Kurt walked a few moments before breaking into a run. Thunder boomed again overhead as lightning flashed between the tall buildings of the city. He stopped for a moment to look behind him. In the distance he saw the old man still sitting there with his umbrella. Kurt wanted to help the man but he knew there was nothing he could do. So, he continued running.
After running for about five minutes, Kurt finally reached civilization. Despite the weather, the streets were still filled. He waved down a taxi and got in.
“Grand Hyatt, please. How long a drive is that?” questioned Kurt.
“About thirty minutes away,” replied the cab driver.
Kurt laughed to himself. It must have been a wild night. Kurt had quite the cab fair racking up but he didn’t care. He was warm and in a dry place now. He was in awe at how the cab driver maneuvered through the streets. He knew exactly where to go and exactly what was around him. Must have taken him forever to learn the city, thought Kurt.
During the long taxi ride, Kurt found himself thinking about his experience with the old man. He thought about what he was doing and what he had said.
“You all right?” asked the driver.
“Yeah,” replied Kurt. “The rain always puts me in a funny mood.”
“Whatever. Don’t let a woman ruin your life,” joked the cab driver.
Kurt wished it was a woman that had him down. He wished it was something as small as that. But it wasn’t something as easy as a girl. Even away from home, or what was home, he still found himself thinking about his parents. And then something went off inside his head.
Kurt began to think. I need to just accept this and move on! I mean, yeah its a hard thing to deal with. Even though it was over a month ago, it still feels like it was yesterday. But I can’t do this forever. If I do...I’ll end up like that old man. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be sitting around thinking about what I’ve lost forever. That old man was sad and tired. I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of being tired...