Rainy Night Cuddles

Chicago, Illinois, November 2005 — Connor hated rain. In some way, it reminded him too much of the emotional turbulence he’d experienced in his teen years. Especially the day everything had gone wrong.

As he shed his coat and cap, he winced at the puddle that had started gathering on the floor. More proof of the downpour outside.

“Hi, honey.”

He looked up, light brown eyes widening in surprise. Kelly was curled up on the couch, wearing his hoodie and the double wedding ring patterned quilt her grandmother had made for them was draped over her lap.

“Thought you’d be asleep,” he said, coming over to give her a kiss.

She shrugged. “I was, but I woke up about ten minutes ago with a hankering for ice cream. And weirdly enough, I was craving lime sherbert.”

Connor left for the laundry room to grab a towel, then came back to wipe up the puddle. “Any theories as to why you could’ve been craving the flavor you hate?”

She shrugged. He tossed the towel back in the laundry then came and sat beside her. She scooted over, tossed half of the quilt over him, and nestled herself into his side.

For a few minutes, they sat there, the only sounds being the spoon against the bowl and rain falling against the windows and roof.

“I’ve always found the rain to be a bit calming,” Kelly said. “What about you?”

“I hate it.”

“Really?” Kelly glanced up at him. “I’ve known you for three years, been married to you for five months, and you’ve never told me that.”

He shrugged. “It’s not important. I just don’t like it. It’s gloomy and-and…”

“Bad memories?” she asked softly.

“One.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“Not right now. I’d rather just sit here with you and rest.” He glanced at her. “Why do you love the rain?”

She was silent for a moment before answering. “It douses fires,” she whispered. She put her now-empty bowl on the side table, drew her knees up to her chest, and wrapped her arms around his waist. He pulled her closer, if that was even possible, and rested his chin on her head.

They fell asleep listening to the rhythmic sound of rain.


©H.S. Kylian 2018

(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)

At The End of The Day

Chicago, Illinois, Present Day — There had once been a time when Kelly hated the smell of sweat, especially when it mixed with dirt and created a foul-smelling mud.

Back before they had married–before they’d dated even–every time Connor came back to the station after having given chase to apprehend a suspect or two, he would inevitably smell like dried sweat and on occasion, dirt. It was worse during the summertime.

Whenever that happened, she’d wrinkle her nose and wave her hand in front of her face because of the smell.

Then that case had happened. The one that had caused countless sleepless nights and tears. The one they never talked about.

After he’d recovered, the first time he came back to the station after apprehending someone, she hadn’t wrinkled her nose at the smell. Instead, she’d breathed it in.

When their oldest was born and she’d decided to be a stay-at-home mom, she developed the habit of staying up for her husband. Most of the time she’d fall asleep waiting for him, and on some occasions, she would wake up while he carried her back to bed. And she would just breathe.

Because at the end of the day, it didn’t matter how good or bad he smelled. At the end of the day, all that mattered was that he was home and he was safe…even if it was only for the time being.


©H.S. Kylian 2018

(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)