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between monsoons and left behind objects

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The morning was warm. Man stuffed his jean jacket into his backpack and swung a leg over his bike, pushing on the pedals and riding.

 

He inhaled and looked up towards the sky as he rode down a neighborhood shaded with trees, the sun rays trying their best to show through the leaves. It was such a beautiful day; Man decided to make the most of it. He rounded a street sign, and came right up against another bike.

 

“Boss?” he looked over at his friend. The wind was running through his black hair, pushing the locks out of his face.

 

“You had the same idea, too, huh?” Boss asked, looking down at Man’s bike. “How are you?”

 

Man kept his head forward to watch the road. “Better,”

 

“Good,” Boss turned his head forward as well. “Breakfast on me, okay?”

 

Man glanced over, then he looked forward again. He was so grateful to have Boss as a friend.

 

The two continued to ride together down the neighborhood to the university.

 

When they arrived, they parked their bikes on the rack and walked through the grass together towards the cafeteria.

 

Man sat at a table by himself while he awaited his friend who was getting them a meal to start their day. He rested his chin on his hand while the other hand tapped lightly on the table top.

 

“I got you the best looking thing on the menu,” Boss appeared, his footsteps loud. He was not a sneaky person at all. Man looked over as Boss passed him and appeared to be spicy ham and eggs. “And milk!” he smiled sweetly as he set down a pink milky drink in front of him.

 

Man took it. “Thank you,” he told him. Then he took his fork and stabbed a piece of ham, bringing it up to his face.

 

“Man!” 

 

He heard his name and looked up. Sarawat ran up to him and leaned over the table with a big smile. He had a bruise above his left cheek.

 

“What’s that from?” Man pointed.

 

“Forget about that.” Sarawat waved his hand as if it was no big deal. Man finally took a bite of his food. “I just wanna say thank you for helping me out with my soulmate last week. Tine and I are together now,”

 

Man swallowed his food with a smile. “Well, look at you!” Sarawat reciprocated the happy grin.

 

“I couldn’t have done it without you,” he told Man. “I hope you and your soulmate work out,” he patted Man’s side before leaving.

 

Man gave out a slight frown. He looked down at his food.

 

“Are you okay, dude?” Boss asked, elbowing Man.

 

“I’m fine.” he shrugged. “He didn’t know,”

 

Earlier that week, Man had given up on who he thought was his soulmate. He thought he found the one ever since he left an apple pen behind; but Man proved himself to be a coward, giving the pen to someone else to return to him instead. So he gave up on him, breaking his own heart. It was weirdly hard to get over someone he didn’t really know, let alone even speak a full sentence to. He couldn’t really explain it. But deciding to give up on this person really got him down.

 

“It’s a beautiful day.” he said aloud. “I’m sure today will turn out,”

 

Boss didn’t say anything else. The two continued eating.

 

Man went through his classes that day, turning in whatever homework he had finished. Not all of it though. He couldn’t care too well to get his math in. Oh well. He’ll do it when he has the time.

 

Then it was lunch time. Man just poked at his food while he listened to his friends go on about a pop quiz they had in their classes. Then back to classes.

 

While Man was passing from one class to the next, Boss had found him again.

 

“Dude, football practice is cancelled today,” he told him. Man furrowed his eyebrows.

 

“Oh?” he sounded off. “How come?”

 

“On account of rain,”

 

“Rain?” he wondered aloud, “Surely it can’t rain on such a day like today,”

 

Boss turned Man’s body towards a window in the hallway. The sky was grey and cloudy. Man looked to Boss again. He nodded, and the two parted ways again.

 

After Man’s last class, he watched as his classmates got into their cars. He sighed looking up at the sky, which poured with rain. He swung his jean jacket on and stepped off the stairs and into the rain.

 

He went over to the bike rack and grabbed up his bike. Although he kinda regretted not checking the forecast, he couldn’t leave his bike at the university to rust. Man braved up and started walking his bike off campus and down the sidewalk. He figured he could find a bus stop nearby and bus it back home.

 

The sky was completely dark by the time Man found a bus stop. His hair stuck to his forehead. And his jacket was soaked. He didn’t know why he thought it would help. He sighed as he stood in place.

 

“Raining hard out, huh?” 

 

Man heard a voice amongst the quiet rain. He turned to find Type standing before him on the sidewalk, holding an umbrella. Man’s heart was suddenly pounding. He wore a plain shirt and his hair was neatly laid down. Despite being dark outside, his brown eyes still sparkled. Man opened his mouth, but he couldn’t say anything.

 

“I don’t mind sharing,” he continued, his voice in a sweet tone.

 

“Oh, um--”

 

Type stepped up to Man and held the umbrella over both of their heads. Man looked up, then over at Type who glued himself to Man’s side, their shoulders squished up together tightly. Man squeezed his eyes shut; he swore he could hear his own heart beating.

 

“Have we met before?”

 

Man opened his eyes and looked at Type, whose face was turned towards him, and just centimeters apart. He let out a shaky breath. Then he nodded.

 

“Yes, once before,”

 

“I knew I’ve seen you somewhere,” Type snapped his fingers and smiled. “I forgot your name,”

 

“I… actually never gave it,”

 

“May I have it?”

 

“It’s Man,”

 

“What a name,” Type told him, “I’m Type,”

 

“I know,”

 

“Oh, you know?”

 

“I mean--” Man gritted his teeth together, trying to think of a way to save himself, “You told me your name,”

 

“Oh!” Type looked forward. Man kept silent. “Nice to meet you again,”

 

The two stood for a moment, listening to the pouring rain around them. 

 

“I hope you don’t mind me being close,” Type said. “I mean, what’s personal space when sharing an umbrella?” He suddenly laughed. Man then couldn’t help but laugh too. He couldn’t tell if Type laughing at his own joke was cuter than his smile and teeth. He was indecisive about most things in his life, and this was one of them. He’ll decide on both. Man felt as if his heart was going to pound right out of his chest.

 

“I guess I’m just trying to be funny to cover up the fact that my heart is about to beat out of my chest,” Type then told him. Man lifted his eyebrows. “I don’t know what it is,”

 

Headlights caught their attention.

 

“Oh, the bus,”

 

Man put his bike on the front of the bus, and the two got on, Type tapping off his umbrella before following Man to a seat, the two trailing rain water behind them.

 

Man sat down in a seat near the front, and Type sat right up against him again.

 

The two rode in comfortable silence, though Man was super nervous to talk to him anyway. Then when the bus slowed to a stop, Type turned to Man.

 

“This is my stop,” he told him. “I hope you can make it home okay,”

 

Man nodded at him. “I will,” 

 

He watched Type stand up and go towards the door to the bus. Man glanced down at the now empty seat next to his. He widened his eyes.

 

“Oh, wait! You forgot your umbrella!”

 

“I know,” Type turned towards Man again as the doors opened. “How had you not learned the first time?”

 

Man watched Type step off the bus and into the rain. Then he turned forward again.