He stood there on the doorstep, soaking wet as if he conjured the storm just to appear more pathetic when she opened the door.

She stood in the crack she created by pulling the door open just enough to cover the distance of her shoulders, a gesture to signal an intent to listen, but not an invitation.

He stood in silence. He had a lot to say. Most of it he already said and his intent was to say it again and if there was a way to say it with greater meaning, with a greater sense of promise, he would do it. Still, when the door opened, the practiced words seemed to evaporate.

She looked at him with cautious and hesitant eyes. She bit ever so softly on the inside of her lip. It became a habit over the years that she apparently developed when she was deep in concentration or trying to figure things out. She first noticed it when frosting a cake some time ago.

“I…,” he started.

“Don’t,” she said. “I know.”

He forced his hands deeper into his pockets. “I’m sorry.”

She wasn’t sure how this all landed on her, but the ball, as they say, was clearly in her court. He did some really stupid things. Even now, there was a part of her who wanted to punch him in the face, and she wasn’t taking that off the table, but it was decision time. She was culpable in this too.

She stood in the doorway filling the space between the jam and the door thinking, considering, hoping, debating, cursing, resisting, deciding, redeciding and redeciding again. She took in a very deep breath and looked around him blinking away a tear before slowly opening the door to create an invitation.

As he moved to step inside and out of the rain, he stopped, turned to her and pulled her close.

She hugged him back. Even soaking wet, the greater apology came through.

Maybe she would punch him later.

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