The Storm ©


Nick came in through the back door and stopped just inside the kitchen. Helen was standing over an open cookbook drying her hands with a towel. When Nick came in she dropped the towel next to the cookbook and went to help Nick with his coat. Nick stomped his feet in place. He looked down at his water-logged boots. Rain ran from the gutter of his fedora when his head bent downward.
“Sorry about your floor Helen,” Nick said.
“Nonsense, get in here. Let me help you with that.”
“Looks like it’s not letting up any time soon.”
“No, this is a bad one. Give me your coat and hat.”
Rain tore in sheets across the door opening. Nick stepped farther into the kitchen and pressed the door firm against the barking wind. Helen hung Nick’s coat over a chair to dry. The rain-soaked fedora she dropped into the lap of the chair.
“Thanks Helen —-.”
“Coffee?”
“If it’s made.”
“Won’t take a minute.”
“Don’t bother. Is your Pa about?”
“Down at the barn. Securing the horses I reckon. Wanna wait?”
“Nah, I better run down and give a hand. There’s something I need to talk to him ’bout anyway. How ’bout that coffee when I get back?”
Nick dressed in his coat and hat. His coat was heavy with rain. He waited before opening the door and facing the storm. Rain slashed against the windowpane, but it meant nothing to him. He stood at the door with his back to Helen and looked at the ring again. He smiled and pulled the door open. The ring felt right in his palm. The fedora felt cold on his head. Nick dropped the ring into his pocket and drew his collar up tight to his neck.
Helen put water on to boil.