“Andre, let’s go outside! We will smell raindrop touches on lilac flowers.” I dug my nose into the mosquito net of the wide-open window. The rain that was whipping the soil for the last three hours almost stopped. I looked as thin sunrays tried to break through clouds and couldn’t hold the buzz inside my body. Trees and grass bathing in soft lights were emerald green. The apple tree we recently planted in the backyard half lost its blooming flowers and seemed to be someone who just ran away from a barber, without completing its haircut. I didn’t mind. The tree represented the transition between ended spring and the upcoming summer.
“Ready?” Andre appeared at the door.
I turned and smiled. Sunshine that looked into the room smiled too, as it touched Andre’s new mint polo shirt, and grey golf shorts turning them gold.
“Who do you think I am? A soldier who’s been trained to get dressed as fast as a match burns?” Mumbling something else about dad, an army officer in the past, who told me I needed to learn efficiency, telling me stories of how quick soldiers can dress up, I headed towards the wardrobe.
Piles of clothes, the representatives of eclectic, minimalist, bohemian, and vintage styles starred at me. I rejected to look at them. Not today. I am not spending half an hour on selecting an outfit, changing few times, debating in between high waste and mid-rise waist jeans, or suddenly changing into a skirt. Not happening. I shook my head and walked into the middle of the closet. A new trench coat was hanging right there on a thin wooden hanger. The trench coat had all required buckles, a belt, stiff collar, brown buttons, and a silk lining. It was answering the latest fashion trends, yet stayed classic as any other item or a place that has a long history behind it. I touched the fabric. I bet it would protect me from getting wet under the rain, but I had to make sure.
Since I remember, I had a particular point of view on friendship. I would not completely trust a person until we climb mountains together, facing the avalanche of trials, having in-depth talks while stuck on an unknown gas station, again in the mountains. Shortly speaking, I always needed experience with people and things I own or wear to know: we belong. The trench coat that still had a store scent on its texture did not belong. Yet.
“So? How long do I have to wait?” Andre almost lost his patience.
I jumped into jeans, white t-shirt, threw the new coat on my shoulders and ran downstairs stating something about husbands who don’t appreciate the beauty and philosophy of a new basic coat I’ve been looking for almost a year.
I belted the coat, hoping it will ultimately feel like a second skin, and dived into a drizzling singing rain.
Few rushing strangers were hiding under umbrellas.
“Pff! Umbrellas are for weak!” I laughed and looked at my companion. He nodded but seemed to regret leaving his elegant navy brolly at home.
“Well, let's go find your lilacs. Otherwise, summer will not start if you will not smell it, or will not capture it.”
“Or if I will not write a story about it.” I winked at him.
Holding hands, jumping above the paddles, we lost the count of time. The air was intoxicating. Older neighbourhoods, full of blooming trees, hydrangeas, and peonies, had never seemed to be so magically clean and vivid.
I threw my head back, breathing in and out the wet asphalt smell, at the same touching the sleeve of my trench coat. The coat was wet. I was dry and warm.
The rain kept falling. The sun kept shining, turning the world into one shimmering drop. Finally, some lilac bushes appeared ahead. They took all the space along the old and shabby white fence. The scent in the air from delicate apple blooms turned into a dense, almost enormous sweet and loud lilac smell.
I hid my face in between branches, trying to memorize how the beginning of this summer smells.
“It is different every year, you know?” I turned and squeezed Andre’s hand: “You become older, and summer changes too. It remains the same, yet appears completely unfamiliar. You think you know that all: lilacs, rain, sunsets, a long evening, and adventures at the seaside. Then, all of a sudden you buy a new trench coat for rainy summer days and feel like you've never known what love and summer heat is about. You, in the new coat, have to study that all over again.”
“Well, that is how you stay young by wondering. Never stop wondering darling. It suits you.” A wide smile stretched on his face. He knew the theory I’ve been talking about.
We started walking back, looking at each other, and still holding hands. The trench coat soaked scents of blooms, rain, and freshly washed grass. It finally laid softly around my shoulders. The collar stopped feeling stiff, it stopped scratching my neck. I touched the sleeve again, wondering how many more adventures are waiting to be soaked and written down on this waterproof, gabardine fabric.