I glanced out the window to see yet another pair of black-trouser-clad legs slowly descending. “That’s not normal,” I told her. “Less messy than the time it was cats and dogs, though.”
But my aunt, who – in truth – was barely older than me, close enough in age to be my sister, really, was already pinching color into her cheeks and smoothing her cotton calico dress as she bolted for the door.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Yes, come on. This kind of Rain comes only once, maybe twice, a lifetime. You go and catch one before his feet touch the soil, and he becomes the partner you always wanted.”
“What if you miss?” I asked. Some of the forms coming down weren’t exactly compact. I’d noticed more than a couple beer guts beneath the nondescript suits.
“Most of ’em just disintegrate. Makes the garden soil really rich, though. How do you think my mamma grew such luscious tomatoes in this godforsaken place?”
“Water and sunlight, I suppose,” was my drawled response. “Like everyone else.”
But Aunt Beulah just gave me her ‘you know nothin’ honey-child’ look. Then she pulled a barely-there shade of lipstick from her handbag and used the hall mirror to make sure she got it on right. “You coming?” Her hand was already hovering over the lit-up door-plate. A touch of her palm would activate it.
I thought about how Billy Ray had kissed me under the bleachers the other day when we were supposed to be catching critters for the biology lab. It’d been like kissing cold liver. Gross!
Then I thought about my friend Rhonda Sue and how she had the softest, flow-iest, golden hair and got this sweet blush on her face whenever our eyes met during literature class, especially if we were reading poetry. Kissing her wouldn’t be like liver, cold, hot, or drowned in ketchup, I thought.
“I think I’ll have to find my ideal partner the old-fashioned way, like back on Earth. By meeting them.”
“Suit yourself, Lisanne.” And she disappeared out the door.
Me? I went to the computer to call up the Almanac. Rhonda Sue and I might end up better as just friends who practice kissing sometimes. And there had to be a day when the sky rained women, right?