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So Strange I Remember You

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As it turns out, Seattle doesn’t rain nearly as much as Andy expected. 

That day, though, it was pouring over harder than Pawnee ever had. Maybe it seemed that way just because he was supposed to be going to an audition for some garage band a few blocks down from his place, but he was still drenched. The only sound in the quiet hour was the murmuring traffic and the spatter of rain on his guitar’s hard-shell case.

He walks a few blocks before the rain gets to him, but there’s no hood on his sweater still riddled with holes. So, rain it is. Rain on a threadbare sweater and jeans in an even worse condition.

As it turns out, rain has to be a terrible omen for him.

Just as he’s about to turn the corner on towards his destination – some seedy apartment complex basement – a sudden force slammed into his chest and sent him flying onto his back.

His guitar case went flying as well, and a sudden skid rings in his ears with the rain dropping on his face. Someone shouts, but Andy’s still dazed from the hit.

Rain sucks, he thinks with blurry eyes and an even wetter face.

“Are you okay?” the voice that shouted before asks again, saying it slowly. “Dude, don’t be dead. I really can’t afford this.”

Andy’s head swirls again and then a face comes into focus. Well, a face and lots of black hair. Actually, there’s plenty of black elsewhere – her ears have black somethings studded in them, her eyes are about as smokey as someone can stand, and her clothes are just as black.

“Dude!”

he shakes his head and her face comes in clearer, and Andy’s mouth is still open and his jaw slack from staring at her when she scoffs. 

“Oh, um, sorry,” he says slowly. “Wait, no! You, like, just hit me with your car!”

“Car? Try bike,” she laughs but doesn’t move. “Seriously, are you okay?”

“I feel like someone just hit my head with a hammer. Like, ten times,” Andy complains and squints, the girl’s dark chuckle greeting him afterward. After a few seconds, Andy found himself staring again and the girl, whose entire look seemed to be predicated on the color black and oddly religious looking jewelry, glances away.

“So… you’re fine. Great!” she says and sits up. Andy does his best to curl up and watch her stand. “Yeah… fine, great.”

“Hey,” Andy calls after her. 

When she turns to look at him, the overcast day and its gray light break away some kind of mask that the cover of her hair had over her before. Sure, maybe Andy’s a little messed up for getting clocked by a bike and then thinking the girl that hit him was extraordinarily pretty. Fine, maybe he hit his head on the sidewalk. Either way, her eyes flicker up to his and then find the ground again. She brushes her hair out of her face, and Andy’s heart does some weird kind of leap.

“Your guitar’s in the street,” she says but all Andy sees is her lips moving and he definitely doesn’t hear a word.

“Hmm?”

“I said, some guy’s about to run over your guitar,” she clarifies and Andy’s eyes go wide.

He dashes for it and retrieves it while the towncar blares its horn in his face. When he’s back on the sidewalk, the goth-girl hasn’t moved. She’s only watching him.

“Thanks,” he says and puts his guitar down. He reaches out for a handshake, not thinking. The girl looks at his hand and gives her same, dark laughter before taking it and shaking it with exaggeration. “I’m Andy. I’m, um… yeah. Andy.”

“April,” she answers and then Andy laughs. His cheeks are blazing, surely noticeable, but he’s still watching the way she holds herself – literally, arms hugging her body defensively – and standing back away from her. “Do you, like, want me to drive you to the hospital or something? ‘Cause that’s gonna be kinda hard…”

She motions back to her bike and Andy laughs.

“Um, I was thinking… uh, coffee?” 

He asks so plainly it clearly surprises April, who looks up quickly with wide eyes. A sharp curl to her lips brings a smile all the way to her eyes and she gives a short nod. 

“Y-Yeah,” she says. “I know a cool place just down the street… we can, uh, go–”

“Now?” he asks, pushing a little because the jangling bits of her jewelry probably all have awesome stories he wants to hear about. 

“Yes,” April replies instantly.

As it turns out, rain makes the perfect soundtrack to a coffee date.