I didn’t live in Soho, and never would. But, it was a rainy night, and I couldn’t help but hear the rain striking the windows to my apartment. It wasn’t a downpour, just a good, steady, soaking rain.
I turned out all the lights, then pulled the curtains aside, so I could look out, over the street. I pushed the ear buds for my music player into my ears, and turned on my music. Wouldn’t you know it. The first song it randomly picked, “A Rainy Night in Soho”. I’m not a fan of that song, and for a moment I considered pushing the next button. Instead, I let the song keep playing.
I looked out the window, watching the rain fall and the black clouds shift around in the sky while that song played. I saw a couple hop out of a cab, him first, opening his umbrella, and helping her out. He paid the fare, and the two of them walked, hand-in-hand, into the building across the street. I don’t know why, but that made me smile. Maybe I was imagining they’d had dinner together, at some expensive restaurant, then returned home for a night that started with betting naked, and went from there. Maybe I was imagining I was him, and when we got to the apartment, I turned on the music, and took her in my arms, and we slow danced, just enjoying the feel of holding each other.
Whatever the reason, I knew it was something I shouldn’t have done, because it made me remember. Her. I sometimes wondered why we have memories. Why we just can’t forget, or erase them, like we can erase files on a computer. “I don’t like that song any more, I’m deleting it.” Or “That book makes me cry, I’m deleting it from my library.” But that’s not how our memories work, is it?
And by the end of that damn song, I remembered how she’d told me, one day, “We will always be friends.”
I’d asked her, “Really?”
She’d smiled, and hugged me. “Yes. Always.”
The next day, she was gone. I woke up, and she’d left during the night. I’d called her number, but got no answer. I’d gone all the places I knew she went, and never found her. She left. And never said, “Good-bye.”
That was two years ago. And that night, watching the rain, watching that couple from the cab, listening to that stupid song, I stood there, looking out my window, and remembered her, and her last words to me. “Yes. Always.”
Sometimes, I wish I could erase my memories of her.