“I agree with your point, really, and reluctantly. Goodbye then, Bonnie. Don’t be so sad.”
He said it as if there were any other possibility in the moment. She watched him turn the corner, departing the little cornerstone and the force of the monsoons. He wasn’t from her world, of course. Had no way to know how the killing storms rolled up in an instant; all lethal lightning and tsunamis. She grimaced as she watched the rivulets make a gray, meaningless mass of a newspaper lying in the gutter across the street, “Yesterday’s news,” she whispered, “Nothing really matters except that we say it does.” She stroked the pendant gently before realizing that she was doing it; she calmly let her hand drop from the sterling medallion. The residual moisture clung to its surface; the force-struck image of the phoenix, rising; it slowly moved to what would eventually become a droplet, falling to ground.
Turning from the storm, she shook out the umbrella and closed it slowly, setting it inside the door as she moved back inside and carefully closed it. It wasn’t safe out there; likely wouldn’t be for some time, if ever. She pondered briefly the visitor from that distant, sunny world; a place where storms were intermittent and never, ever lethal. She hoped he took her advice and made it back to safety. The soft whumping of the departing shuttle made her smile. She watched from the window as the rockets flared and boosted the transport into the outer atmosphere and back into space. Hand upon the window, fingers splayed, she watched it until it disappeared from sight.