Can a chance meeting in the rain change someone’s life?
Meeting someone who can make him stop going is an eye-opener for Henrik. The man, Mikko, is his complete opposite, a steady rock in the wild rainstorm that is Henrik’s life, but the connection between them is both unexpected and instantaneous. Their encounter only lasts a few minutes, but before they part, they exchange phone numbers.
They live far away from each other, but soon they text and call daily, until Mikko is Henrik’s dearest friend and most trusted person. But a late-night question on the phone has Henrik re-evaluating his feelings. It’s impossible to love someone you’ve only met in person once ... right?
Is the connection Henrik and Mikko forged long distance enough to sustain them when they meet again? And will their love be strong enough to give them the happily ever after they deserve?
He hums noncommittally, the way he does when he needs to collect his thoughts. I close my eyes and let him, his even breaths in my ear helping me relax even more. We exist in silence for several minutes, before he finally speaks, his tone raw. Vulnerable. “How long are we going to do this?”
I blink my eyes open and stare at the wet roof, furrowing my eyebrows. “Do what?”
“Pretend we’re only friends.”
“Oh ... that.” My words are little more than a squeak, and my heart stumbles. I press my palm against it, trying to soothe the erratic beating. How did he ...? Am I that transparent? I rub my knuckles over my chest.
“Did I freak you out?” He sounds more awake now. As though his original question slipped out when he was still half asleep, but my reaction woke him properly.
Yes, I’m freaked out! Talking about emotions has never been easy, it’s not something we do; as a family who’s in the spotlight a lot because of our history, wealth, and success, we’re trained from infancy to always be gracious and noble, to always keep a pleasant façade, to never show our inner selves to anyone we don’t know we can trust a thousand percent. Whatever we feel, we feel behind closed doors. I’m not exaggerating when I say my mother isn’t the soft and cuddly type. I can count on one hand the number of hugs I remember her giving me.
Growing up in that kind of environment made me into a closed-off person; I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, I’m not openly affectionate, I don’t do PDAs. I’ve never been in a real relationship, never looked for my happily-ever-after. Both because I’ve been content on my own, but also because I’m reluctant to subject someone to our fame.
That was until Mikko came into my life that afternoon in the rain.
He was special from the beginning. His openness, his happiness. How on the surface, he’s the complete opposite of me; him being the typical yoga hippie type, serene and free-spirited, with blond dreads and comfortable clothes, while I’m the cross between nobility and a successful businessman in buttoned-up sleek suits and perfectly groomed hair. We shouldn’t get along so well, but we do.
He shouldn’t be my type, but he is.
Had anyone asked me before I met Mikko, I would’ve said I didn’t have a type, but apparently, I was wrong.
And if that isn’t enough, I trust him; he’s the one I’d call if I needed help. The one to whom I’d tell my deepest darkest secrets because I know he’d never betray them. I’m forty years old and I’ve never trusted anyone like this before, not even my family.
No matter how hard I try to deny it to myself, I need to be honest. I’ve never felt like this about anyone before. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without him. So I have to try; I can’t let him slip through my fingers.
“No, you didn’t freak me out,” I croak, grimacing both at the pathetic sound that leaves my mouth and the lie. I never want to lie to him, so I take it back. “Yeah, you did.”