The rain poured hard outside. It had been raining for days, and it never seemed to let up. Darcy was worried about the coming weekend. Not only did her family’s business depend on decent weather to make enough money to sustain it for several months, but she was bringing Sol to his first rendezvous ever, and she wanted it to be fun. Mud was not fun. Mud Faires were almost always a nightmarish week of cold, wet, boring, and messy.
She’d told Sol all about the Faire and how much fun it was. She’d told him about the battles, the music, the food, and even the canoe races. Most of that would still be there even if it rained the whole week, but it just won’t be as fun. Their clothes would be muddy and wet, their shoes would be coated in mud, they’d have to pick their way across straw paths everywhere they wanted to go, and well, they’d have to go out in the rain.
The forecast didn’t call for rain all week, just through the first weekend. Still, the mud would be there, and it would still be perfectly able to ruin things.
Friday afternoon, Darcy piled her bags and bedding by the front door and sat down in the nearest chair. She couldn’t do anything else until Sol came home from work. She stared out the window and just let herself wallow in her frustration and sadness.
She was lost in her thoughts, imagining how disappointed Sol would be, and how he’d never want to go to another rendezvous, when a hand suddenly hit the window. It stayed there, pressed up against the glass, while the rain poured around it.
Darcy’s heart beat faster than she could count as she stared at the hand. Her mind cycled through all the different things that could be happening. Then she realized she knew that hand. It was Sol’s hand. Why was he standing out in the rain with his hand pressed up against the window? Was he hurt? In trouble?
Darcy finally took hold of her senses, jumped out of the chair, and flung the front door open. Sol stood by the window, leaning against it, while he bent over. Darcy worried he was in pain and ran out into the rain.
“Sol!” she cried, grabbing onto his arm. “What’s wrong? Are you hurt?”
He looked up at her in surprise. “What? Oh, no, it’s just the stupid mud.” He gestured to his foot, which was lifted and crossed over his other leg. The shoe was caked with mud.
“Where did you walk?” Darcy asked, looking around. Her heart was finally starting to slow to a normal pace.
“I was coming over here to see if the downspout was clogged–it didn’t look like much water was coming out of it–and stepped in this soft spot here.”
Darcy looked down at where he was pointing. That was when she saw his shoe half-buried in the mud. She looked down at his foot again and realized that it was his sock that was covered in mud. She couldn’t stop herself from bursting out laughing.
Sol looked at her with narrowed eyes. “You think it’s funny that I’m a huge mess? I won’t even be able to go inside without tracking mud everywhere.”
She shook her head, unable to respond from laughing so hard. Sol shook his own head in response. After taking some deep breaths, Darcy was finally able to respond.
“I don’t care,” she said with a loving grin. “It’s just mud.”