I must be imagining things.
Rigel looked up from her book and stared at her locked door. Then it came again, a soft knock against all the heavy rain that is pouring outside.
“Coming.” said Rigel as she jumped out of her sofa and unlocked the door in which Nathalie stood, soaked to her skin and dripping a small puddle on the spot.
“You said you couldn’t come today. Why are you here?” Rigel took hold of her by the shoulders and guided her in. She wore the usual weary smile she’d always have but didn’t answer.
“Take off your shoes and coat,” said Rigel as she got in her room and returned in a split second with a big towel. Nathalie smiled back and messes up her hair while she tries to dry it.
This doesn’t happen very often. Rigel thought but gave no remarks. “Go and take a warm bath, ok?”
She nodded and did what Rigel said, getting out of her wet clothes and stood a while in the warm shower before getting out. A set of clothes were left on the basket outside of the bathroom.
“I bought out our hair dryer. Kitty is sleeping in her room but I don’t want to wake her up. Come” said Rigel as she patted the single sofa near the fireplace. Nathalie’s eyes were barely opening as she sat there with Rigel blowing warmth and temperature back into her, feeling relaxed till she would fall asleep.
“Rigel?” She finally spoke. Whatever that was in her mind must have sorted out in some way. “Can I sleepover for tonight?” Her voice was soft and uncertain, like she needed to ask for permission.
“You can sleep in my bed.” Rigel answered, squeezing her stiff shoulders. In these situations, Rigel always knew what she would do. The way she’d clogged everything up. But when she needed someone, she’d tell one way or another.
“I’d be fine by the fire.” Nathalie turned her head around and touched Rigel’s hand.
“Then I’ll be sleeping here as well.” Rigel replied immediately and wrapped the small blanket she was using upon her.
“You’re still difficult to handle, aren’t you? I thought we had a good routine but things started to pace up and I couldn’t catch up anymore.” Her cold hands rested upon Rigel’s hands and sighed.
“You know I’m not good with words.” Rigel replied, giving off a little sign of frustration.
“I’m sorry.” Nathalie whispered back in a wince.
“Look here.” Rigel got down in front of Nathalie and looked her in the eyes. Those hazel eyes that were hiding behind a pair of glasses looked beautiful all the same. “You came even though you knew you couldn’t go to the office to write anything. But you came anyway.” Her hand lifted Nat’s chin. “And that already meant something.” She ended, getting up and gave a small peck on her forehead before going into her bedroom.
Nathalie watched her disappear and reappear from the room with pillows and another blanket. Those shrouded feelings that had been pent up lost half of its weight and she was at ease by the time they lay on their carpet by the fire after shifting the coffee table aside.
“Good night, Rigel.”