I sit on my front porch as the rain starts to fall. A gap in the guttering lets one large drop splat on the wall next to me.

It is dark and the rain is only visible as passing car headlights briefly illuminate it, like sparkling shards. But the roaring spray, after days of scorching arid heat, shouts that yes, the rain is here, falling hard and fast. It gushes and hisses from the sky.

You have just left, so I come outside to feel the downpour, to smell it bursting from the sky on to trees, plants, gutters, potholes, and stare into the night, lit by a few twinkling lights down my street.

I pull a cigarette from my pocket – naughty, I know, and not something I normally do, but it’s my emergency supply and you are not here to lecture me.  I turn from the wind and click my lighter. The nicotine rush leaves me light-headed for a second, but I am already woozy with red wine. Only the cooler air and rain keep me upright.

Things are different between us now. And I made it so.

You never asked for it to change. It was down to me. I had my doubts.

But as I sit here and suck and inhale, watching the wisps of grey vapour rise before me, I feel the cold shiver of solitude rise up my spine, the space from my waist to my shoulders, where an arm could have encircled me, a warm and loving embrace.

But here I am, alone again. Plunk! Another large drop hits the wall next to me.

As I press the cigarette between my lips, I think of your lips when they used to press against mine, soft and warm. But I made this choice.

I cross my legs as the breeze gets sharper and blows up my dress. But the breeze is the only thing to get this far.

I long for a warm head laid on my lap, fingers caressing my legs, as I gently stroke the head. Plop! The drop shakes me from my reverie for a second.

The wind rustles through the Magnolia tree over the wall and it moves, in this light like a sea of a million dark green leaves. Between the drifting clouds of smoke I inhale the smell of wet leaves, grass and nature aroused by the down pour. Will I ever be aroused again?

Plunk! There it goes again.

The wine haze and nicotine fuzz do not allow me to answer the question – do I just want to be desired and touched by someone, or do I still crave your heat, your kiss, your sex.

But you have gone. I made you go. So I am alone again. Splat! The drop seems to be coming more frequently now.

And I do not want to ask the question right now. It will only plague me when I awaken from my heavy alcohol sleep at around 4am and struggle to close my eyes again. I have argued with myself for some time now on this point. Right now I call a truce.

Flump! That drop is now mocking me. The cigarette is down to the butt and I don’t want another – the bitter taste and dry mouth remind me why. I turn my back on the wet night, turn my back on my thoughts – just for now. Time for the empty bed, one pillow not used. Time to snuff out thoughts and feelings. Until tomorrow.