"Don't know why… there's no sun up in the sky…"
She pauses, her fork hovering between the plate and her mouth. It's just a song playing over the ambient speakers, but it summons an old memory half-forgotten. One of happier times.
She remembers the way he'd hold her hand. He'd gaze into her eyes and whisper that everything would be all right. If she concentrates, she can almost hear his voice still.
He pressed his lips against hers, burying her sorrow and fear. He promised their happiness would last a lifetime… And all her days were bright…
"Stormy weather… since my man and I ain't together…"
Blinking back a tear, she realizes her date has been talking to her. Looking at her with concern, the man asks if she is all right. She shakes her head to remove the ghosts of a time that once was, smiles, and reassures him that everything is fine.
In truth, it has never been fine. Not since that fateful day so many days ago… when her love left to draw the devils away from home. And every day bought by his work has been cloudy and dark.
"Keeps raining all the time…"
She longs to walk in the sun once more, to feel its rays soak into her skin. She longs to bask in the healing warmth, and say goodbye forever to pain. What she would do to spend one precious hour with her husband and son, to be a family once more…
But there is no sun. Though she knows it must be somewhere overhead, it remains masked by a layer of clouds. And all her days are cold and grey.
"Life is bare… gloom and misery everywhere…"
She smiles as her date shares his opinions on the falling stock market. She laughs at his poor impersonation of a ministry official. She tries in vain to capture the same magic she once felt.
But even as she knows this man should be great for her, she cannot help but feel empty. The sun is gone. No moon, however bright, can turn this night to day.
"Stormy weather… just can't get my poor old self together…"
She eats her expensive tuna salad. The man who left her would never spend money so idly. She should be grateful for finding this man.
After all, her son can't take care of her for the rest of her life. For all she loves him, she knows he can barely take care of himself. For the first time since her husband left, she feels financially secure. And yet…
"I'm weary all the time… the time… so weary all of the time…"
She excuses herself, visiting the public restroom. As she hurries away, she jokes over her shoulder that she drank a gallon of lemonade. In truth, she simply wants to leave the range of the ambient speakers.
It's only music, she tells herself as she stares into the mirror. It was written six hundred years ago, for God's sake. Pull yourself together!
But even as she rages at her reflection, cursing the song that brings her pain to the forefront, she is grateful for the memory. Even with the sorrow that comes from living in the shadow of true happiness, she is happy for that one glimpse of what was.
Wiping her eyes clean of moisture, she heads quickly back to her date. She knows there is no sense in worrying about what could be. She must focus on what is.
Although her husband remains lost among the stars, she has the best alternative available. She can only hope that one day he will make the clouds vanish… or that she will be reunited with her lost castaway… Until then, she will walk her days bravely through the falling rain.
"When he went away… the blues walked in and met me…
"If he stays away… old rocking chair will get me… "All I do is pray… the lord above will let me… "Walk in the sun once more…"
"All I do is pray… the lord above will let me…
"Walk in the sun once more…"