Two Years, No Rain

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-06-23
  • Publisher: Delta
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An earnest journey from heartache to heartthrob and all the emotions along the way; at once an old-fashioned love story and a cautionary tale of self-reinvention. In San Diego County, it hasn't rained in 580 days. But for weatherman Andy Dunne, everything else is changing fast...Only a few weeks ago, he was a newly divorced, slightly overweight meteorologist for an obscure satellite radio station, hiding his secret love for a colleague, the beautifuland very much marriedHillary Hsing. But nearly overnight, Andy has landed a new gig, flying a magic carpet in a bizarre live-action children's TV show. So what is affable, basically decent Andy Dunne going to do now that he can do practically anything he wants? With a parade of hot moms begging for his autograph and a family that needs his help more than ever, Andy has a lot of choices. First, though, there's this thing with Hillary, their heated text messages, a long-awaited forecast for rain and a few other surprises he never saw coming...

Author Biography

Shawn Klomparens lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with his wife and two children. He is currently at work on his next novel.


Chapter One

Every time I went out to the car, I'd slide myself in and pull that pack of smokes from the slot in the dash. Without looking at it, staring into the afternoon haze, I'd run my fingertip back and forth over the unopened plastic tab and breathe. Thinking, but not really thinking. Breathing, but not thinking at all. Every break, every company-granted fifteen-minute block, I'd go sit out in the lousy heat and play with the cellophane wrapper on a cigarette box as I sat sweating in the passenger seat of my not-so-old American sedan.

The doors would be open, there in my numbered spot between the video and audio production buildings, with the stereo on but not loud enough to hear. No breeze to move the smoky cloud over the satellite dishes behind their padlocked-fence enclosure. Signals shooting up and shooting down: weather radar, classic rock, and auto races. Wavelengths encoded with infomercials and kung fu; pornography and cooking shows.

Some of those signals miss the satellites, you know. They go right past. Alien civilizations will see them, and know us through storm warnings, kung fu movies, and porn.

I had not smoked a butt in nearly four years, having quit soon after Elise and I were engaged. I bought the pack the day she told me she had spoken to a divorce lawyer, and it had stayed in my car ever since. I'd never moved it, except for the times I went out to sit and not think, holding the box in my hand—they were Camel Filters, even—and I'd play with the wrapper and say to myself: how bad would it be to have just one?

Finally, there in my car with my shirt sticking to my skin, I thought, Well fuck it, it's done, she's moving out today, I'm having a goddamn smoke finally. The moment I'd started to pull the golden tab with some sort of conviction, my cell phone buzzed and shook; I managed to catch it when it tumbled from where I had placed it above the stereo.

"Andy." A deep voice; just enough gravel, just enough weight. Made for TV and radio.

"Mr. Nelson, you have saved me from smoking my first cigarette in a long time."

"I never understood why you quit."

"You know why I quit."

"That was your first sign of weakness, Andy. You gave in. That's why you're where you are today."
I threw the pack into the center console. "Are you trying to cheer me up somehow? If so, it's not working."

"I know how you feel. I do. My first divorce was hard. So hard. They're all bullshit. But trust me, they get a lot easier."

"Jesus, maybe . . . maybe I'd like to not make this a habit?"

"Ha!" Mr. Nelson said, coughing. "Enough of that, now. Anything better in radio land today?"

"Today, radio land is going pretty well. I think. We never know how the corporate masters are feeling. An e-_mail got forwarded around this morning about cuts in the news _department now that the merger is on. Remote offices are worried, but I have a feeling it's only a rumor." I tried to sound like I wasn't concerned.

"You're safe, Andy. Everyone needs the weather. You're good! You've got that good presence."
"I suppose."

"But you really should get back into television. You were made for television."

"I'm pretty happy where I am now."

"Really." He coughed again. "Well, if you end up feeling not so happy, I might happen to know about an opening at the Omaha affiliate—"

"You mentioned. Things are fine in radio land."

"—evening slot, they need a real meteorologist there too. Lots of tornadoes in Omaha, Andy. Cyclones! I know you love those tornadoes."

"Things are good for me here, Mr. Nelson. I mean it."

"And easy, I'm sure. Okay, you go get the headphones back on and put a

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