It was raining when I woke up. I could hear the big drops falling on the roof and hitting the glass on my windows. Light from the morning was coming in through the dark clouds and casting shadows of rain drop that were frozen in place on the glass. Across my white wall I could see magnified droplets as they fell down to their resting place on the ground outside.
I had left my curtains open last night because I had hoped for the rain. Walking to the sound and image of the rain gave me a calm that I couldn’t explain to someone if they asked. It was like being free with the water. Going where I wanted. It could sit in a crack or move to another place to sit and wait. The sound of rain was like the heart beat of the world surrounding me. So much to feel in such a sound that I could cry with the world if it hurt…
Yeah, that’s true. So maybe I could describe it. Yeah, that’s true too. Rain is my favorite weather pattern. has been for years. Since I was younger. As young as I can remember, actually. Do I get it from someone in the family? Well, Mom was never a fan of the rain. She hates the cold. She hates the wet. She hates everything about it. If thunder or lightening, or both, came to play too, forget it. Mom is the most unhappy then. It’s like everything that I love and respect and treasure about the rain is what she hates the most about it.
No, I don’t think she hates it on purpose. She’s just not a rain person. That’s all.
The problem with rainy days it the fact that I hate having to get out of bed. I love to walk in the rain, to feel the rain on my skin, to feel the water fall down my face, but I hated to have to stay inside. When it rains, I’d much rather sit with my Sketchpad or a good book, open the window as the drops bounce into the room, and just be like that for hours and hours.
But today was not that day. Today was a school day. It couldn’t be a Saturday or a Sunday. It had to be a Monday, which meant that I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy the rain at all the way I wanted to. Unless this turned out to be a six day storm, I would only get to have this amazing weather for two days.
I sighed as I pushed back the covers. Time to get ready.
Once I was dressed, I went into the kitchen and grabbed some cereal from the cabinet. The milk was still good and the dishes were clean. Those were always positives for the morning. As I took my first bite of cinnamon cereal, I thought about Nanny Meg and how she would always cook us the same breakfast.
I missed her. It has been a long eight months without her. Sure I saw her every two weeks when she brought us groceries, but that was about it. Just a few minutes. I got old enough that mom didn’t feel as though I needed to be watched. I mean it made sense, but honestly, Nanny Meg never watched me. She watched the house. From walking around from one part of the house to the other, Nanny Meg would check on me in my playroom. But once, I turned eleven, I didn’t play in there as much.
Max and I found other things to do with our time. Building a fort wasn’t one of them anymore.
Yeah, I think it was just because we got older. I will say, though, that I feel like we are drifting apart. He sleeps a lot more than before, and I am preoccupied with more and more homework. But he’s still here when I wake up and when I get home from school. I miss him though. I wish he was closer to me like before.
Interestingly enough, I don’t have to wake him up anymore, he just—oh, well, speaking of Max.
“Good morning, Max.” He walked through the half wall that connected the living room to the kitchen and sat down next to me, “I didn’t think I’d see you until I got home.”
He yawned and stretched his arms out wide, “Yeah, but the rain was keeping me up. It’s much louder the closer you are to the roof.”
I laughed as I took another bite of cereal, “Well, next time I will build you a room close to ground level.”
“Much appreciated. So you walking to school?”
“You know I am, I can’t wait. I have my boots on, and my jacket and umbrella await on my bed,” I couldn’t help but beam at the thought of walking to school in the rain.
I think I may have said once that those few minutes to school were the best part of the day? Well amplify that with every rain drop that falls, and that’s how my rainy days feel. Nothing was more calming and relaxing than walking to school in the rain.
Max saw that I was staring off into the distance thinking about my walk, so he decided to take his leave, “I’m going to try and sleep some more. Maybe I’ll just stay in the playroom.” I shot him a look. “Oh, yeah, sorry. The art room.” Max waved his hands at the end of his words as of warding of my look.
I laughed at his awkward movements as he walked back through the wall and went toward the playroom still waving his hands sarcastically around his head. I finished my cereal, rinsed out my plate, and stood in the kitchen, waiting.
Mom usually would get up by now, but I knew the rain was what was stopping her. If she already opened her eyes, she went right back to sleep. Mom didn’t have a set schedule. She went in and did her work and then came home when she was done. That was why it was so variable when she came home every day. I felt that 12 to 16 hour days were too much for any one person to deal with every single day, well, except Sundays now. Mom changed her availability and always had Sundays off. It didn’t really change much for us, except she’s got a day to sleep throughout the day. I still missed her as much as before, and with Max and I drifting…. I guess I just wish I had someone close to me.
I waited another five minutes, but I didn’t even hear a stir. I went to my room, grabbed my jacket and umbrella, blew a kiss down the hallways to mom and I walked out the door. There is so really easy way to read or draw while it’s raining. Holding the umbrella was the only task I wanted anyway as I walked with staring at falling water being the ultimate goal.
The clouds looks amazing in the sky. With light grey streaks and dark grey streaks, everything was swirling together. I was surprised there was no lightening or thunder, but I didn’t mind. The rain was what I wanted to hear anyway. The sun wasn’t out or even trying to be. It was hidden happily behind the clouds, waiting for its turn to come back out and warm everything. As much as I loved the rain, I loved the warm sun on my skin. The winter was always a tease when it would be bright outside, but there was not warmth that touched your skin. One of the things that make me dislike winter.
But we weren’t in winter, we were in rain, and I was walking to school, alone, and enjoying it.
My walk was a great one until I realized the gate was a few feet away. How I wished in that moment that I had one friend that could be with me all the time, and I didn’t have to face these times alone. As I took my first step into the gate, a figure in the sky pulled my attention out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see what I thought I saw, and it was gone.
That was weird. I could have sworn I saw him…
The first half of the School day was uneventful. Kimberly and her minions didn’t like the rain as much as mom didn’t, so they usually stayed close to the class room. I, on the other hand, still walked to where I normally would read or draw at lunch with my umbrella. I guess I would say that rainy days brought me more peace too.
I turned the page in my book, holding it with one hand, of course, as the same figure bounced into my peripheral again. This time I caught a better glimpse, and it was him. It must have been him. He had the same…or did he? It couldn’t be him, what was I thinking? I shook my head as I went back to reading.
I was on a new series. A sci-fi series actually. I had stopped reading fantasy novels. Why? Well, it was because of what happened in the last book that I read. It was the last book I read about Seth actually.
I paused my own thoughts and looked back into the sky where the figure had been.
Sorry. The last book I read, I actually didn’t finish. It was the fourth book in the Terin Series. Seth had saved his family in the second book after he found them. I had been so happy. He had deserved to have them back in his life. The ending of that novel had the Source of Gnared tell him that he could find the soul of his beloved Lilly. The Source has said that she was in a place that he could reach if he wanted to find her. She was trapped and wandered, waiting for him. That had been an amazing third book on his adventure to find her, and find her he did. The reunion had be crying for two days when I thought about it. Seth deserved her and she deserved him.
Yes, I did say it was the fourth book that I stopped at, didn’t I? The story went with them together, married, children, love, happiness, but this time he did not have the world on his side. His second chance was taken from him by a passing fate while he wasn’t home and off hunting for the Bascra that had been only days away. He came in the night and took her life. I couldn’t bear reading how he cried when he returned home. I had closed the book when his tears started falling and I never opened it again. A book of revenge was not how I wanted to remember Seth.
Sci-fi was safer. Usually there weren’t too many emotions wrapped up in the characters. Fun scenarios. Maybe some aliens. Or even some new discoveries that should have been impossible, but never the pain of losing someone like Seth did. Twice.
The second half of the say had gone by quickly. It had been pouring outside as we learned about history of our country. A few times Kimberly had thrown a wadded up piece of paper at me. One it landed in my hair. I will say that the satisfaction I got when she threw the fourth ball, Mr. Timmons turned as the ball flew through the air. I never saw her face turn so red as she tried to explain why the ball <>happened<> to be flying at me. Problem was, but the look of embarrassment and anger on her face when he went back to teaching, I knew that something bad this way came.
I knew my only hope was getting out into the field as soon as the bell rang. I had everything packed and ready to go, and I was the first out the door when it did. I knew Kimberly wouldn’t follow in the rain. She never carried an umbrella to even try. I was ten steps into the grass, I know because I counted them, when I heard him. Just two words. “They’re coming.”
I looked up and saw his silhouette in the dark clouds before I turned over my shoulder and saw Kimberly, Jess and Nicole standing under the protection of the hallway, outdoor roofs. I blinked, and they started running toward me. Quickly I sprinted in the direction I was already walking, dropping my umbrella as I ran. I knew if thy caught me I would be covered in mud, and so would the contents of my bag. I had a book to protect, and I was not going to let them win.
I could hear them yelling at me although I couldn’t make out the words. They got closer and closer, and I knew the final fifty feet would be the battle. I looked up to the clouds as I had before, and he was standing there. Clear as day. No figure. No silhouette. It was him. And I ran faster.
I made it to the gate as a group of kindergarten kids were being ushered by their teacher quickly onto the buss that was waiting. When the three girls made it to the gate, they were stuck having to wait until the group of young ones passed.
I had to laugh out loud at my victory as I kept running home. When I rounded the second corner on my path, I slowed down to catch my breath, still laughing. As the rain fell down my face and started to really soak in, I looked up to see him still standing there on the darkest cloud of them all, smiling down at me.
I wanted to thank him, but I couldn’t form the words. All I could do was smile back, feeling the blood rush to my face, as I continued walking, pulling my eyes from the sky. My hands came together as they normally did when we were nervous, and they started to rub our fingers together.
“I apologize if have made you feel uncomfortable as I have been following you through your day.” I looked up at him quickly as I didn’t expect him to say anything.
I forgot my words again, but finally managed to say, “No. Um, not at all. I was– It was–” I laughed nervously as my hands started pulling on one finger at a time.
I took a deep breath. “No, you didn’t make me uncomfortable.”
His smile was his response. The fluttering of my heart was mine.
I walked in silence for the next two blocks on the route home while he stood quietly on the cloud where he was. I wanted to say something, but I was too nervous to form a thought. I was glad he was so far away, because I bet he could have seen me open my mouth and lost it over a dozen times.
Come on, she’s right. You should say something.
COME ON! DON’T BE A BABY.
Finally, I couldn’t stop myself as I blurted out, “So why were you following me?” As soon as it was out of my mouth, I wanted to take it back. I felt like I had just yelled at him..
Stop it, she’s nervous.
SHE’S AN IDIOT!
…Okay, stop it both of you, leave me alone.
I didn’t have to wait long before he spoke. “I cannot say, really. I saw you there and I decided I wanted to learn more about you. I thought I odd to just introduce myself,” he paused as he laughed, “But I guess following you around was odd in itself, I feel.”
I laughed as my heart beamed. Partly from being embarrassed and party from being nervous, but mostly from the sound of his voice was exactly how I always imagined it to be. So was his smile..
My hands were calm at my sides as I rounded the last corner of my walk with my house only being three houses down the street. I fell into silence again. I wanted to talk with him more, but I just couldn’t get my mouth to work. I started up my driveway when I stopped and swung around to look up at him.
“I’m–” But he cut me off.
“I know. You have a very beautiful name.” I looked down at my feet when he said that, blushing as I did. “And I was very happy to have met you today.”
With my eyes averted I said, “Well, I hope to see you more often.”
“You will. I promise.”
I wanted to bounce where I was but tried to to stay calm. “Do you–um, do you want to come in?”
This time he looked like the embarrassed one, “I, uh, can’t come in.” I don’t know why, but I could tell he meant in general not my house in particular.
It made me a little stronger and less sheepish seeing him nervous, so I asked him, “Will you walk with me to school tomorrow?” That smile came across his face again. His eyes caught mine, and I was locked where I stood.
“I would love to.”
“Good, then I’ll see you then. Enjoy your day.”
“I already have.” And with that, he was gone behind a cloud.
I walked in the door and into my bedroom, where I put down my bag and sat down on my bed. I was still frozen from the conversation as my head was whirling.
As the rain started to fall down harder than it had all I day, I realized that I had forgotten it was even raining while I had walked. I sat in disbelief as the rain fell harder and harder.
It was him.
It was Seth.