Writing about the Storm
The last time it rained like this was the summer after my freshman year of high school. I was fifteen, just barely, and fighting to understand my new compulsions, the strength of my budding sexuality. I ran out into the storm and spun with my arms outstretched. I shouted at the sky. Chance dared not defy me. I was invincible.
It's that same heavy rain tonight, four years later, the summer after my freshman year of college. The storm is windless and brutal. I stand next to my boyfriend on our porch and watch lightning split the sky open. The rain is carving lakes into our driveway and when lightning strikes I can see individual drops suspending and shining, burning holes into my retina. They hang in the air as if time has stopped. Four years condensed into a flash.
It's been exactly ten months since Seth's father died. Eight months and a week since the night I was raped. A year and two days since Seth and I met. Almost two years since I first fell in love. Two and a half, and three, and four since I first thought I had. Lightning never struck that night I danced in the rain, fifteen years old and lost in my head. It was all mirrors and tricks in there. My skull was stuffed full of electricity. Now I breathe it in, and let lightning fill my fragile lungs.
The roof of the porch leaks. Water splashes on my glasses and carries blue dye down my cheeks to soak the collar of my shirt. Seth's hand is wet. The thunder is moving out over the lake, and the rain falls less like bullets and more like sand. Seth and I shut the door on the storm. I kiss him, briefly, and he wipes the water from a dripping strand of hair. Lightning flickers through the window screen. We are as secure and safe as always, and as lost.