I Can't Feel the Rain

September 1, 2007
By Tracy Sprung, Palm Bay, FL

The wind blew, the shutters rattled, and the rain poured onto my already soaking head. But I stood still, watching my mother drive away, forever. It wasn't like I was shocked, but only longing to run away from everything like her.

I had once known what a picture perfect family was like, but now I canÕt even picture my family eating together around our dining room table, laughing and smiling as id we didnÕt have a care in the world. I now sat in my room and ate dinner by myself, while my mother was busy at work and my father was in his beloved study. Our house and family seemed dead after Rose died; my poor sister, my other half lying in the cold ground with no one to hold her. I looked at our cold dead house and walked inside. After all the renovations my mom made, it still looked bare with its marble floors and grand rooms. Rose and I used to think every room had a mystery, a story that we might discover one day. Well that was true now that she was gone. But instead of mystery every room had grief filled up to the ceilings.

Now, my father sat in his study for hours upon hours, trying to figure out why this happened to her, to our family. My mother couldnÕt take the dead silence in our house, so she poured her energy into her work. My once loving and happy family was gone, and so was Rose. I walked into my fatherÕs study and sat down in one of the leather chairs across from his desk. Brooke what were you doing out there?Ó I was trying to feel the rain.Ó YouÕre going to get a cold.Ó I couldnÕt feel it.Ó
I couldnÕt feel the cold droplets on my skin, and I couldnÕt feel happiness anymore in my heart where RoseÕs death made a big black hole. There was so much pain and grief I felt like I was going to burst open. Everything was too unbearable. The pained look on my motherÕs face when she sees me; when she recognizes every little detail that Rose and I shared. When my dad stays up late in the night trying so hard to figure everything out about the accident. IÕm going to my room.Ó Yes you go do thatÓ He never looked away from the computer screen.

Sitting in my room, I thought of Rose; she was the first born: one minute earlier then I. She used to tell everyone that she was the older sister. Pillow fights, sleepovers, and so many fights were welded into these four walls of our bedroom. Her twin-sized bed used to be pushed up next to mine, so we could stare up at the ceiling, talking till the morning light. Now the pink room was half empty, with all of RoseÕs belongings gone.

The three months since the accident were the most horrible three months of my life. I was used to Rose throwing a pillow at me when I woke up and then running out of the room, with me right behind her. Now when I woke up there was only silence. No Rose meant no family.

Today, I woke up to light streaming in through my bedroom window, it was a sunny Saturday. Yawning, I got up and walked down the stairs to the completely empty kitchen. There was a note taped to the refrigerator door: Went to lawyerÕs office-be back later, love Dad My mom was divorcing him, and he was going through with it.

A week passed before I found out that my parents were fighting over me. Life had completely changed: my mom wanted complete custody and so did my dad. I was beginning to feel as if they didnÕt want me, but that they were competing on who could better protect me from the world. They couldnÕt protect Rose from the cruel world.

We were sitting in the courtroom when the judge asked me to come up to the stand. Would you rather live with your mother or your father?Ó

I thought about it, I hadnÕt really even begun to wonder about the world without my mother or without my father. Neither,Ó I said plainly.

I felt many eyes staring at me; I forced myself to not look at my father or mother. Why would that be?Ó the judge asked. Because they act dead now that Rose is gone.Ó How can that be?Ó Well we used to eat together, play sports, and laugh in our home. But now itÕs filled with grief for Rose, and for not being able to protect her from the world.Ó

I heard my mother sob, my father glanced away. IÕm sorry for the loss of your daughter,Ó Judge Smith said. But canÕt you tell me which parent you would rather live with? Because I can make the decision for you, I thought you might want to. You are fourteen, so you have a choice to make.Ó May I speak with them in private, please?Ó Yes you may: take your time now.Ó

I walked out of the courtroom: my parents followed me. Mom, Dad, do you remember the day?Ó They knew what day I was talking about that rainy Sunday on which Rose had died. I was looking through the window at the bleak morning sky, rain was pouring down the window pane. The rain I had once felt, dancing in with Rose that very day. Come on, letÕs go outside!Ó Rose said as she grabbed my arm, pulling me through the front door. ItÕs raining Rose!Ó I shouted through the thunder. But itÕs so beautiful; I could just paint a picture this very moment!Ó She was going to be an artist when she grew up. She had always told me, A rich artist.Ó We would live in a huge mansion and I would be a famous author. The two of us would be together, forever. But now we were only together in memory.

We laughed and danced together in the street, care- free, loving every moment and every rain drop. Then in the blink of an eye, a truck came straight toward us. I fell to the sidewalk, unconscious, but later, I knew what had happened. Rose and I had been dancing in the street: my father yelled for us to get inside, the truckÕs lights blinded me: Rose pushed me out of the way. The driver had been talking on his cell phone and looking for a map on the floor of the passenger seat. He hadnÕt seen us. I heard brakes screeching, my father yelling, rushing to Rose, but she was already gone.

She had pushed me out of the way, to save me, to protect me. I hated her for it, for leaving me here to listen to my parents fighting, my mother crying at night for Rose. But now I see why she did it, she loved me that much. She was my other half and she thought sheÕd be the brave one, to enter the unknown, to save me. I remember it as if it were a nightmare, haunting me every night in my dreams. Why did she have to push me? Why did she have to save me?Ó Tears blurred my eyes. Things were silent for a few moments, and then my Dad spoke, Darling she was thinking of you, about how much she loved you.Ó Honey, your fatherÕs right, she loved you with all her heart.Ó My Mom said. But why? You hate me for being the one that lived, you loved her more!Ó I turned away from them. How could you ever say that? We loved you the same,Ó My Dad held me by the shoulders, We loved you the same.Ó If Rose were still here then you wouldnÕt be getting a divorce.Ó Honey, itÕs, itÕs complicated.Ó My Mom looked so sad. Three months ago everything was fine.Ó WeÕve been having fights, about things we couldnÕt fix.Ó ItÕs because she died isnÕt it?Ó Of course not.Ó Then why? Why did you have to run away from us, from everything Mom?Ó Because I needed time away from everything, Brooke, time away from your father sitting in his study for all hours of the night, time away from working so hard, and time away fromÉÓ Can we all just all sit down, because I donÕt want this Mom-Dad? I donÕt want you two to split up, I donÕt want any of this, and itÕs not fair.Ó YouÕre right it isnÕt fair Brooke, none of it,Ó my Dad pulled my mom and me into a hug. The same day we went to RoseÕs grave and put roses all around, I placed a paint brush on her grave and whispered, Paint heaven for me Rose, paint it all.Ó
But there was something strange in the wind that blew thru me at that moment, something that didnÕt feel right. I looked back at my parents; they were standing awkwardly next to each other. When I turned to leave, I heard something in the wind. Be careful BrookeÉÓ It was RoseÕs voice. But when I turned back, there was nothing but the wind and rain.

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