The Sun, the Clouds, and the Rain

April 14, 2008
By Sarah Schieffer, Amery, WI


I was alone again, just like that day at the beach. How could this be happening? Was it possible? I felt as if all of my muscles froze, and I couldn’t move. I felt sick to my stomach, and my head throbbed. There was one difference about this situation. This time. This time, saving or recovering remained impossible. This time, I was alone, forever.
September 4th neared its way here. I heard the beautiful summer breeze still here. It fell lightly across my face and made me sink into my thoughts. I breathed in deeply, smelling the ocean’s salty flavor. The sand felt wonderful in between my toes. I could hear the waves from the ocean rolling in, stretching their way to the sand, grabbing it, and dragging it back to the ocean’s depth. The sunset drew near, and the colors showed deep purple and pink with hints of gold and yellow, as if someone took a paintbrush and painted a picture in the sky. School started in three days. I had managed to stay a whole summer at Cottage Village High. That didn’t happen often. My excitement grew as I approached my senior year, but would I stay? My parents usually never stayed in one town for this long. Apparently, I spaced out because when my head cleared from the fog, I looked up and saw three concerned faces staring at me.
“Emma, are you all right?” Sam asked, confused.
“Oh…what?” I studdered. I was still in a haze.
“Emma, you’ve been sitting here looking like that since six o’ clock,” added Jais.
“Oh, what time is it?” I asked.
“Eight thirty,” Pete replied.
“No way! I must’ve lost track of time!” I gasped. “Ugh, I’m sorry you guys how long have you been here?” I asked sincerely. They had probably been there for a while, and I didn’t even realize it.
“It doesn’t matter, we just wondered if you were all right. What exactly were you thinking about Em?” Jais urged, slowly making his way to sit down next to me. He put his arm around me and held me close.
“You know you can tell us Emma,” Sam reassured. Her eyes showed worry, as she too sate down to my other side.
“Well, it’s just, we’re starting out our senior year. This is the longest I’ve lasted at one school before, and I’m just worried that my parents will move again. I really love it here, more than any other place I’ve lived. What if my parents decide to take another job offer somewhere? We’ll have to pack up and move again.” I whined. All of their eyes showed confusion, as if no one had the answer. The dead sound filled the air for a moment. Could anyone help me out? Finally, someone broke through the silence.
“Emma, let me tell you something,” Pete proposed. This surprised me, him giving me advice, I mean. He usually played off as the comedian. “Speaking hypothetically, let’s say your parents move,”
“Pete! How is this helping?” Sam bellowed, smacking him in the arm.
“Just wait let me finish,” he laughed, rubbing his arm, pretending like her smack hurt him. “Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, your parents decide to move again. You don’t know for sure, but why worry about it now? Take it one day at time and enjoy what’s good, because if you end up moving, you’ll have fun memories,” he promised. “But who says you’ll even move? I wouldn’t worry about it,” he chuckled.
“Well, there you go, that’s exactly what I would have said,” Jais gloated, raising his hands in the air finalizing his statement.
“Yes, I’m sure Jais, ha ha. Thanks for the advice Pete,” I praised.
“No problem Emma,” he smiled, as he sat down by Sam wrapping his arm around her.
We watched the sunset fall and fall, until finally the moon took over its place. It felt peaceful time, and I wondered to myself, how could life get any better? Time stood still as if someone shot a picture for that exact moment, to frame and place on a wall for elegance and a warm feeling to the heart.
The first day of school finally came, and the second, and the third, and pretty soon we went through a whole month of school. Lightning struck through my days. I tried to do what Pete said and enjoy every moment. The first weekend in October, Jais, Sam, Pete, and I all attended the annual “drive-in movie.” Jais drove us in his truck, so we could sit in the back of it. The movie bored us, but we didn’t really watch it. We just talked the entire time about the future and where each of us would go to college.

“I don’t know for sure, I’ve applied to a couple of schools: Harvard, Princeton, and Yale, ya know all of the usual colleges. All of those are my back ups, but I really want be accepted into Florida,” she stated, as if it were not big deal. You see Sam Whitley shows a perfect example of a genius who will never admit to it.

“I’m not that smart,” Pete confessed, smiling, “but I am waiting on Florida. I’m praying I’ll get in, because if I don’t, I won’t be with my little sweetie pie,” he mused, looking at Sam with “fake lovingly” eyes, and taking his hand to mess up her hair.

“Oh, be quiet,” Sam mumbled rolling her eyes, pulling his hand away from her.

“Ouch, rejection,” Jais jokingly smiled, giving Pete a punch in the arm.

“Ha ha ha,” I chuckled, “I’m planning on attending NYU, but I have no idea if I’ll get in.”

“What!?” Jais exploded with surprise, anger, and sadness raging in his eyes. I cupped my hands over my mouth and my eyes grew wide. I forgot I hadn’t yet told Jais I changed my mind about going to the college here, in California. NYU had many more opportunities than California. “I thought you and I were going to the college here in California. When exactly did you plan on telling me you changed your mind?”
“Eventually Jais, and I wanted you to attend NYU too, but I fell bad because--”
“Because you think I can’t get in,” Jais challenged shooting a glance at me. He shifted over to the other side of the truck.
“No, that’s not--” I pleaded, tears filling my eyes. I could tell he didn’t believe me.
“It’s okay Emma, I know I’m not as smart as you, but the least you could do is tell me when you change your mind about applying to a school half way across the country. That way, I wouldn’t have looked like a complete idiot,” Jais sneered. His eyes showed darkness and filled with anger. Pete and Sam decided to leave. They jumped out of the truck and walked home.
“Jais, that’s completely wrong would you let me finish? I planned on convincing you to come with me! To apply too! You work hard, and I know you could get in,” I defended, a tear falling down slowly.
“Yeah right Emma. Like I could get into a school like that, but it’s okay because you’ll be away from me anyway. That makes all the difference for you doesn’t it?” he argued, while the anger in his voice rose.
“Now you’re just being ridiculous. Of course that’s not true. I want to be with you. I have an application sitting at my house waiting to be filled out, but you know what? Forget it Jais. You obviously don’t want to try, and that says everything,” Now the tears ran down like a water faucet pouring nonstop. I stormed out of the truck and sprinted home.
When I finally made it to the steps, I opened the door, slammed it shut, and ran up to my room. I flopped onto my bed. My phone buzzed in my pocket. I took it out, four new messages from Jais. I felt so frustrated. Why did he have to act so ridiculous? I pressed the ignore button. It buzzed, and buzzed again. He was calling. I decided to not answer it. I felt angry with him that I would’ve said something and regretted it later. I heard a knock on my door.
“What is it?” I mumbled.
“Can I come in?” My mom muffled from behind the thick, wooden door. She sounded weird, but I still didn’t care. I didn’t want to talk to anyone right now.

“No,” I ordered, but did she listen? No. She just opened the door, walked right in, and sat on my bed.
“Emma, there is something very important that we need to discuss.”
Oh boy, I thought. Now what? What could possibly be so important that we needed to “discuss?” Since when did she say phrases like that anyway? My stomach sank. She only talked like that in certain situations. That certain situation happened seven times in the last three years. We were moving.
“We’re moving in two weeks. Your dad has already found a house and everything!” She announced excitedly, while I just sat there. She completely ignored how I felt. “Oh honey, don’t be so down! It’s a new adventure! We’re moving to New Jersey!”
“Please leave,” I growled. It sounded rough, but I had nothing else to say. She sat up angry, and walked out of the room closing the door behind her. Not even ten seconds later, I heard another knock on my door.
“Mom just leave me alone! I don’t want to talk to you,” I wept, turning over on my side beginning to cry again. The door opened.
“Hey, it’s just me,” I looked up to see Jais. Of course he came to see me. He walked over and sat on the bed. “Listen Emma, I’m really sorry I yelled at you. I acted ridiculous. All I want is to be with you, and I guess I just felt a little upset, because we need to be realistic. There is no way that I could be accepted into NYU. Regardless, that should never stop you from going there. I’ll have to accept that and be happy for you,” He whispered. He comforted me, running his fingers through my hair, and lightly touched my face. The tears were running harder now. I turned to face him. I looked up at his beautiful piercing green eyes. I felt a pain strike through my body remembering how I would miss those eyes, his soft face, and his heart. Also, the way he comforted me when I felt confused, and his pure sincerity and ability to make me smile.
“Jais that doesn’t even matter anymore,” I whimpered, wiping away the tears.
“What do you mean?” he sympathized. I sat up to look him directly in the eyes.
“I was right. We’re…moving to New Jersey,” I answered, with no enthusiasm. He didn’t even say anything. He just took me in those teddy bear arms of his, and let me cry until I fell asleep. There went all of the good times, the laughter, the fight, and the sunshine to pour through the clouds. I wanted to stay, but that fell through. In two weeks, I moved.
The day finally came. The truck was loaded and ready to go. The room I once stayed in filled with emptiness. I ran down the stairs not wanting to look at it anymore. There stood Sam, Pete, and Jais waiting for me to say goodbye. Sam walked up to me first.
“Emma, words can’t even say how much I will miss you. You can call me everyday. Please come visit here whenever you can and don’t even call. Just show up at my house, and I will be waiting to greet you happily,” she cried, with tears running down her face. She hugged me hard and long. I tried to tell myself I wouldn’t cry today, but like that worked. Pete approached me next.
“Emma, I had so much fun with you. You made me laugh, and I enjoyed spending all this time with you. I remember the first day we met. Your eyes were empty, but now I see how much they are filled with love. You have a beautiful heart, and I will never forget your smile,” even Pete had tears in his eyes, and he gave me a hug. Then of course stood Jais beside me.
“Emma, I love you. If you ever need me, I will be on the fastest plane to New Jersey. You’re heart will always be mine, and I’ll be here waiting for you,” he promised, and kissed me. Only this time he kissed different. This kiss confirmed the goodbye. Then we hugged and just stayed there as if time stood still, again as if someone shot a picture for just that moment to frame and place on a wall. Then I left. There went the sunshine to destroy my clouds. The boy with the beautiful smile, piercing green eyes, and a heart deeper than water, faded in the distance from the car’s back window.
New Jersey life was not so fun did live up to what it proclaimed to be. Everything I did gave a reminder of them. Not one second went by where I stopped thinking about them. Sam and I talked as much as we could, but barely enough compared to what I wanted. Problems arose for Jais and me. Actually, that’s an understatement. He wanted to know everything I did, everywhere I went, and constantly told me how much he missed me. I couldn’t keep up with it. It just kept reminding me of how much I missed him. I had to end it, before I would hurt myself any more. I called him. It rang and rang, until finally someone picked it up.
“Hey lovely,” he answered, and I could tell he smiled by his voice. This part became harder than I imagined.
“Jais, I’ll get to the point. It’s over. I don’t love you anymore. Just leave me alone. I don’t want to see you again,” I wanted to cry, but I kept it in because I didn’t let Jais know.
“Emma, I don’t even know what to say. You can’t be serious. What did I do?” He persisted. This grew to be over what I could handle. I had to get off the phone, so I hung up.
I received a call about four hours later. Sam called crying when I picked up. I knew right away she felt upset about how I had hurt Jais.
“Sam, I’m sorry, but it was the only way…” but she cut me off.
“No Emma, you don’t understand. The minute Jais hung up the phone with you, he took the first plane to New Jersey to convince you to do otherwise. We just watched the news, and a plane going from California to New Jersey crashed, just outside of Kansas. Emma, he was on that plane,” she stammered. I dropped the phone and stood there my hand close to my ear as if the phone remained there.

I was alone again, just like that day at the beach. How could this be happening? Was it possible? I felt as if all of my muscles froze, and I couldn’t move. I felt sick to my stomach, and my head throbbed. There was one difference about this situation. This time. This time, saving or recovering remained impossible. This time, I was alone, forever.

Why did this happen? Why did I have to fight with him? Why couldn’t I just have told him I loved him and nothing else mattered? Why did I have to hurt him? He died because he tried to convince me to stay with him, and to be in his heart. I’m such an idiot!
I became exhausted, and I needed to sleep. I lay down and snuggled into my warm blankets. Outside that sky appeared gloomy, and it had been that way since the day I moved here. It began to rain. I could hear the drops hitting the roof dripping down the house. It grew peaceful, in a sad kind of way. Just before I drifted off, I heard a tap on my window. I figured it was the rain, so I ignored it. I heard it again and again. Had a rock just hit my window? I took a peek through the curtains and looked down. I almost passed out. It couldn’t be real.

“Emma sit still,” Sam impatiently declared, “it’s a little hard to pin this on when you keep moving.”

“Sorry, I’m just really nervous. Aren’t you nervous? I’m nervous. When I get nervous, I just can’t stop talking or moving, and I keep babbling, tapping, jumping, sitting, standing, and everything. If I don’t stop, can you tell me? Otherwise, it just gets really annoying for people and…”

“Emma! Calm down! You are babbling!” She scolded but still had that loving smile on her face. Pete sat in the corner, laughing to himself.

“Oh be quiet Pete, you have nothing to do with this conversation,” I angrily glared at him. His eyes got all wide, and he put his hands up as if to surrender. He mouthed to Sam “O-Kay…”

“Phew,” Jais whistled, walking up to us. I don’t think girls are supposed to look this gorgeous for their graduation. Both you ladies look amazing!” I laughed, and he gave me a quick kiss. “You ready to get this show on the road?” he smiled.

“Um…I’m not sure,” I began.

“You trust me, don’t you?” He mused. I couldn’t resist that promising smile.

“Let’s go, or we’ll be late!” Sam exclaimed. We ran to the car awaiting us to the walk for graduation.

The missing piece of the story you ask? Of course. It turns out that Jais missed the flight, and rode the bus all the way down. As for me, my parents realized I couldn’t handle all of the problems and differences, so they let me move back to California, and stay with Sam, so I could finish out my senior year. On graduation day, we walked for the final time together. Well, at least for a while. Sam went off to college in Florida, along with Pete. Jais and I are both attending NYU, and working hard.

The day I thought Jais left life terrified me more than anything. It felt as if the darkness finally overcame the light in my world. I don’t know how he ever forgave me for hurting him so badly, but somehow he did. This time, the clouds almost took over the sunshine. The rain broke open the clouds. As you already know, I am the clouds, and he is the sunshine. So, who’s the rain? That’s easy, the love and trust we have as a promise that the storm ended to let the sun in again.

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