When it rains, the sky pours buckets on my head. It rings out my auburn curls like a sponge, leaving them damp and straight. It rolls down my shoulders, staining my light blue ballgown and chipping away at my diamond earrings. I fall to the ground, watching the last bit of sunshine fade away behind angry clouds.
When it rains, I curl my body into the smallest ball and gasp as pain flows through my body like the roaring tide. Waves crash to the surface, streaking out of my mascara-smeared eyes. I know that there are familiar people sitting next to me, chiding me, holding my hand, but my world is only wave after agonizing wave.
When it rains, I sleep hard, dreaming unsettling things. At least when I sleep, however drug-induced, I can’t feel the water pounding over my body or hear the rumbling thunder above my head. I am aware only vaguely of the strange, new faces that tell me to hold out my finger, hold out my arm, hold out my tongue. And, of course, I am always aware of the comfortingly familiar woman that sleeps as close to me as she can. I whisper in her soaked ear that I’m sorry she is caught in my rainstorm, and I drift back to sleep.
When it rains, I watch from my armchair as the busy world outside my window flashes by, and the joy drips away from me. I know there must be some left in me, just as I know my ballgown is hanging in the closet, but I’m still wearing the teal hospital gown that ties twice in the back. 24/7, I want only one thing: to be home, away from strange faces writing strange-sounding words next to numbers on a whiteboard. One of the strange faces looks at a picture of me in my light blue ballgown, waiting to meet that girl. And I let the rain fall.
When it rains, cloudwater floods my four-wall life, bringing with it pink flowers and lazy fat balloons, chocolate candies and baskets filled with wrapped gifts. All for me, all labelled with familiar names and faces. And even though the dark clouds still loom over my head, the rain eases to a background drizzle, and a billion dollar smile crosses my face.
When it rains, even when the sky pours down on me, I’ve learned to wear my light blue ballgown with diamond earrings and reddish-brown curls. My smile falters for a passing moment as worry flitters in my chest, but then I see the millions of hands holding out umbrellas of all shapes and sizes. Some hide familiar faces, some strange faces I’ve never seen, and others faces that are newly familiar to me. But I always look for the little black umbrella, for the face that stood with me through my harshest rainstorm yet, and together we walk through the rain.