The Rain

By , New Palestine, IN
Rain
Droplets of water pelted my cheek. My hair stuck to my skin like gum on paper. I tilted my head upward, synchronized with my hands, into the wide skies of heaven. I allowed myself to feel the trouble of my life wash off me.


It was raining. Rain is not angel’s tears crying for me like other stories may say. Rain is God’s way of giving me new life. It is the washing away of my mistakes, fears, and the past. The best part of rain is when the beads of water meet my skin. It’s God’s gentle hand patting me on the back. I don’t know a lot about God. I know He’s here, though. He is up in heaven gently guiding me through the rocky road of life.


The fresh water slid down my pale cheek. My tennis shoes sloshed with water as I strolled up the street. When my foot met the ground, water sprang up, hitting my pant leg. I slowed to a lazy walk, seeing my house in view. A delicate-looking iron-gate fence ran along the sidewalk in front of our house. The red brick was fading from age, the shingles were peeling off the roof, and rust was lining the shutters. The cement steps were crumbling, exhibiting how the house had never been repaired. One by one I drug my feet up the irregular steps. I located the key under the square of carpet. I tried to insert the key into the rusty doorknob. Like usual, the key would not turn. Gently, I wiggled the key, slowly forcing it to turn. Eventually, the key gave up its fight and unlocked with a click.
I placed one foot over the threshold, listening for sounds of life. When no sounds were heard, I breathed a sigh of relief. I switched on the florescent hall light. I sauntered into the kitchen and took a seat at the table. As I observed the squeaks and creaks that the matured house created, I looked around the kitchen noting the growing load of dishes on the neon yellow counter tops. I turned on the faucet letting the water change from icy to steaming, and corked the plug and allowed the tarnished sink to fill up. One by one I tenderly set each dish into the basin, cautiously massaging each dish with a saturated sponge. With about 20 dishes complete, I heard the soft sound of a door disengaging from the lock. Leisurely, I switched off the water, removed the stopper, and observed the water depart from the sink. I could hear his footsteps pounding down the hallway. My father stalked into the kitchen and slurped down the remains of the 2% milk.
“Hello,” I quietly whispered. His response was halfway between a cough and a grunt. As always, I acquired this reply as a sign of recognition or hello. Silently, I picked up my backpack and sprinted to my excuse for a bedroom. I lay on my tattered quilt, stomach facing down. As I did my homework, other thoughts ran through my mind. I imagined what dinner would be like. Excruciating silence and stony expressions raced across my mind. I finished my English, algebra, and geometry homework. I was dreading to walk into the kitchen. He was sitting in one of the metal chairs and smoking his pipe. The only food we had in the cabinet was egg noodles and rice. I pulled out the white rice and filled up the metal pan. Then, I placed it on the stovetop. Nervously, I tapped my fingertips on the countertops. Before I knew it, the water was steaming and boiling over the top creating a sizzling sound. Burning my fingertips, I hoisted the pot into the air with one hand and found the strainer with the other. I divided the rice onto two plates, and gave my father his serving. He swallowed the rice in three bites. He looked like a cat due to the grains remaining on his face. I couldn’t bear the silence any longer.
“I wish mom hadn’t abandoned us,” I said, my voice breaking and going an octave higher. I did not know the damage I was setting myself up for because that line struck a nerve.
“Your mother didn’t want you or me. She LEFT us,” rage clearly escaping his voice. I glared at him in shock. I didn’t understand how he could say that with such reality, firmness, and certainty. I had heard enough. I slammed my chair into the table, and tripped down the hall. Tears streamed out of my eyes, blurring my vision. Once I had found the doorknob, I threw it open and sprinted down the crooked steps. I could hear footsteps trailing after me. Again and again my dad called my name, but I never looked back. I knew that I could never come back
.

Ten days later, I was being housed at a shelter for battered girls. On the tenth day, at 4:44 exactly, the sign of angels, a knock on the door was heard. The headmistress sprang lightly from her chair as the door creaked open. In the doorway stood my father and a low whimper escaped my lips. I cringed when I saw him. Slowly, I got up from the couch. Fourteen other girls flanked me on each side. After walking to the doorway, I cautiously lifted my chin upward, meeting his dark eyes. To my surprise, I saw a smile spread across his face that was filled with relief and happiness. In answer to my questioning look, one solitary teardrop ran down his face. In an almost inaudible whisper, two words escaped his mouth, “I’m sorry.” As if I were three years old again, I raced to him, throwing my arms around his neck. He threw me up into God’s skies, bawling with joy, and as if it were meant to be, one raindrop landed on my cheek.





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