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Innocence and Rain

The cool, moist air tiptoes across my sleepy skin, a tiny wakeup call for each individual pore. Molly bolts out into the grey-blue morning, her tail wagging and her paws soaking up the sheen of water on the deck. The tags on her collar jingle as she disappears into the back corner of the garden, creating new and exciting adventures in a yard she’s spent most of her life in.

The house is quiet save for the melody of raindrops on the roof. Mom is at the gym, Dad is at work, and my brother Josh is sleeping. I step out onto the back deck underneath the awning, closing the door softly behind me. Outside the silence hangs thick and soggy around me. Goosebumps scamper up my bare legs and across the pale exposed skin of my arms, like tiny creatures. I cross my arms over my chest and hug the over-sized t-shirt I wore to bed closer around my body.

I shuffle over to the line on the deck, which separates the dry haven under the awning from the wetness beyond. Slowly, I shift my feet so that my toes poke out into the rain. A fat droplet lands in the center of my toenail, splashing across the top of my foot. Memories whirlwind inside my head, like forgotten dust bunnies swept out from the corners. Images of red and yellow-stripped umbrellas twirling and ladybug rain boots stomping in puddles, and the echo of a child’s gleeful laugh surface.

One of my feet slides out into the rain, then the other. My legs follow, bringing my torso and my head with me. A raindrops parachutes straight down the back of my neck, making me cringe. My feet make tiny ripples as they step forwards. The drops rain down on me like old friends. Slowly, my arms unfold from my side and splay out to catch the drops. My step becomes lighter as the saturation begins to weigh my shirt down.

The old memories meld with this moment. I begin to twirl, water spraying off of me in all direction. I hop and jump and throw my arms above my head. It isn’t a conscious action, but it isn’t unconscious either, it’s just happening. The rain continues to pour down on me, like scattered flower petals. The water soaks through my shirt, paints a new layer over my skin, and flattens my hair against my cheeks, neck, and shoulders. The rain washes everything away. It carries whatever traces of stress that are residing on my skin with them, flowing off my body, onto the grounds, across the yards, into the culvert, out to the river, and who knows where. Soon, all that’s left is child-like innocence and rainwater, hovering on my skin together, the perfect pair.

“What are you doing?” Josh’s voice penetrates the pure onslaught of raindrops. I stop dancing and whirl around to face him. He stands in the doorway, wearing the same ratty t-shirt and plaid pajamas he always does to sleep. A hand, big and strong enough to belong to a grown man, rubs at his teenage-eyes. He blinks at the bright grey sky, illuminated by the sparkling raindrops.

Josh raises an eyebrow at me, waiting expectantly for an answer. As he yawns loudly I consider what to say. The words form on my rain-wetted lips before I can taste them in my mouth, decide if they’re the right ones or not.

“Playing in the rain.” A raindrop lands on my forehead, runs down my nose like a skier on a jump. It drips off the tip of my nose, runs across my lips, and down my chin, dangling there pendulously before plummeting. I laugh, and my own giggle resonates like the childish peals of laughter I had imagined minutes earlier.

“Whatever.” Josh grumbles, shuffling back to his bedroom.

I smile.





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