A Heavy Burden

It was thundering. Hayley curled up into the corner of her bed frame, and pulled her blanket close to her. Ever since her dad had been tragically struck by lightning, she had been terrified of storms. There was something so menacing about that first crackle of thunder; the series of light coming down in bolts. Hayley fixed her eyes on her lamp, trying to distract herself from the ongoing storm right outside her window. She squeezed her eyes shut, trying to block out the thoughts of her dad, and that horrible night he was taken from her. Unfortunately, the next boom of thunder sent her mental barrier crashing down.
It was July 2, 2011. Everyone was smiling, and having a great time. Hayley was there, her handsome father was there, in his favorite khaki shorts and striped polo. She could almost smell his cologne. Hayley was sitting on a park bench, pouting. "Hay, come on and join us again! You're only ruining this for yourself!" He made a goofy face at her, and she turned away trying to hide the fact a grin was spreading on her face. He touched her face, and chuckled. "Come on Hay, please? Before it storms! We need your help to finish the rest of the coconut cream pie over there, you wouldn't want it to get ruined by the rain, now would you?" Hayley sighed, and reluctantly got up as her father turned and rejoined the conversation with his wife and friends.
She couldn't remember exactly what she was mad about, but it was definitely something stupid. Her heart hurt at the thought of not spending time with him that night. "Hold on, Dad!" She had said. She crouched down on the ground to tie her shoe. Right as she had finished lacing the tiny little bow around her finger, she started to feel little rain drops sprinkling on her head. The smell of rain began to overwhelm the little park that Hayley, her dad, and his coworkers had been picnicking in. Her dad's favorite smell in the world was rain. Hayley stood up and saw her mother beckoning for her to come back over. The first step she took, heading towards her parents, there was a crack of thunder. The rain began to get heavier and heavier, until it was hard to see her parents standing 50 feet away. She could see the silhouette of her father running back to her, taking off his jacket so she could keep her head dry. He was always worrying about other people; it was one of the things she loved most about him. A bolt of lighting touched one of the trees around them, and it swayed back and forth, until it broke and fell onto another tree. "Let's get out of here, before this gets dangerous," her father said as he put his jacket over Hayley's head. "I have to get your mother, stay put." He started jogging back to her mother, and the last thing Hayley knew she was screaming as she saw that bolt of lighting take her beloved father's last breath.





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