Beauty After Rain This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Rainy days like these reminded me of my mother. She used to hold me as the raindrops struck the window. The booming thunder seemed to fade away when I heard her mellow voice, but for a long time it hunted me. Since the day she disappeared, I wondered if she ever stopped and thought about me once.
When I was lonely I took to her oversized knitted sweater; the one with deep pockets. One day, I reached down in the pockets, imagining that her hands were there, and to my surprise, I found a paper. I didn’t know it yet, but that paper would change my life. I read the letter and to my surprise, it was from mom to me. The words ‘I love you more than anything little angel’ triggered tears that I hadn’t experienced since the day she left me. Along with the letter of her deepest apologies, she left me a map, and on it was a circled address.
My heart was racing. I didn’t know if it meant she’d be there but I tossed and turned all night wanting to know for myself. I then packed my bag, without thinking of the worry I’d bring my dad. I knew dad was hurt just as deeply, but I needed answers. Mom loved us too much to just up and leave.
I knew no one would understand my reasons for doing what. I didn’t fully understand myself but there had been a piece of me missing so long that I just wanted to feel whole again.
God, if you’re listening , please lead me to my mother. It would mean the world to me. I promise I’ll be a better person if you just do this one thing.
I prayed as I hopped on the Brooklyn train. I needed all the help I could get.
I took a seat at the back of the train and tossed my bag on the floor. The woman next to meme was turned away from me and peering out the window.
“It’s raining cats and dogs out there,” she said.
“Sure is,” I replied. “I can’t stand the rain.”
“Why not?” she asked.
“Rainy days are just too depressing for me,” I whispered as I moved the hair out of my face.
“Well, without the rain, how would anything grow?” she asked. “Rain brings some of the most beautiful things.”
I didn’t want to admit it but she was right. Beautiful this did come after rain. They alays have.
“You remind me a lot of my daughter.. She hated rain,” the woman said.
She turned and gazed into my eyes for a minute then smiled.
This woman was so naturally beautiful with a voice as smooth as butter. When I looked into her eyes I was instantly taken back to bedtime stories from my mother. It didn’t matter how frightening the story was, as long as her gentle voice was reading. I snapped back to reality and continued to conversing with tis unfamiliar, familiar soul.
“Hated?” I asked. “Do you mind if I ask what happened?”
“No, I don’t. It’s somewhat complicated, but I haven’t been able to see her in a while. I haven’t been around to see if she ever changed her mind,” she said, tears rolling down her face.
I reached, over to hug her and she noticed my sweater.
“You’re wearing my favorite color,” she said smiling softly.
“That’s ironic,” I said. “Not too many people like the color gray. This used to belong to my mother.”
“I know.”






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