The Day the Rain Won

November 29, 2007
By Elliott Kastner, Springfield, MO

The sky didn’t look rainy. It was hot outside, and sunny, with a few clouds. But none of them looked too threatening. Looking back, I know that those conniving clouds were wearing a disguise of a docile nature, and under that façade they wore the grin of a mischevious student waiting for his teacher to sit on a discretely-placed whoopie cushion.

My girlfriend, Jocelyn, was at one of her brother’s baseball games that day, and I wanted to surprise her. So that’s what I set out to do. At age fifteen, I had only one means of conveyance: my silver Jamis bicycle. I casually “forgot” to put on my helmet (my parents weren’t around to scold me anyway) and began my ride to the baseball field about 10 minutes away. And as I rode the sky remained a cool blue, still with a few looming clouds.

I passed my elementary school, then the Steak n’ Shake, crossed the bridge over Campbell, and had only about a block to go until I was at the Kickapoo baseball diamond. But my eagerness to surprise Jocelyn must have nulled my attention to the outside world, such that I didn’t realize that the sky had turned death-black and was ready to put a crushing end to my love crusade. With a cruel, taunting boom of thunder, the sky laughed as a bully would at his cowering victim, and released an unholy torrent of rain. I hadn’t planned for rain. I was wearing shorts and a tee-shirt.

Worse yet, the pelting rain ended the baseball game. So in the downpour I searched for Jocelyn’s mother’s gold Honda Pilot while I soaked in the rain like a sponge. A very unwilling sponge. Scanning my eyes across a parking lot of fans and players, all frantic as if the rain had might melt their sweet figures, I was not able find my Love, nor the Pilot. Sopping wet, defeated, and slightly agitated, I mounted my aluminum steed and began a horrendous trip home.

I peddled with furious vigor. As I rode I could imagine each little drop, plummeting through the air with a tiny smirk across its non-existent face, with one target in mind. The back tire of my bike slung more water onto my back. With the wind rushing past me I began to feel a chill. I was most unpleasant by this point, and still not home.

The rain decided to lighten up when I was less than a block away from house, cold, and severely frustrated. I stepped into my house, shivered, and put on some dry clothes. I even took the blow dryer from my mom’s room to warm myself up a bit. Once I had recovered (physically, that is) I picked up my phone and dialed the all-too-familiar seven digits to reach Jocelyn. Her voice on the other side of the line was welcoming. I knew she would appreciate my story.


Jocelyn hadn’t seen just how absolutely drenched I was. She hadn’t seen me shake my hair out of my face like a wet Golden Retriever trying to see as I rode home. And she wasn’t expecting me to come see her. So she had little appreciation for the absolute, agonizing misery that I had endured for her. And so there I sat on the floor of my room, shivering in my pajama pants and mismatched shirt, with a blow dryer in hand. My hair was still wet, and my morale was low. I, Icarus, had flown too close to the sun. I took a shot at spontanaeity, at being romantic, but my success was against the will of the Gods. That day the rain won, but I wanted a rematch.

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