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The Rain and the Raincoat
Multiple droplets of rain pounded Jacob’s rooftop. The rain started as a light drizzle, and soon began to multiply, and seemed as if it would not stop. The droplets just kept falling, falling, falling. It’s impossible to study with this kind of noise, Jacob thought, as the raindrops continued with their drum roll. The pattering of the rain made Jacob anxious for his test the next day. It was impossible for him to achieve pure silence; he could not just “turn off” the rain, like he had done to his T.V. or his radio. Due to the constant noise, Jacob blamed the rain for not allowing him to study. He kept dozing off and day dreaming every time he started to work. It was as if the rain had purposely prevented him from studying—it wanted him to fail the test.
Some time had passed, a few hours maybe, and Jacob was still staring at the same page of his textbook. Whenever he realized he was re-reading the same line, he became aggravated with the rain and could not handle trying to study. He finally gave up studying, left his room, and went downstairs, where he was confronted by his mother.
“Have you finished studying?” she asked.
“Nah, I’ll study later—I’m going to Zack’s house,” he replied as he walked toward the front door.
“Well, be careful honey, and wear a coat! It’s pouring outside! And I better see you studying later!”
Jacob stepped out of the door, hearing his mother perfectly well, yet decided to ignore her advice.
As he walked down the street, he realized that the rain looked much worse when he was physically outside, compared to when he was sitting in his warm room looking out the window. He just let the rain pour onto him, making him wet with every step he took. He wondered if he should run back to the house and get his raincoat, but decided against it—he was half way to Zack’s anyway. As he approached Zack’s front door, he grew happy but uncomfortable. Zack was a new fried—he had just moved into the neighborhood recently. He had met up with him once or twice before, but he did not know him well enough.
There was something “different” about Zack that Jacob could not point his finger on. Based on what he’s observed about Zack, he seemed to be moody. First he would want to be alone, and other times he would be incredibly active. He would insult Jacob as a joke, but sometimes he was so serious that it seemed like he really meant to hurt Jacob. Jacob spoke to his mother about Zack’s odd actions, and his mother advised him to stay away from Zack. However, Zack was Jacob’s chance to have a real friend and he could not just let his friend fall—even if Zack hurt him at times.
Jacob slowly pressed the doorbell and heard Zack scurrying to open the door.
“Hey Jake, what’s up?” Zack asked, as he opened the door. Jacob noticed he looked out of breath, as if he had been running around the house.
“Nothing really. Just couldn’t study because of the rain. It’s so annoying,” Jacob replied.
“Pshh you were studying? Who studies these days? What a loser,” Zack nudged Jacob with his fist without a smile. “So come in,” Zack said.
Jacob entered, trying his best to ignore Zack’s comment. Both boys headed toward the kitchen, and on the wall, Jacob noticed a quick note:
I will be home a little late today—I’m trying to trust you this time. If you mess things up, that’s it. You know what the consequences will be.
Jacob could not help but feel a bit of curiosity. His thoughts were suddenly interrupted.
“He, Jake, I’ll be right back. Get anything you want to eat—check the fridge or cabinets, all right?” Zack said, as he ran upstairs without waiting for an answer.
Jacob answered anyway, (to himself at least) “Sure.”
Jacob looked at the note again. Uneasiness was catching up on him. He soon forgot the note and went to look for food. As Jacob reached into the cabinet, he heard a loud thump from upstairs.
Heart beating rapidly, Jacob ran upstairs. “Zack? You O.K.? where are you?” He searched through all of the rooms. He checked the first bedroom he saw. Zack was no where in sight. He checked the bathroom and had the same result. Finally, he saw what he assumed Zack’s parents’ room. The first thing he saw in the room was their bureau face down. There were clothes and jewelry everywhere. As Jacob’s eyes roamed around the room, he finally spotted Zack—on his hands and knees. He seemed to be looking for something under a rug. Jacob moved back out of sight but kept his eyes locked on Zack. Zack had a clear, small bag in his hands. Jacob slowly backed up into the hallway and heard Zack inhale deeply.
Jacob wished he had worn a raincoat.