Rainy Friday Afternoon This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

June 10, 2011
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In the early morning hours, with my mind lingering in that hazy space between dream and reality, I would look out the window and watch as autumn’s vapour crept outside my room. Its poignant song of decay and disillusionment played endlessly in my head. The season grabbed my arm and pulled me into its heavy fog, where sounds were muffled and one day blurred into the next.

On the second day of October, an uneasy sky cast its dull gloom on everything. It had been raining off and on the entire week. The dampness permeated everything. It was a watercolour wash of grey over this weary town. The greyness robbed the world of light and shadows. It rendered the world dull and flat in bleak honesty - everything had an evenly lacklustre appearance.

That Friday afternoon, I walked home from school through this wretched weather. The humidity in the atmosphere had changed my hair, giving me an unintentionally messy and careless appearance, like the recklessness of a shirt buttoned up unevenly. Pedestrians around me slumped in their thin jackets, with shoulders caved in and their heads down in the vain hope that their inadequate apparel would protect them from the chill in the air. I looked down at my dark purple coat, salvaged from the closet recently in anticipation of the transitory autumn weather. My pants were quickly getting soaked as dots of rain accumulated, the cloth sticking uncomfortably to my legs. One hand burrowed in my pocket, the other held up a bent umbrella. My hand was so cold it felt hot, and my knuckles were white from gripping it so tightly. Raindrops caught on my eyelashes and blurred in and out of focus, partially obscuring my vision.

Because of the darkness, the streetlights had been deviously tricked into shedding their dim glow, though night was distant. They illuminated nothing, except the surface of the slick road. One light captured my attention as it flickered, blinking on and off, as if struggling to stay awake.
I continued walking, along the sidewalk, alone. The leaves underfoot had lost their dry papery crispness. They pasted themselves to the sidewalk desperately, hoping not to be carried away in the force of the stream of rainwater slinking into the gutter. I noticed the smell of a wood fire. The aroma was deep and smoky with sweetness vaguely like cinnamon. The smell was warm and inviting, comforting and nostalgic all at once. But as I walked further on, the smell faded and was replaced by the familiar damp and cold of the air.

I diverged from the sidewalk and walked across the empty field of the abandoned schoolyard. The wind was much harsher now with no trees to bear the burden of the wind and rain. Keeping my shoes dry was hopeless as the ground was becoming one big puddle. I plunged my foot into the ground, and as it sunk into the muddy wetness it made a damp, squelching sound.

A gust of wind blew, sudden as a sneeze. My umbrella was forced inside out by the strength of the wind. Its synthetic skin retreated and exposed the metal twigs of the brittle skeletal frame. At the side of the field was the school, a boring brown brick-walled building. On the side door, a coat hung limply from the door handle – lonely and forgotten, it sulked droopily.

I carried a cup of coffee in a stainless steel mug. A snake of steam slithered from the opening of the lid. My backpack was heavy and I was feeling increasingly tired and achy, what I imagined old age must feel like. I continued walking and eventually made it to my street. I tread up the hill. It seemed to get increasingly steeper with each deliberate step. I impatiently cut across the wet lawn and stood in front of the door, put down my umbrella and reached for the handle. Home.

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Trilobite This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 10:37 am
This is a great piece, and I'm sure everyone has been in a similar situation.  It reminds me of why I both love and despise this part of the year. :)
StaceyA said...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 10:09 am
Hi everyone, I'd love to get some feedback on this- so comments and constructive criticism are welcome :)
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