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When It Rains
Maybe you never noticed this, but when things go wrong, they go all wrong. If an egg is bad in the cake batter you made, the whole batter is bad and you get food poisoning. That kind of thing. Maybe it’s because when something goes wrong we get upset and then when anything else, even the slightest thing, isn’t the way we want it to be, we blow it out of proportion until it’s all just one big mess. But yeah, when it rains, it f***ing pours.
I was walking home, crying my eyes out, when the rain first started to fall from the sky. I never even noticed that the clouds had turned that shade of dark purple and gray, or that the wind was blowing, brewing for a storm. No, I was too busy crying because the day wasn’t going the way I wanted it to go.
So it rained. An icy cold downpour that came right down on my head, soaking my hair, my skin, my clothes, and my shoes, until I was one big, sloppy mess. It chilled me to the bone, all those cold raindrops pelting me as they fell from the sky like a rain of bullets. And I cried some more; angry, tired, frustrated. And now wet. Days don’t get any better than this. But as I kept shuffling my feet forward, head bent and hair dripping water onto the already soaked pavement, hands shoved deep in my pockets, I heard crying. Not my crying; I was done with that. The rain took it all out of me. The sobs had finally faded away to nothing and I was more focused on getting home and dry—I could cry later. But I heard crying.
So I looked up, and the rain began to run into my eyes, blinding me. I blinked, the droplets coating my lashes and making my vision blurry. Peering around my eyes landed on a woman who sat on the front step of her apartment building, no coat, no shoes, just soaked jeans that clung to her legs and a white shirt that was so wet you could see the bright colors of her bra. Her head was bent, hair concealing her face—not that it need to, her hands were doing the job just fine. But she was crying, her whole body shaking with the force of her tears.
Part of me wondered why she was crying. Part of me wondered if her day was worse than mine. I almost stopped. I should have stopped. But I didn’t. Part of me was still angry and upset about the paperwork piling up on my desk at work, the bills that needed paid, stuck the fridge at home with magnets, the dog that needed fed and walked, and the mess that needed cleaned. So I kept walking, slouching forward with a moody stare.
The woman kept crying. She took her hands away from her face and used them as a Kleenex to wipe away the tears that just kept coming. Her red lips trembled and her cocoa colored skin had turned ashen. Shoulders still shaking, she cried on, her tears mingling with the rain.
The resentful part of me—the cruel, horrible, inhuman part of me—called out to her as I walked by.
“Welcome to life, lady,” I scoffed. “When it rains, it f***ing pours.”
The sneer that twisted my lips felt good, alleviating some of the resentment about my day that had built up inside me. I don’t know if she heard me, but when I looked back a few steps later she was still sitting on the step, crying.
I tried to justify what I had said, but I knew it was wrong. No matter what I told myself, it was cruel, horrible, inhuman. Unkind. That was what was so terrible. I was a good person, or so I thought. I listened to people, smiled, was polite, and acted happy. I always did the right thing. But not today.
But instead of turning back and going to apologize and comfort her like I should have, I kept walking. I resigned myself to what I had said and done, and decided to keep walking home to get out of the rain. It wasn’t as if my stopping would have made things better, right? What I could I do to help her? That’s life for you.
When it rains, it f***ing pours.