Raincoats

December 22, 2017
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I really like the rain.
I really liked it because it would drown out other sounds and it felt cool in my face—like a cold, sweet smelling shower.
I especially liked the way everything looked after rain—all fresh and sparkling and new. And even though people always complained about rain, they always missed it when it was gone and the ground dried up and the flowers wilted and everything was dry and dull.
And that's kind of how Alice was.
She was like rain—sometimes, she was wild and free and thundering and it scared people, and though they complained about her and wished her away, once she was gone they wanted her back. Because without her, everything was dull and boring and wilted.
She was one of those people whose smile was contagious. She was dark skinned, with eyes like amber and honey, and she liked to wear overalls with patches on them. She was cute, and different.
While everyone around her was busy complaining about the world and it's ways and the rain, she just shook her head and chewed her bubble gum and smiled, because she knew someday they wouldn't care anymore about the rain.
Because while everyone whined about the dribble, she was beneath a massive storm. And she liked it.


“You look like a dork,” she said, pushing my glasses against my nose and smiling. I grinned.
“I am a dork,” I said.
“True.” We sat in comfortable silence for some time.
“Hey, listen to this song,” I said after a minute, lending her an earbud. It was an upbeat tune, just released, from a mutual favorite band. She listened with her ears pricked, deciding if she liked it or not.    “I like it,” she said. “But it sounds a lot like “Forest Fire.”
“It does not!” I said. But then I heard the chorus. “Oh, yeah.” I smiled. “You're right, it's still good though.”
She laughed.
And then she kissed me.
It wasn't dramatic or anything, just a peck on the lips, and it made me blush really hard. But she just grinned, and bounced away, because she knew she'd flustered me, and she knew she'd do it again.

We started kinda dating after that.
I was really happy. Alice. . .she was perfect. And easy. We could talk for hours or sit in silence. And I liked to twist her hair around my finger when I was bored.
It went on like that for a few months.

Alice started to see the storm in late December.
  I don't know exactly when it came over her, but her golden eyes became lackluster with some heavy burden.
I tried to talk to her, tried to get through to her, but I never could. She changed the subject as if she were changing the radio, and I was her song. She could keep me if she wanted, play me through until the end, or she could change the station.
Alice was my lullaby.
She was the lullaby to my havoc-wreaking heart. All I did was destroy, all she did was repair. Those amber eyes, no matter how fogged or lethargic, were like a gentle song.
My song.

“Tell me,” I pleaded. Alice looked away.
I reached for her hand, but she yanked it back.
“Tell me what's wrong, Alice, please. I want to help.”
There were tears in her honey-comb eyes.
“You can't,” she whispered.
That was the last conversation I would ever have with Alice Moore.

She left some time in February.
It was raining when I got the news.
I didn't know what to do, so I just went outside, no raincoat, and stared up at the sky and wished away the pain.
The rain seemed different.
It pelted, beating down on the brown slush. It didn't smell sweet, didn't make the air taste clean. It just washed, and damaged, and stung.

No one really knew why Alice Moore had to commit suicide.
I was angry, at first.
Angry at her for leaving me, for putting me through that, for not letting me help her. But soon I just grew depressed, and soon I wanted answers.
I guess I thought it would give me closure. I was wrong.

For two months, there was nothing to indicate her motive. I spent every day sifting through text messages and videos, trying to capture something, something that would tell me why she left.

On the day of her funeral, it rained.
On that day, I wore a raincoat.
It was April now. The rain smelled sweet again. I left lilies at her grave and a note. It read like this:

Dear Alice,

The rain is back.
It's not like it used to be when you were alive. It doesn't remind me of you anymore—not in a good way.
I may never know why you left, though I wish I did. I think I could've stopped you, and that hurts me every day.
You didn't leave a note.
Why?
Alice, you were right. The chorus in “Raincoats” sounds a lot like “Forest Fire.” I like it better, though.
I have your earbuds, you left them at my house. I only listen with one.
On Monday, everyone stared at me again. It's like how it used to be when we were first together. I guess it's different now.
Alice, why'd you leave? Before I got to say goodbye.
I'm not going to say it now, it seems too final.
But I will say this, thank you, Alice. You were the sunshine to my rain.

~May






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