Rain Rules

We stepped outside to wind that blew rain all over our barely teenage faces. The porch half sheltered us, piles of trash laid beside the chipped painted green front door. Even the wood from the porch itself had been forgotten, who knew that a wooded porch could be so gray. An animal dish sat on the other side of the front door. The whipping wind pushed the rain further and further towards a stack of empty green paint cans where mournful cats had posted camp in hopes of defending themselves from the storm. 

The wind continued to gust as a crack of thunder followed by a white flash of lightening shook excitement up and down my spine. Rain poured down the side of the house to make a waterfall, my brother Randall stuck his head under it and laughed out loud. I followed suit and stuck my head next to his. His thick black hair now drenched while my curly brown hair was soaked straight.

We grew tired of the side of the house waterfall and ran into the street. We jumped in marvelous puddles of water. The smell of cement and rain filled my nostrils. Water droplets battered my eyes, my feet were bare under the pavement of the street; the warmth from the cement flowed through the soles of my feet as the cold rain curled my toes. Randall and I looked at each other. We smiled, laughter rang out from our bellies as we twirled into a sort of rain dance.

Low in the sky, gray clouds moved quickly as if they were strangers determined not to overstay their welcome. I spread my arms out wide to turn in circles as fast as I could while Randall jogged in merry circles to a tune I didn’t know, “Bum, bum da da da.” His white tee shirt stuck to his skin. Thunder continued to roll as if to warn us of a quick goodbye. I felt the sun before I saw it. “Look,” I pointed, “A rainbow!” We marveled at the way it arced above the church down the street. “I wish we could find the end of it.” I sighed.

Randall stopped his tune to look at me, “We better get inside before she wakes up.”  

Hours earlier my mom looked at the both of us with a tired gaze, “You two are to stay in your rooms until I get up.” She had a third shift job at a place called Nomaco. My mom’s work jingle; “When you work at nomaco you no-ma-co no money.”  She slept all day to work all night. That meant in the summer we stayed in our rooms.

I passed the time lost in thought. I laid upside down on my bed to wonder what the world would look like that way. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if chairs, tables, rugs, and stairs were all upside down?” I’d ask myself.

“Yes, yes, yes!” was always my answer back. I liked to kick my feet onto the wall and attempt with fervor to make gravity shift. “The ceiling will be the ground, the ground will be the ceiling.” In my imagination, it was.

I despised when the sun would come out to beg for me to go outside and play. I got into the bad habit of day sleeping underneath my thick brown comforter. No air conditioner existed in the upstairs of the house, there was no escape from the North Carolina summer heat. My body was normally a mixture of sticky hot gross with the drunken feeling of a person who had overslept. I got so good at day sleeping I could force my body to sleep at will. I could even choose what I would dream about before I went to sleep. It was my solace from the meaningless days, unless it rained.

The thunder rolled a few miles away. Randall ran to my room. I hid underneath my brown comforter in preparation for a lucid dream where I fly around the world with David Bowie holding my hand. “Grace,” he said. I could hear the smirk in his tone. I uncovered my head. Sure enough he was smirking. I jumped out of bed and followed him towards the stairway. We snuck down the steps with meticulous skill. “Careful,” I whispered. The last three stairs were the creekiest.

We stepped outside to wind that blew rain all over our barely teenage faces…

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