Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Drip (04/25/13)
TITLE: Eulogy of the Rain
By Jessica Jenkins
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This spring the last hidden corners of snow are still holding on. The wind is changing from a whisper to a moan. It will rain tonight.
I dread the return of the rain, the sound of death pounding on the roof. The snow makes no sound when it falls; the silence is chilly and numbing.
This spring is struggling and slow; a weak spring that can’t break loose from winter. Each drop of melting snow dripping from the naked branches onto the tin roof is a tiny stab in the heart. That’s why we put on a tin roof, so we could lay here together and listen to the rain. But it’s too loud when you’re listening alone.
Fifty-two weeks ago it rained, just like he wanted. Fifty-four weeks ago the death sentence had been handed down: “Go home. Spend the rest of your time with the people you love.”
That week the last hidden corners of snow disappeared and the daffodils popped up around the house. The grass uncurled and the cherry blossoms burst out. It was a sudden spring, desperate to be remembered. The soft spring rain murmured on the roof above our bed.
“This is the life I pictured with you,” he whispered. “This is the moment you need to hold on to.”
But the moment grasped in my hands was not the moment burned into my heart. That moment was a night of cold pounding rain, drumming its way into my soul, covering the painful breathing he had chosen over the easy mist of painkillers.
“I want to remember every second with you, no matter how much it hurts.”
Who had that hurt more? My lungs struggled with his, when he stopped breathing I did, too, only to gasp in relief at the next breath. Then, finally, I couldn’t hold my breath any longer. I suddenly realized the pounding had stopped. The steady dripping from the half-opened leaves – uneven, uncertain whether they should fall or cling to the drooping branches – chafed my nerves. It wasn’t raining; it wasn’t silent. It should be one or the other, not this half-mournful song, half-respectful silence for the dead.
That spring and summer were the driest on record. I loved and hated the drought. I loved it because I couldn’t bear the sound of rain. I hated it because rain was the last song we listened to together.
For months, I only cried when it rained. Then came the snow. “You’re doing so well,” people said.
But that’s because snow is silent.
The first drops of rain spatter against the roof, joining the snow dripping from the branches. My tears, frozen inside during the months of snow begin to thaw. Now that spring is here they will whisper together and nod knowingly. “It’s been exactly one year, she’ll get past this, too, and be fine again.”
But it’s not just the season. It’s the rain.
Note: This story is completely fictional.
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