Hard, cold rain strikes my face and rolls down my cheeks, the thunder crackles and fills my body with dread.
“Not great weather we’re having at the moment is it?”
I nod and shrug and agree and keep my head down. Don’t say anything. What’s the point? Small talk is for other people.
I really need to get out of this rain. It’s chaotic. Its so heavy I can barely see in front of me. I know how to get back, I just can’t seem to find my way. It’s too heavy.
“Jeez, what’s wrong with you now?”
“It’s only rain”
“Everyone else is trying to get home too, you’re not the only one. Why can’t you just deal with it? Do you think you’re special?”
My clothes are soaked, my body aches. I’ve been trying to get out of this rain for hours. It feels like days, months, years. Its rained like this before, I know it has, but it’s still heavy, it’s still frightening.
“Lighten up, yes, it’s raining but everyone else is getting on with it”
I’m pushed to the ground, trampled on, kicked and laughed at by angry, snarling faces. Chaos surrounds me. I’m trying to get to my feet amongst a crowd of wet bodies.
My body aches. I consider, for a moment, lying here. Just lie there on the cold, wet, hard surface and let it happen. Let them kick me. Let them trample. Maybe if I pass out it’ll pass me by.
There’s something inside of me knows that’s not right. My legs throb, they’re cold and wet, hot and fatigued. My clothes are stuck to me like a second skin. But I push up as my thighs scream out at me. One last push. I’m up. I push my face out of the crowd into the air and take a deep breath.
I emerge to a very different place. No longer am I surrounded by angry, snarling commuters. Its very different.
It’s warm! The sun! It’s here! It’s beautiful! Almost too beautiful! I stumble a little, I’m completely overwhelmed. Slowly, I begin to forget that rain even exists. My clothes are dry. My body feels refreshed. I smile and chat to everyone I meet. Small talk is for me after all. I chat. I smile. I’m alive!! It feels amazing! Almost too good! I feel giddy with glee!
“Remember that rain?” she asks. “you got soaked didn’t you?”
I smile and chuckle and recoil. I look to the sky and feel the sun’s warm beam fade from my face. NO! One wet drip plops on my cheek. I laugh uncertainly. I wipe it away with my hand and smile. Forget it. Its just one drip.
But it’s not just one drip. The rain, its back. I can’t see again. The thunder strikes. Help. Chaos resumes in a flash, I’m saturated. How did it change so quickly? The once happy smiling people before me are gone. They bang into eachother, faces mangled in annoyance. They hate the rain. No, they hate me. Do they think its my fault?
“I DON’T CONTROL THE RAIN!!” I scream at them.
They turn to look at me. Haunting, twisted, snarling, monstrous faces laughing, pointing, taunting me.
I turn to run away. I run and run and run but can’t escape. I’m still in the same place. They’re still there, staring at me, taunting me.
“HOW DO I GET BACK TO THE SUN?!” I shout at them.
I’m met with a snarling crowd of laughs in reply. But then.
“you’ll get there…” says a friendly voice. It’s unlike any of the others. No snarling. No growling. No taunting like the others who surround me. It’s kind, it’s laced in hope. It’s feels warm. Like the sun.
“….why don’t you try this first?” it says.
I look up at the object thrust towards me. Confused, I take the black umbrella and open it. The crowd of monsters recoil all at once.
I laugh in annoyance at myself. Of course!! An umbrella!! I knew that!!
“But I really want to get home out of this rain. I want to get back to the sun.”
“little steps” she says. “you’ll get there soon”.