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Dating : Five Days of Rain

h2>Dating : Five Days of Rain

Zachary Seda

A Short Story

Photo by Nick Nice on Unsplash

Hello Mr. Steven Green,

Thank you for your submission, to which I have been able to consider. Your writing is promising, but I’m afraid it isn’t what we’re looking for at this time.

I’m sorry to disappoint on this occasion and wish you the best of luck on your writing.

Best,

John Richardson

Blue Solar Publishing

Rain splashed outside my window, shaking me from my thoughts. I looked out to observe the downpour, the parking lot of my single bedroom apartment only 3 stories down. People were running through forming puddles, trying to make their way into the building before becoming completely soaked. They protected their heads with whatever items they had on them, not like it did much. A child, however, jumped in the puddles, creating splashes that hit their parents’ legs. Seemingly annoyed by this, the father picked up the kid and carried them towards the apartment building.

Lightning struck in the distance as I turned back to my laptop. I heard the thunder rumble, making my apartment vibrate softly, and the glasses clink. Refocusing on my laptop, I reread the email displayed in front of me. I hated reading it, but I expected it. It wasn’t the first, surely wouldn’t be the last. Closing out of the email, I leaned back in my chair and looked at the clock on the wall. Half past 11 at night.

Sighing quietly, I examined the items on the desk and noticed the little black box on the side. I reached for it and smiled as I opened the box, revealing a ring. There were many ideas of how to ask someone, some being fancier than others, but I just didn’t want to wait any longer. Besides, most ways I would’ve liked to ask costed more than I could afford.

After a long look at the ring, I closed and returned the box back to its original spot. Focusing my attention back on my laptop, I opened up the most recent document and set to work. My so-called masterpiece, though that title didn’t quite seem to fit the story any longer, was your typical sci-fi adventure story, complete with aliens and combat. Issues arose with this work that I’ve come to question more and more, however. So much in fact I couldn’t help but edit chapters as I wrote them, though they never seemed to sound better. I could only imagine other writers having similar issues like mine, but I didn’t understand how they got past it. If there was some secret, I didn’t know about it.

A few hours go by before I realized just how late it was. Adding quick reminder notes to the document, I force myself to pull away from my work. My bed felt more and more inviting once I walked into the bedroom. I let myself fall onto the bed and doze off to sleep, dreaming about my latest creation.

The morning came sooner than I’d have liked, feeling as if I merely slept a few hours. At least the weekend meant I had the time off from work. An explosion of thunder in the distance jumped me out of my daze, causing me to sit up on high alert. It appeared the storm didn’t want to be over so soon. Light flashed through my windows, illuminating the walls it could reach from behind the blinds, creating a pattern of lines. Thunder followed suit.

I got out of bed to find my phone, which still rested on my desk. The time showed a quarter past 10 in the morning. Before I put my phone in my pocket, a message caught my eye. Messages accompanied with a voicemail from a great friend of mine. Reading it made me wish I hadn’t looked at my phone at all. He talked about her in ways that tore right through my heart, like a dagger as it cut its way in, playing around a little before retreating. He talked about her in ways that were the opposite of loyalty, trust, and maturity. Even if the guilt got to him and that’s why he tried calling, I couldn’t call him a friend anymore. And I didn’t know what to call her.

I threw my phone in a rage at my couch. It bounced off and landed on the coffee table with a thud, face down. My heart skipped a beat as I trudged over to pick it up. Luckily, the screen wasn’t cracked. Pocketing the phone instead, I turned towards my desk, spotting the little black box still rested on it. I snatched and opened it. The ring shined brightly against the lights in my apartment. Looking towards the window, I opened the blinds to reveal the thunderstorm raging on. The sky lit up like a Christmas tree every so often. The clouds replied with a thunderous drum beat.

Opening the window and smelling the fresh rain scent, I got a clearer sound of the rain splashing nearby. The thunder sounded as if it occurred right next to me, causing me to flinch now and then. I looked down at the ring, studying it carefully, then closed the box. Looking back outside for a moment, I took a deep breath then tossed the box out the window, letting it fall 3 stories below me, smacking onto the pavement. It bounced a few times before coming to a rest in a puddle by a parked minivan.

I shut my window again forcefully and closed the blinds, falling back into my desk chair. In sitting back down, I disturbed my mouse, which prompted my laptop to wake up. After a moment of hesitation, I typed my password into the device, then stared at my work. Though I only stared with no ability to continue typing.

Later on, I spent that night crying. I supposed I didn’t really let the events sink in yet. I don’t remember a time without her. Seven years together. Seven hard but auspicious years. I would never regret them, but I regret not being good enough. I don’t even know what I did wrong. Perhaps it was my fault.

Eventually, I allowed my body to find its rest.

The next day I felt tougher. I couldn’t find any motive to get out of bed. The weather still rampaged, causing me to have another restless night. I glanced at the time to see it was 9 AM. Instead of getting up, I decided to just lay there a little longer, not to sleep but to feel like a lifeless body waiting to be swept away from this heartless world.

Although, it didn’t last long before my stomach told me it was time for food. I knew I would have to eat eventually, but the thought of getting out of bed seemed unthinkable. It wasn’t laziness. I wanted to get up and start my day. Be productive and forget about recent events. I had recently gotten better at keeping a clearer head and productive mindset, something my doctors commended me for. But the past couple days however changed that. Everything coming together brought out my darker side once more. Something I had been trying so hard to fix. Like all my work… undone.

Eventually, and not knowing how long it’d been, I got up to eat, opting for something quick and easy rather than cook any meal. I didn’t have the energy to make that much of an effort.

Once finished, I went to sit on my couch. I looked over at my desk, my laptop sitting idly by. Instead, I turned on the television, flipping through channels, not searching for anything in particular, just something to take my mind off my thoughts. I landed on a game show that I never heard of. Didn’t pay attention to it anyway, my mind being clouded.

I glanced over at the window, remembering yesterday. After much effort to convince my mind to do so, I got up and sauntered over to it, leaving the television playing as background noise. Opening it, I peered out to the parking lot below me. I couldn’t see the ring anymore, the storm not providing any help in my pathetic attempt of a search. I could only hope it fell into better hands and used by a happier couple. Or maybe it was washed away into a drain, to be forgotten.

My cell phone rang. It was work, which meant I was late. I didn’t even realize Monday rolled around already. It just crept up on me. I hesitantly picked up the phone and answered. After talking for a few minutes with my boss, I hung up and wandered back into my room. Flopping on my bed, I let out a long sigh into my pillow, giving up on the day. No way I could go into work feeling like this. I would be more of a burden on others than anything else. So I used the classic excuse of acting sick, which got me out of going, even if it irritated my boss.

I spent the greater part of my day going through my thoughts. I felt sorry for myself for having been so blinded to how she felt. Sorry I wasn’t what she wanted. I couldn’t help but think of her, and my love for her that got shattered but still lingered like it was hanging by a thread. I didn’t want to let her go, but I knew I already lost. There was no point in trying.

Losing my friend only worsened the blow. He was someone I thought I could rely on, and trust with my deepest secrets. All that tarnished when he betrayed that trust. It felt all so wrong. Yet, a part of me felt like this would happen. It was just something I didn’t want to admit as truth.

The thunder roared vociferously, causing me to jump in shock. This had been the worst day in terms of weather thus far; I hadn’t realized we were going to be hit by so much rain. Like there was no end in sight. Just a dark, stormy day. But maybe tomorrow would be better. Happier.

To my dismay, it wasn’t. I woke up feeling like a weight pressed against me, pushing me deeper into my bed. Like it trapped me there where I wouldn’t be able to leave but succumb to its command. I felt so helpless, but I knew I couldn’t do this again. The familiar path terrified me, and I didn’t want to welcome it with open arms so easily.

I forced myself up after considerable effort. It took more than I’ve felt in a long time. With a new found willpower, or whatever this could be, I managed to make it out of my room towards the kitchen. After having a granola bar, swapping my clothes for fresher ones, and stuffing my uniform into my backpack, I made my way outside.

The rain came down harder than ever. Not quite the luminous day I hoped for. Starting my walk in the rain, I used my jacket hoodie as cover. It didn’t work for more than a minute. By the time I hit the end of the parking lot, the rain had thoroughly soaked me. Only 5 more blocks to go.

Most people wouldn’t prefer to work at a supermarket, but it paid the bills, though barely. Getting to work soaked made it even worse. I changed into my uniform, still wearing the soaked shoes I walked to work with, and went to my station. At least I had an extra pair of socks in my locker here.

Manager of the frozen aisle was about the worst place to be while dripping from the rain. Opening the backroom freezer to gather the extra items to shelve, I shivered in the bone chilling cold. If this showed any indication on how the day would go, I bet I could guess accurately.

Sure enough, my accuracy held out. The day was filled with coldness, countered by angry comments from hotheaded customers, and a store manager who gave me disdainful glares. But I couldn’t be bothered. My mind felt so far gone in my own world that even the customer’s felt distant. Some just stormed away from me when I didn’t answer them quick enough, others irritated by my matter-of-fact attitude when I told them to read the aisle signs. After what felt like an extraordinarily long, exhausting day of freezing, I eventually clocked out. The rain stopped momentarily, but ominous clouds loomed overhead, blanketing the night sky.

I gradually made my way home, not really having any urgency to get there. I watched the traffic go by on the streets. People who’s lives were probably in order, or at least better off than mine. People who don’t even know who I was and would never know me. People who probably only care about themselves.

Making it home, I locked up and threw my dirty clothes off. Falling into bed, I devoted most of my night laying there watching videos on my phone, only getting up to use the bathroom or grab some unhealthy snack from time to time. Didn’t actually matter to me, I just didn’t care.

Then morning came, and I once again found myself late for work. I couldn’t even remember falling asleep. The same feeling from yesterday came back to me today. With great effort, I pushed myself out of bed and meandered around my apartment, slowly getting ready for the day before heading out. Like yesterday, the rain soaked my clothes before I even left the property. An umbrella would do nicely right about now, but shockingly I don’t have one.

Arriving wet and cold, I clocked in and started my shift in the coldest part of the store. Throughout the day of half listening to customers and dodging my boss’s questions about my tardiness, I noticed myself consistently glancing out at the storm. It rained without an end in sight, coating the town thoroughly. I don’t recall seeing such a storm in a long time. So forceful, unrelenting, non-stop.

“Sure is something,” said a customer from behind me, causing me to jump a little, “Sorry for scaring you.”

I turned to the older man and smiled back, though it was only out of pleasantries, “No worries sir. You need something?”

“Nah, just admiring the rain,” the man chuckled then sighed, “Ah well…storms never last forever.”

“Yeah?” I said, not really sure how to respond.

The old man looked at me again and smiled, “Sometimes they can be wild, dark, and uncontrollable. Eventually the sun will shine again, whooshing away the dreariness and bring in the peace. Only a matter of time.”

“Okay?”

The old man nodded towards me before speaking once more, “Sometimes things just happen. Can’t really control it always. But time continues to move.” He pointed towards the storm again. “Just because it storms doesn’t mean we can’t find peace in it.”

The old man strolled on, leaving me confused as I stared at his departure. I looked out at the storm again, but eventually returned to my work. My mind fixated on what that man said. As weird as it was, it gave me a thought. Something that felt personal. Something that was forming into an idea.

Once work ended, I went home, this time with a renewed purpose I haven’t felt in several days. I didn’t spare anytime changing my dirty clothing into something fresh as I sat at my desk in just my underwear. I opened my laptop and peered at my work. Selecting the entire document, and with hesitation, I hit the backspace button, deleting all the work I once had.

Then I began typing away. I didn’t stop for dinner, only realizing that later on into the night how hungry I was. My mind didn’t stop running as my fingers tried to keep up. I didn’t know if what I had could have potential. Perhaps not. But the reason I wrote it wasn’t the same anymore. I didn’t write in hopes of wooing an audience. I wrote what made me happy. Something to drive the storm away. Throwing a little of myself in the lines to put my feelings and emotions onto the page.

I stayed up late into the night until it was already the next day. The storm went on, but at a gentler pace. At some point I no longer heard it all together, but I couldn’t be sure, my mind now focused elsewhere to even take a peak outside.

It wasn’t until light shined through my blinds that I realized I managed to stay up the whole night. Even though I felt tired, I was happy. My new project, my work, far from complete, but a work in progress that I felt truly excited about. Could it have potential? Hard to say, but I knew that didn’t matter. What mattered was I didn’t write it in hopes to excite an audience that wasn’t even there yet. I wrote it for myself, something that I wanted. A story with a little bit of myself in it. Something that came from the soul and splashed onto the pages. The story isn’t about me, but it does have similarities to my life that makes it a bit more personal. A story about perseverance. A story about love of the craft. And I know what I want to call it. Five Days of Rain.

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