Raindrops

Rain fell inside her head and stayed there for two full weeks. Her head was so heavy with rain, raindrops crept out her eyes. Her pillow was wet with raindrops, and sometimes the bed sheet, or her shirt. Sometimes the rain was intense, sometimes just a drizzle, but it went on steady for two weeks, that rain.

She tried to make the rain stop, she did. She fought it, she wrestled with it, she tried to jab it with a knife. But fighting the rain didn't make any sense. Soon she shut herself out and caved in, but the rain was still there. It wouldn't go away. It's just there, pattering inside her head, clouding everything in thick mist, and dripping out her eyes, that rain.

Caving in, her bed was the only escape for it gave her the pleasure to sleep the rain away. Any moment she woke up, rain. She woke up from a bad dream, rain. She woke up from the sound of someone banging on her door, rain. She woke up to eat, rain. She woke up to use the toilet, rain. She woke up from too much sleep, rain. If only she could sleep the rest of her life away, there wouldn't be so much rain.

When she was awake, raindrops dripped on the vegetables she was cutting. Raindrops dripped on the stove that the fire fizzed out. Raindrops dripped on her plates, her cups, her silver spoons. Raindrops dripped on her notebooks, her books, her collection of pens. Raindrops began to wet everything she couldn't bear to open her eyes any more. She couldn't work, she was addled with rain. She couldn't speak, the sound of rain drowned out her words. She couldn't move, rain stopped her cold. She couldn't go out, rain blotted out the sun. Being awake was unbearable, unbearably unbearable. It was paralyzing, that rain.

It rained relentlessly that she stopped fighting: she gave in. She embraced the rain and wallowed in it. It seduced her, caressed her, controlled her, crushed her. She spiraled into obsessive thoughts of self-mutilation. She wrote a letter that began with the sentence: "Dear Family and Friends, As you read this letter, I assume you've already seen my body hanging by a slipknot near my bedroom window." It rambled on for three pages of tiny black scribbles, across every sheet, raindrops.

In the letter it says: "I know you're all burning with the same questions: Why did I kill myself? Or, who killed me? Is there any other evidence besides this paper?" Somewhere in the middle it says: "Being awake is so simple and free. Why can't I do it?" The letter ends with the sentence: "Being awake is the most agonizing thought that has ever occurred to me." What does that mean? She couldn't have written those. The text was blotched with so much raindrops.

Death was the only remaining option to stop the rain and the raindrops and the dreary days and the drowning in the relentless rain. All she had to do was drag herself into a rope and fly into a wakeless sleep. But she didn't. She didn't have a rope, and it was raining. She set the letter aside, and flew into another temporary death: she slept. Like all the other days, she shut her eyes and stoppered the raindrops from dripping off her face. She may have lost it, if it weren't for the lack of rope. But it wasn't the rope that was the problem. It was the rain.

When the first rain came seven years before this one, there were so much wind howling, voices of invisible people, flood. She didn't have any knowledge or experience of any kind of rain before, and did the only thing possible: she succumbed. She kissed death in the mouth. It consumed her in flames. She burned herself alive. She was desperate to stop the rain. It was a desperation that no one will ever understand, because she couldn't understand, and that there was nothing to understand. There was only a vision of relentless rain, a downpour, a typhoon, a cyclone. The kiss of death was the only flame that lit her up against the rain.

She could've stopped the raining the first time it came, but someone pulled her from the mouth of death. He heard her screaming, ran into her room, and snuffed the fire out with the flapping of a blanket. Dying embers flew in the room in swirls. Her clothes were reduced to shreds, her body a grisly landscape of hellfire. She had burned herself in a pyre of her making: pages ripped off from a book by Sophocles. She begged her savior to kill her, to quit saving her, to go away, but he dragged her to a hospital. That first kiss with death, it was delicious and painful, both. It was the first kiss under the rain.

The next morning, she woke up in the hospital and the rain was gone. It simply vanished just as fast as it came. Seven years later, like all the other rains in between, the same thing happened. The rain vanished while she was curled up in bed one afternoon. She sprang to her feet and felt different: the raindrops disappeared. It felt like she just stepped out of a typhoon. But it wasn't a typhoon, it was only rain, another long shower of rain.

// Apr 2014

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