A story about rain.


Brie says: I would like a story about rain, please.

Once upon a time there was a young girl. She was about 14 years old.

This girl loved reading in the bath; on the particular evening we are talking about, she was in the bath, rindow cracked to ventilate the room. It was your typical dark and stormy night – lashing wind and rain. That’s why it was so odd that she heard a voice out on the deck, which was a story below the window of her bathroom.

She knew, in the way that children sometimes know things that are impossible to know, that it was her father on the phone with another woman. He was hiding outside so no one could hear him speaking. She rose from the tub, water dripping down her beautiful body she didn’t know how to appreciate, and walked into her mother’s room. She grabbed the phone, lifting it in that oh-so-careful way she had perfected when she wanted to listen in without anyone knowing an extension had been picked up.

Her wet footprints followed her back to the bathroom, where she carefully locked the door behind her and crouched, shivering, facing the wall. If you were to ask her fifteen or so years later if she remembered the exact words she overheard over the next forty minutes, she’d say, ‘Well, some of them, but I mostly remember the wall I was looking at.’ It was old, 70s style funky wallpaper, brown stripes in various patterns and thicknesses. Water beaded and dried across her goosepimpled and naked flesh, and she looked steadily through that wall.

The young girl heard her father speak intimately to another woman. It was a shock, a surprise, a betrayal – although it wasn’t the first time her father had cheated. But it was the first time she actually caught him. And the last.

Because the rain hitting the window, the water on her body, the tears on her cheeks – oh, the shattering pain. And the deeper, colder, calculating self that wanted to punish him. That self made the girl rise and walk across the hall to her younger sister’s bedroom. Her sister had a tape recorder with a microphone attached, and this girl wanted to tape her father – to give him no chance to deny, to hide. She wanted to make him pay.

Her sister yelled ‘Get out of my room!’ despite the girl placing a finger over her lips and trying to explain. The girl heard her father say, louder than life, ‘Shit. My kid heard everything.’

She angrily, and quickly, told her sister what had happened, before running across the hall, slamming the bathroom door, and locking herself in. Her father’s footsteps pounded against the stairs, up to her door, where she sealed up a part of her. She became silent, and in fact wouldn’t speak a word to her father for the next two years. He kept his voice light and jolly, trying to skillfully kid and pretend nothing had happened. He told her one bullshit story.

Her younger sister was upset, too little to understand what was going on. The girl’s father pulled her sister downstairs, told her a different bullshit story, then sent that poor seven year old kid upstairs to fight his battles for him.

‘Dad says it’s a friend from the bar, she’s dying of cancer, he’s just being a nice friend to her,’ her sister’s voice pleaded. The girl remained silent.

Hours later, her sister went to bed. Her father stopped trying to cajole her. She crept out of the bathroom, long dry, but still naked, and got dressed. She was downstairs waiting for her mother to get home – she worked night shifts at a hospital. She didn’t know where her father was. The girl knew she was going to tell her mother, but in the end her sister did. She ran down the stairs, said, ‘She said she heard dad cheating on you!’

And that was the end of her parent’s marriage.

Not the ongoing violence that had first happened when she was still in her mother’s womb. Not the alcoholism, the PTSD, the colourful and deadly combination of mental illnesses. Not the past cheating. Not the attempted suicide in front of the young girl and her little sister. None of that.

Just one phone call, and one angry young girl.

This post brought to you by my compelling desire to write, and complete inability to do so. Generous people have given me funny, thoughful, and factual suggestions for posts. Click here to see them, or add your own. I’ll work through them all in time.


4 Responses to “A story about rain.”

  1. Brie Says:

    Thank you for the story. And wow.

  2. Bobbie Says:

    I must have needed to read this today

  3. Gnome Says:

    Perhaps the greatest compliment one writer can pay another is to say: you inspired me to write. After reading this I suddenly felt compelled to enter a 100 word story competition that I’d felt no interest in before. If I win, I’ll mention you in my acceptance speech.

  4. Winnie Says:

    Wow that was a powerfully written story. Thank you for sharing your story.

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