I looked to the sky in hopes of seeing a dog, dragon, or a butterfly in the clouds, but all I saw was a storm beginning. I always saw the truth. No matter how many doctors, counselors, and
therapists had ever told me I had an overactive imagination, I know that wasn’t really true. In
fact I probably had less imagination than most adults. I am the only one who knows the truth of
reality. I know what happens when our breath falls short. Our hearts give out. Our brains grow
quiet. And our eyes grow dark.
I looked back down to my feet, hanging, barely touching the ground.
“Are you sad?” Sister asked, as she stopped her own swinging.
“Sometimes,” I answered truthfully. She looked at me puzzled , and coaxed me into revealing
more. I didn’t know if she knew I wanted to talk about it, but I did.
“I feel like I am trapped sometimes, I have to help all these people, but I want help too!” I let the
words linger in the air while I waited for her reaction. She started to fade, and so in fear of her
departure I changed the subject.
“Do you remember Aunt Millie and all the stale candies we ate at her house?” I remembered the
story as I was telling it. Even though she was emotionless, I knew she was too.
“And we ate so many, we thought we’d end up in the hospital!” I laughed out the last of the story trying to bring her back from inner turmoil. And like a broken record finally correcting itself,
she awoke back to a pitiful state. Sister touched my hand and I felt a stake of pain through my
heart when I actually felt it touch my skin. I pushed her away and wiped tears from my eyes.
“Don’t let her see you cry!” I thought to myself.
“You always take things so personally little brother, it’s not your fault the world is an unfair
place.” I had heard her say these words before many times but they never stuck with me until
“Talk to me?!” She pleaded. The words hit me harder than I thought words could. It was too
much for my young mind.
I jumped up and moved to the monkey bars. I had been hanging there for a while before I noticed the man on the bench. At first all I saw was a lonely old guy reflecting on his ancient life. But as he turned his head towards me I noticed the open wound spitting blood across his face. I was stunned and frozen in place as he moved faster towards me. My muscles finally thawed and I ran as fast as my short legs could handle. I took cover inside a tunnel slide. I can't tell how long I was in there but once my crying stopped there was thunder rolling low in the sky and clouds laid down their rain.
Most people fear thunder, lightning, and the treachery of storms but I find it beautiful! In a world
of terrorism, homicide, and wrongdoing after wrongdoing, you can always count on a storm to
cleanse the earth again. I like to think there's a God and he sends his angels to clean the earth with rain, when things get too dark. I like to think thunder is the chitter chatter of silly Angels. I like to think that if I believe hard enough one day I'll see those angels open up the sky to the
heavens and share their work. But I am just a child, and I have already seen too much of the
other worlds work.
I stepped out into the rain. I really felt it on my skin and listened hard to the thunder.
“Are you okay little brother?” Sister finally spoke again.
“I think so,” I said keeping my eyes on the sky. For a moment all was calm. Then I heard
footsteps approaching behind me.
“Hey, buddy! What are you doing out in the rain by yourself?” Father asked. I finally broke the
spell over my eyes, to keep them stuck to the sky. My mouth curved down some so I quickly hid
my emotion with a yawn.
“I like the rain,” I said dryly. He tilted his head as though he was scolding me.
“You know your mother doesn’t like you out here by yourself,” he continued. “Come back
inside,” he said gently reaching out his hand. And I took it. Together we walked back inside. I
looked back to an empty playground soaked in rain. With the blink of an eye I saw sister again
soberly swinging alone. With only another blink I saw an empty swing, swaying in the wind.
Alas I am alone, for now.