It’s rain that makes you forget the warmth and dryness of the sun.
It’s rain that that makes you wonder why we don’t have gills.
It’s rain that stinks up the subway, making the morning commuters extra cranky.
It’s rain that makes you feel like curling under a comforter with a cup of steaming hot chocolate.
My fingers curl around the handle of the umbrella, testing it against the wind. The hem of my jeans is soaking wet, as well as my feet. The bitter taste of being ditched lingers on my tongue, and for the tenth time I check my phone despite the rain that splashes onto my hands. To see if I have a missed call, or even a text message saying “sorry”. To see if I can hope.
I shove my phone back in my pocket and continue walking. The grass ooze with rainwater, and the trees are bowed over with defeat.
The park I pass by are, not unsurprisingly, deserted. All that remains are empty soda cans bantered by the wind. Even the territorial squirrels, sparrows, and pigeons are most likely hidden. Or gone.
The world is full of sound. The Shhhhhhaaaa of rain, which is unsuccessful in defying gravity. Distant rumble, that causes deep vibrations deep inside me. It’s never quiet. To me, at least.
Somehow through the wall of water, the weak light of the pedestrian crossing shines through. I step onto the slippery asphalt, rainwater runoff gushing through the gutters just inches from my feet.
They say time moves slowly. They say time goes in slow motion when a truck comes hurtling at you 70 mph. They say that the face of the driver is of shock, and that their face is etched onto their memory forever. An expression of surprise, regret, and hope. They say.
Time does move slowly. The face of the driver does haunt me. A young man, mid twenties. A dazed expression, an expression of a person looking at a magnificent painting for the first time in awe. A face that had an eerie calm that chilled me more than the rain had ever done.
The world is a bitter place. Some people having parties at nightclubs, while I am driving a truck 5 hours a day with a wage that barely supports my mother and two sisters.
But not unfair.
I think that in heaven, all the babies line up in a line, and every time a mortal gives birth, a baby jumps off a diving board. And each time, the baby chooses what life to live. Last time I was rich, this time I’ll try being poor. Or maybe it’s karma.
The only way to keep my sanity when I am driving a truck 5 hours a day is caffeine, and music. Music turned loud enough so that the seats reverberate, and cause deep vibrations deep inside me. Music drowning out the sound of the falling rain outside.
Then, there was the girl.
The pale girl clutching a black umbrella, the headlights of the truck coloring sharp shadows on her face. Copper hair with dulled red streaks gently blowing with the wind my truck brings. The cherry red lips, a shocking contrast to her pale face and blue eyes but somehow matching the seemingly inhumane hair.
A deer caught in headlights.
I don’t know if that applied more to her or me. All I could do was to watch this girl, as the truck rushed forward. My driving instincts completely forgotten by the shock and awe of her sudden appearance. Not until the sharp jolt of the truck hitting something. A somebody. A girl. It was only then did my foot shoveled into the brakes, and despite the dampness outside, the inevitable smell of burning rubber as the truck slid the last few feet in an attempt to stop.
The world is in darkness.
The world is blinding.
The artificially harshness of the fluorescent light that cut into my dreams solidly anchor me to reality. My cotton stuffed head rings with the last echoes of the impact. The last seconds relapsing into one another, until my mind becomes obsessive of minute, but clear details. The heart monitor next to my bed hesitantly emits beeps.
And … and … and?
Every beep, there is are tiny, pink bubbles – hot pink, but only the edges holding true colors while the inside is clear – almost like glass bubbles. They rise into the air, and gradually fades, in time for the next wave of beeps to bring fresh bubbles.
The hum of the lights is lime green sprinkles that gently float down onto my bed.
Why am I not dead?
Please forgive me.
The overwhelming musky smell of tiger lilies fills my room. Each little sound in my room is a fresh color and shape. The small hand mirror I gaze into lies. According to my mirror, my eyes are hazel. All my life, pale blue eyes have been looking back at me.
Your face haunts me. Please forgive me.
The doctors call me an extraordinary case. Unprecedented in medical history. Special…
Back at school. Teacher, homework, students. Friends?
I don’t tell them that their voices are neon colored geometric shapes that tumble past their lips. I don’t tell the lead singer of the school choir that hers are solid sparking gold bubbles that rise to the ceiling above us. I don’t tell them that every sound is a wonder. The sound of Lays barbeque chips crushing under the feet of an ignorant teenager is a soft pink spray that comes from the chip.
They don’t know. They don’t know. It’s my eyes. My eyes, one hazel, and one blue. But no one knows, the hazel hears the world. No one deserves this beauty.
Jae Eun Kim
Age 14, Grade 9
Hunter College High School