The rain pours
And I remember
The times we used to dance between raindrops
Skipping through puddles
On our way to nowhere in particular
But this wasn't one of those rainstorms.
See the storm raged today
Like your father did,
The night I brought your little brother home late,
And your mother met us at the front door.
She asked me if we'd been drinking,
when she should have recognized how many bottles her husband had emptied that evening,
And I was trying to apologize
Explaining that, "He was having a rough time--"
She grabbed your brother's arm and slammed the door in my face.
Through the steel door
Muted screams were heard.
Screams that begged for something to stop.
Naive as I was at 18.
I knocked on the door,
Still trying to take responsibility for your brother's tardiness.
Through the sliver of light between.
Jamb and door
Your mother said,
"You should really leave,"
Before offering a sequel to her last performance.
The echo of that door would linger.
And the lock latching shut,
Under your mother's power.
It would haunt me.
So there I stood,
Hopeless and headed home.
Rainstorms had always been my favorite before then.
The idea that water would come from the sky had always amazed me.
But now as my rain hindered windshield
With my tear laden vision
I felt it more dangerous than ever.
As I reached my house and entered later than expected,
And my parents pried no further.
I went to my room,
Trying to grasp what had happened.
Thoughts rushed through my head as I sought to slip to slumber.
Should I call?
Would that make it worse?
Would you be ok?
Tears filled my eyes
And even then I knew that
Not knowing was worse.
And the rain kept coming
This time paired with lighting and its brother.
The sound was deafening,
But it couldn't drown out the sound of our home phone ringing.
As my tear stained sleep left me, and sobriety snuck into my pupils.
I rolled over to check the time
And my mother yelled,
That the phone was for me.
She knew it was you.
In fact anyone who knew me,
And heard a female voice,
At the other end of the line,
Would have known it was you as well.
But this call was different.
The time of the call had exposed that.
I remember dodging
the drips of rain
that gathered on the roof of my childhood home.
Little did I know
Not all houses were safe from storms.
As I rushed to the phone
My mother needn't ask me any questions.
Call it intuition.
But whatever she heard in your voice
Or what she witnessed in the pace at which I picked up
Told her everything she needed to know.
"Nikki, you okay,"
Were the first words out of my mouth.
"Why'd you leave,"
Were the first ones out of yours,
And when I explained to you that your mom had locked the door and that I'd even tried the ****.
I could tell by the way
Your next words escaped your mouth and came through my phone.
And into my ear.
That you had lost faith in me.
The faith I lost in myself.
You said that your father had beaten up your brother,
But in the process his bottle blinded body
Threw you into the wall.
And the rain poured.
You said your mother checked you into a hotel
And when I asked if you wanted me to head down there.
You told me Eric was there already,
And that I should go back to bed.
The storm pushed on quickly.
Dark clouds littering the sky.
And as the drops grew smaller,
Then disappeared altogether.
It reminded me,
Of your faith in me.
And our storm.