Every day is like the last, rain pouring down on the rooftop while I listen intently for a message. Some days I hear that message so clearly it rings in my ears, but unfortunately, most days my eyes and ears fog up so uncontrollably I fear I am blind and deaf.
The rain has always been a gift and a curse for me. It’s a gift because it brings life into the world, as it feeds all living creatures. These creatures are not only my friends but also my helpers, as they show me a new way of life, different ways of thinking, and, most of all, a very special place to which I can escape. Every morning, I ask the birds outside my window if today I can follow them. When I hear them chirp their consent, I am filled with relief and joy.
Their beautiful melodies captivate me to move towards the lush forest where they dance. The other animals, too, join in with pulses mimicking the heartbeats of the earth. When I am there, my body connects to the beats and after a joyous dance, it is rested into complete tranquility.
The curse is that it is harder to escape to the secret paradise when it is pouring rain. The wet and the cold prevent me from escaping my prison; I am a hostage.
Today, however, I was braver than ever. The message was clear to me; I had to leave the house and follow my friends to the special place. The birds were chirping and singing so loudly, I could not deny them. So there I was, piling on layers of clothes and rain gear and nothing was going to stop me.
I ran downstairs, and there it was; the ugliest, scariest monster I had ever known. His eyes so red, I thought blood was going to run down his face. His hair was black and so greasy it glistened like the shell of a beetle. His hands were dry and chapped with dirt underneath the long and sharp claws. His mouth opened, baring his yellow and black crooked fangs, emitting a fearsome roar, “Where are you going, you little tramp?! You look like you were swallowed by a black hole! Go upstairs and change into something a little lady would wear, not the mess you have on!”
A ball of fire grew in my stomach, but instead of releasing it, I cowered and said, “I’m sorry, Father, you’re right; I’ll go change.”
“Damn right you will!” the monster bellowed.
Although I did fear the great monster, I also knew him well. I figured he would forget five minutes later that he even spoke to me. So instead of changing, I waited for my chance to escape my prison from the back window.
As I waited, I listened to the thunder grow louder, and I watched the lightening flash brighter. Like a great percussion band, the thunder crackled and banged. The lightening shimmered and flashed uncontrollably like lights in a night club. I did not fear these great forces but admired their courage to rage on earth as greatly as they desired. I always dreamed of releasing such power on the demons I encountered every day.
Silence fell upon the house, as the storm outside continued, and the storm inside died. I heard no sign of the demons crawling around downstairs. They must have fallen into a temporary slumber. I quickly lifted the window, stuck a wedge in it so it would not fall on me, and slipped out on top of the roof. I then slid right to the edge of the roof, looked down and noticed it was a steep drop, but I was not scared: any physical pain endured would be worth it and paled in comparison to the pain I had to deal with inside my prison.
Examining the deck that was about five feet lower than the roof, I finally decided on the perfect spot to reach the banister. Turning on my belly, I shimmied down anticipating the feel of the banister below my feet. When my feet reached it, my forehead was level with the edge of the roof. My hands gripped tightly as I crouched down until they could no longer hold and I was forced to let them fall. I was now grasping onto the banister with both hands. I took a deep breath in and then out. As the air pushed through me, I took a final jump onto the floor of the deck. Now that the hard part was over, I looked up to let the rain wash over my flushed face. Grabbing the floor of the deck, I then dropped into a very old pile of leaves.
The leaves were wet and composting beautifully, which made for a light fall. Winter’s snow had recently melted, leaving tons of dead foliage from last autumn. The dull scent from the leaves with the refreshing smell of new buds and spring rain made for an intoxicating aroma. Although I could not bask in the gorgeous scent for long, I took in deep breaths before hopping to my feet and making a run for it. Nature’s perfume gave me a much-needed boost of energy, more powerful than any drink...