To Help You Weather this Storm
A creative piece by Judit Garab
The drizzle turned into heavy rain all of a sudden. Luckily, the campus offered a few nooks where one could weather the storm, even in lockdown. Amy sprinted to the alcove, panting slightly as she waited for the rain to stop. Her mask was so wet that it stuck to her face and with every breath made its painful, suffocating presence felt. A slight panic crept up in her throat, further obstructing her airways. She tore off the wet cloth and took in a big gulp of air.
“Freedom! Finally!” her brain exclaimed as her heavy breathing slowly subsided, and she felt relief wash over her. The normality of the situation struck her, and she realised she had managed to forget about the pandemic for a second. “Getting caught in the rain, having to run for shelter… what a normal thing.”
She started to chuckle, and then, unexpectedly, laughter burst out of her. She felt the tightness of her chest easing, which she didn’t even notice was there before. After everything she had been through, after everything she had to fight and survive over the past year… It hit her at once. She was here. She was still alive.
She stepped out into the pouring rain, closed her eyes, and turned her face to the sky. The raindrops mixing in with her tears tickled and caressed her cheeks, like a lover’s soft fingertips. Her make-up was running, but she couldn’t care less about that just now. The rain washed over her, cleansing her of her pain. The happiness was so overwhelming that she started dancing. Round and round she went, her arms outstretched, laughing to the sky. She became aware of multiple things at once: she felt the solid Earth beneath her feet, which gave her a strange reassurance. The wind catching into her coat again and again, as if asking to be her dance partner. But most of all, she felt the rain on her skin, the wonderful, pure liquid sent from Heaven.
After a short while she was out of breath again and stopped dancing. As she looked around, she saw people hurrying by: their coats turned up, their faces hidden under their umbrellas. Nobody seemed to notice her. Nobody, except for a small girl. She was staring, her big round eyes barely blinking. Amy could tell the girl was longing to join her in the rain but was held back by her father’s firm grip. He was determined to keep his daughter under the alcove’s shelter. Amy smiled. She poured all the joy and relief she felt in that moment into that smile. And as she looked at this little girl, there was a momentary connection. No words were spoken, at least none that could be heard but by the heart. Then the small girl’s face lit up and met Amy’s smile with an even wider one. Somehow, incredibly, Amy’s joy doubled, and her heart filled with warmth. And as she slowly turned to continue her walk, at the edge of the passing cloud, she saw sunshine bursting forth and revealing a beautiful rainbow, the sign of hope.