Short Story by Akansha Bhardwaj (Entry No. 4)
Strong winds blow my hair from my face, soothing my body. Giving me the feeling of someone being there, patting my head as if saying: “it’s okay”, “you’re okay”. Being in the rain, staring at the clouds, brings back the memories of those days where I used to slide across the rooftop with my brother, carefree and spirited. The scent of rain used to reach us way before the rain ever did. The excited giggles that used to fill up our home, the loud footsteps and shrieking, betting on who would reach the rooftop first, are now mere memories I look back on.
Were those the good days? I wonder, now standing on the very same rooftop with the absence of those footsteps and a presence of silence that defines my closed-off relationship with my brother, the same scent of rain brings me solace as if telling me to let go. And so, I step into the pouring rain. It feels nice, cold and warm at the same time.
My clothes stick to my body, and then I laugh. I laugh as I feel the rain around me, making me wish I was a child again. The rain does this to me, making me feel whole. I question myself did I change or was it, my brother, that now we won’t even look at each other? Did we finally grow up? Was this how growing up feels like? Is it time to let go of my childish wish for my brother to once again push me across this rooftop that now I stand on? The rain hits me hard this time, bringing me back to reality, me standing alone in the middle of my rooftop. I lay down and close my eyes, letting the rain and its scent make me feel safe again. That’s where I am now: a safe place, lying with my eyes closed with no worries about what tomorrow brings with it, where I can cry and blame it upon the rain. Ah, I think to myself, “if I could stop the time, now would be the perfect timing”. It feels ticklish, though now that I’m laying down facing those dark clouds, afraid of the thunders that are sure to come by any second now. I think to myself, “I better get up and head downstairs”.
“Are you planning on staying there forever?” I hear.
Keeping my eyes closed, I smile to myself, recognizing that irritating voice. If I open my eyes now, would he know that I had cried or would he too pretend to blame the rain? I hear footsteps. Not long after, I feel the warmth of a body lying down beside me. I turn my head and look at him. He sure did grow a lot, looking tired from the last time I met him. I feel him grabbing my hand and squeezing it.
“How did we end up like this?” he said.
We stayed like that for a long time until we could hear our parents shouting for us to come down.
We laugh hearing those familiar words.
“It feels nice,” he says, and hearing him say this, I could feel the melancholy leaving my body just like that.
“It sure does,” I reply, and as the thunder starts to hit, we get up to leave.
I turn back and look up at the skies and think, “maybe not that much has changed” the feeling of a hand squeezing mine, I turn back to look at my brother looking down at me with warmth in his eyes, and I smile back.
The scent of rain that lingers after the rain now holds memories of my home feeling whole once again.
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