|Stand in the Rain
Author: J-Co PM
She wants to leave, desperately. But in the end she remembers she never gets what she wants. Not even a normal life.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Drama - Words: 2,315 - Published: 04-25-11 - id: 2910396
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Stand in the Rain
The house loomed behind her, glowing like a giant candle was flickering in its middle. Surrounding her, cornering her against the house were cars, close and dull in the setting sun. The vehicles were parked in the driveway, along the curb, and a few in the lawn. She stood in the grass barefoot, the blades stiff against her soles and springing up between her toes. The light breeze whisked her dark hair and flowery skirt. Her black, curly hair hooked on her nose and eyelashes, hiding her face behind a partial mask. The wind whipped more fervently, sending her cream, blue, and green, skirt into a frenzy. She turned her head towards the current, sending her long hair behind her, like a beast beaten away. She looked up, craning her neck to an extreme angle, her eyes parallel to the sky. The clouds floated in thin-looking sheets above her, like broken ice in arctic waters like she was under water watching the ice float by, bump into each other, and grow into massive glaciers that trapped her in the watery depth. She breathed in deeply, feeling the crisp air fill her lungs. It rejuvenated her, the thought of breathing so satisfactorily under water.
There was a slight rumble above and a little droplet of rain plopped on her cheek followed by another on her forehead and another on her neck. The thunder roiled about like an upset stomach. She started to feel cold and anxious as the light drizzle turned into a steady pour. She pulled her jacket tighter around her and gripped the collar around her throat. Her shaking hands were paler than normal, the purple and blue veins showing through her translucent skin. She looked down, letting her hair create a shield against the downpour. She could see the bump of her stomach under her blue jacket. What she cradled inside was safe and warm, unaware of the fury outside; the arguments over its existence, the anger it would know straight from the womb, the exile the family would experience. She wanted to protect her child, and this was the only way she knew how. She was scared of what waited inside the house. Ever since she was a little girl someone close to her lurked around the house, into her bedroom when her parents were away, made her promise not to tell anyone.
She wished he would hurry, the father of her baby. None of her family knew him. He was hers alone. They loved each other despite what her family and friends thought. She wasn't just pregnant as they would like to assume. She glanced behind her at the house filled with love and happiness; love for herself, but not for her baby, and not for her husband-to-be. If only they knew what she knew. Someone would come for her soon, to see if she was okay. If only he would come soon. They were having Thanksgiving dinner. She had excused herself, saying she needed a breath of fresh air. Now she was standing in the rain waiting for the man she loved to pull beside the curb any second. Any second.
Her stomach rumbled. She hadn't eaten anything knowing that the longer she waited inside the house around her family, laughing and sharing stories, her grandmother on the piano and her younger sister on the violin that she wouldn't be able to leave. No more. No more would she be a part of that tradition. She and the baby and the baby's father would be their own family; Thanksgiving would be theirs alone. She smiled, thinking of the future, knowing that those thoughts would get her through this one struggling moment. She wished he would hurry.
He lived in an apartment in a city a few hundred miles away. She'd been there and she loved it. He had a steady job that required a suit and he drove an expensive car. They had been seeing each other for three months. He was twenty-eight and she was twenty-one; one of the reasons why her parents didn't approve. They thought that he would never marry her, or marry her and divorce her soon after. They thought she was throwing her education away and would spend the rest of her life in poverty and anguish. They had no idea. Still, she didn't want them to meet. He had told her that he would rather fix their problem the right way. She had persuaded him that she would be happier this way and her happiness was all he cared for. This was her new life that she was starting and this was what she wanted.
What if he didn't come? She had to admit that her idea for a runaway marriage was a hasty one. When she became pregnant the decision was made even sooner. What if he decided that she wasn't worth it? What if he thought she was a glitch in his perfect life? She knew she wasn't a one night stand, they'd been together three months, but the voice in the back of her mind whispered what if's one after the other. What if…what if…what if…?
Someone called her name from the house. What if your parents find you out here and never let you out of your room again? She glanced behind her and then back at the road wondering if there was a decent place to hide.
"Janie? Come inside, dear, you'll freeze to death!"
Her mother walked towards her with a flowery umbrella held over her head and a heavy blanket in her hand. What if he shows up right now and I can't get away?
"I'm fine." She said, determined and aggravated. "Go back inside."
The older woman, so much like her daughter in every way, put a hand on the girl's cheek and then moved it to her forehead.
"I don't think so. You're so cold. Come on. Back inside you go." She said, trying to be cheerful.
What if everyone finds out the truth?
"Your uncle was asking where you were. He's so fond of you, you know. He's always saying how great you'll be one day and how great you already are."
"No, really, I'm fine out here. I don't want to go back inside." Janie persisted, sounding angrier.
"I'm not asking you to come inside and even if I were I wouldn't take no for an answer. I'm your mother and I'm doing my duty in keeping you alive now get inside young lady." Her mother said, countering her daughter's disrespectful tone.
Heads lights swung around the street corner, temporarily blinding her. Janie recognized the black car and the dark head that rose over the side of the vehicle. He stepped onto the street and walked around the car with a jacket in his hand. She was delighted and scared.
"Who is that, dear?" her mother questioned, squinting at the unfamiliar figure.
"No, not now," Janie said, under her breath.
"Not now? Janie, do you know him?" Her mother demanded loudly. She walked towards the tall dark figure, dragging Janie with her. Janie pleaded with her eyes for him to leave now with some excuse or none at all as long as he left.
"Janie, you're soaked." The man said. "Why are you so wet? I told you to wait inside for me." His deep voice was soothing to Janie. She wanted to melt in his arms and not be herself anymore, just a part of him. There, no one could find her.
"Excuse me, young man, who are you?" Her mother asked.
He held out his hand for her to shake. Rain dripped off his long fingers "My name is Isaac Green. You must be Mrs. Preston."
Mrs. Preston shook his hand then quickly let it drop. "Isaac," she said with realization. "you're the one trying to take Janie away. We're going inside Janie." Her mother said, her face set in disapproval. Janie tried to squirm away. Isaac was her last life line. Even if she didn't love him she desperately needed him.
"Wait," Isaac said. "I want to talk to you." He grabbed Janie's hand affectionately, while looking at Mrs. Preston.
"You didn't want to talk earlier. You didn't want Janie to introduce you to us. Now look what you did."
Isaac gently put a hand on her shoulder. "I wanted to tell you. I really did." He said. He looked into Mrs. Preston's eyes, recognizing the dark teal color of Janie's eyes. He conveyed everything he could through that one look; his love for Janie, regret for not meeting the family earlier, the love for his unborn child, and the hopefulness for his future family.
"Come inside," Mrs. Preston finally said, "You're soaked, too."
Janie grabbed Isaac's hand more firmly.
"Don't do this." She said.
"It's the right thing to do." Isaac countered.
"No, you don't understand," she pleaded. They had reached the brightly lit porch and Mrs. Preston was opening the door.
"I missed you." Isaac said with a warm smile. Janie laid her head against his broad shoulder. Mrs. Preston led them through the foyer into the den where the family had gathered. Janie's grandmother was at the piano like she predicted and Emma, her twelve-year-old sister, was sitting beside her. Her father and uncle were sitting in the recliners talking.
"Janie finally decided to come back inside and we have a guest. I'll go get you two some clothes to change into." Mrs. Preston said. There was complete silence as she left the room. Janie knew she should say something but she didn't know what to say. She truly didn't expect this to happen. She saw her uncle looking at her and she froze body and mind.
"I'm Isaac. I'm Janie's boyfriend." Isaac said.
Janie's father set a drink on the coffee table. "How old are you, son?" he asked.
"You have a good job?"
"You have your own place?"
"You're responsible enough?"
"Then what happened here?"
Isaac stopped, thinking of the best answer. "We weren't being careful."
"I figured that." Her father said angrily.
Janie gaze wandered back to her uncle. His teal eyes seemed darker than usual, like a thundercloud was brewing. Then he wasn't looking at her. Instead he was looking at Emma who was turned around looking at Isaac with large, curious, child-like eyes.
Her uncle looked back at Janie and leaned forward on his elbows. She suddenly knew everything he was thinking.
What if I go after Emma next? What if you're not here to protect her? What if I don't keep my promise not to hurt you? What if I never promise to keep her safe?
Suddenly Janie panicked. She had never thought of this before. She thought if she left then her uncle would stop being the predator he was. In reality she was just being selfish. She should have known he would have started preying on Emma when she left. A snake will always be a snake no matter how often it sheds its skin.
"I'm not going with you." Janie said, still staring at her uncle. The conversation fell between Isaac and her father.
"Actually, I wasn't planning on us leaving tonight." Isaac said. He looked at Janie and then in the direction she was looking. He spotted her uncle, who looked very satisfied leaning forward in his recliner. Janie's head popped up like she just woke from a day dream. She looked up at Isaac.
"I'm not going with you ever." Janie said, emphasizing 'ever'. She turned towards the foyer. Mrs. Preston re-entered the room carrying bundles of clothing.
"It took me forever to find clothes that might fit Isaac but I think these will do." She looked up. "What's going on?"
"Isaac's leaving." Janie said.
"Why?" her mother asked.
"I'm not marrying him. I'm not going to even see him anymore. Will that make you happy?" She said finally before disappearing through the den entrance. Isaac rushed to catch up with her.
"Janie, I know you might be overwhelmed but just calm down and we'll get through this." He said, stroking her hair.
"I'm not overwhelmed. I just want you gone." She said seriously. Her eyes had become dull. Her tone was automatic.
"I'll come back when you're feeling better, then." He said and then bent to kiss her. Janie turned her head.
"I was only using you to get away from my family. That was stupid. I'll just run away on my own." She was pushing him out of the door, trying to shut it on him.
"You don't mean that. Are you coming down with something? You feel hot." He felt her forehead and the back of her neck. It was true. She didn't feel good at all and his hands were so gloriously cool. Janie closed her eyes. An onslaught of tears threatened to fall down her blistering cheeks. She prayed for her voice not to betray her.
"It's not even your kid." She said determined for him to leave. Isaac's body stiffened, his eyes growing hard and dull. He grabbed the door handle and pulled it towards him, shutting himself out of the house. Janie leaned against the doorway willing the tears away wishing she could be standing outside in the rain thirty minutes ago.