This is just a little story I came up with while sitting in class one day. I must say that I'm rather fond of it. It was immensely fun to write as all original stories are. And just a note to all the readers of Lost Eternity: I have not given up on that story. I've just been really busy with school and my beta reader is taking forever to send it back to me. I'm SO sorry it has taken me so long to update, buy I promise it will be up soon. Enjoy!
Remember the Rain?
Lynette rolled over in her bed, hoping she wouldn't wake her sister. Time couldn't have passed more slowly in the dark, with nothing to distract you from the silence of the night and ever increasing darkness, except for your thoughts. She felt enveloped inside a black creature. One that took hold of you and controlled you until the first shafts of light broke through the sky.
But tonight she would feel imprisoned longer because she refused the sleep that wanted to take her so badly. If she allowed herself to close her eyes, just for a moment, sleep would claim her and she would lose. She couldn't bear to think of what would happen after that, so she pushed the idea from her mind. She didn't know why she continued torturing herself like this. She supposed it had something with wanting to keep old memories alive, but the old hope was gone.
Deciding that it must be nearly time, although it had probably been only a few minutes, Lynette pushed herself out of bed and tip toed to the window.
She was surprised to see clouds in the sky, because for the past months, there'd been nothing but the scorching heat on their necks as they plowed fruitlessly through the fields. Papa always said, 'Rain never comes when you sit around waiting for it.' But it apparently didn't come when you worked all day in the fields either.
The drought had caused more than plants and crops to die. In fact it wasn't uncommon to be riding in the wagon and see dead animals, littering the side of the road, cast away by those going through the Oregon Trail.
Children died more than usual also. Mrs. Braithwaite up the street had had to bury her youngest child and Mr. Holm; his sickly new wife. Even Lynette had had to watch her mother grow weaker and weaker each day. There just wasn't enough water to go around.
A dim shadow of the moon flickered through the clouds. She was too early, but Lynette couldn't bear just sitting there any longer. And it wasn't like she was going to be seeing anyone, she thought bitterly.
She dressed quietly and winced when she made any noise, but dear Wilma slept on. She grabbed her wool shawl and silently went to the window again. Her fingers slid under the crack and pried it open from years of dried sap and tar. She easily lifted it open; making it obvious she had done this many times before. She crawled through and landed lightly on the dry, brown grass that crackled whenever you stepped.
The night air felt cool and refreshing against her skin, a wonderful opposite from the day sun. She walked quietly across the dirt road and soft explosions of dust arose whenever her feet hit the ground.
An array of geese flew across the sky in search of more abundant water. Lynette watched them fly away; wishing she could sprout wings and leaves this place of death also.
She hopped over a creek long ago dried up, with only the smallest of trickle to bear witness to the gushing waters that used to flow through. She hurried to the old withered oak tree that still stood proud although it was dying a ruthless death and was surprised to see another figure there. It stirred when it saw her and moved out of the shadow and into the light.
He had unkempt sandy brown hair, with grey eyes, deep and fathomless, like one who has seen much in a lifetime. His cheeks were smooth with young age and his face browned with hard work in the sun, and when he smiled, the whole world seemed to light up.
Lynette stared unbelievably at him, "Michael?" she managed to whisper hoarsely, "You're back."
"And you're early," he said with a teasing grin. He closed the space between them in two long strides and embraced her gruffly. She held tight to him as though afraid to lose him and he would float away like a wispy cloud. She buried her face in his coat and breathed in the smell of smoke and cinnamon.
They broke apart, but he held her at arms length examining her. "You've changed," he said softly, brushing back a strand of dark brown hair from her face.
"How?" she asked stubbornly.
"Well," he said, pondering a moment, "You look older."
"I am older, four years older. And don't think you look the same as you always did. You've changed too. You're no longer that straggly fourteen-year-old boy I once knew," she grinned.
He laughed. "I've lost my best friend," he said, playfully. "She used to be a little girl with braids and now that I come back I find her all grown up."
"Don't talk to me like you're so much older than me," she said, hitting him lightly on the shoulder. "And I'm not that old, I'm only 17."
"You should be married," he paused and looked at her. "You aren't, are you?"
She shook her head, "Nobody would marry me anyway. A man can't afford to take care of his wife when his dying fields need attendance," she said, unable to keep the bitterness out of her voice. The drought had just about ruined her chances of marriage, and by the time it finally ended, she'd be too old.
Seeing the distressed look on her face, Michael cast around for a new subject. "So have you been coming here everyday since I left?" he asked, looking around at the once beautiful tree and the fun they had once shared here.
Lynette looked up and nodded. "Everyday. Just like old times, when we would meet here with the moon at the highest point in the sky. I would come, always dreaming you'd be here, ready to gaze at the stars on a clear summer's day, or chase after the floating drops of snow in the winter. Eventually, though, that hope turned to realization: you weren't coming back."
"But I have," he said, spreading out his hands. "I've come back."
"Why?" she asked suddenly.
"Why did I come back?" he asked her. "Well, because I -"
"No. Why did you leave?" she said, finally allowing him to see the hurt and pain in her eyes.
"Oh, Lynette," he breathed as his heart broke at the sight of her held back tears. He slowly dropped himself to the ground and she followed, sitting neatly, staring at him with big brown eyes.
"After Father died, Mama couldn't take care of the farm and the family all alone. So I helped her, after all that's what was expected of me since I became the man of the household," he said sarcastically. "I sacrificed so much for her. And she just turned to her beer, feeling there was no hope, and nothing left to live for. Jackson and Clayton tried to help, but they were still young, and Chloe, Lewis and Sarah were just babies still. We started running out of money fast. I'd heard about a coal-mining job up north, so I went up there and worked, sending my earnings back home. They paid well, but the work was hard and board was terrible. I finally decided I needed to come back, and this was the first place I came, not knowing that you would come."
"Why didn't you come to say goodbye?" Lynette asked, taking a deep, calming breath.
"I didn't want to see the hurt in your eyes," he said, looking away. "I didn't want to leave you here."
"Do you have any idea what I've been through? I had no idea where you went except what I heard through the town grapevine."
"I'm sorry," he said earnestly, looking back up into her eyes. "I didn't want to go, but I had to."
"Why couldn't you have worked in town?" she cried out, frantically wiping away tears. "That's so much closer and you needn't have left!"
"Don't you see Lynette?!" he lashed out. "I needed to get away. I needed to get away from Mama and the farm!"
She drew back from him with a frightened look on her face.
Instant guilt flooded his conscious. He hesitantly stretched out his shaking hand to her face and silently wiped away a single tear. Her eyes fluttered closed, savoring the feel of his touch. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "You were the only thing I missed while I was gone."
Lynette opened her eyes and wondered at the heartfelt gaze of his grey eyes.
He looked away and watched the black sky moving silently above. "Do you remember when it used to rain? How we would go chasing after the falling drops and let them splash against our faces. We would see who could catch the most in their mouth, and drink the cool, clean water."
"No, Michael. I don't remember the taste of cool water. It's been so long. I-"
"Shh," he whispered, putting a finger to her lips. He tilted her chin up so her eyes met his. He kissed her softly on the lips; a sweet kiss with loveliness that left them both feeling like they were missing something when they broke apart.
Lynette jumped, startled, as something cold and wet hit her skin. They looked up and heard a roll of thunder as more rain began to spill from the heavens. She closed her eyes allowing it to fall on her face.
Michael gave a triumphant laugh and hugged her close to his chest.
The rain fell for days and washed away the dry, brown dirt, and grew in its place, lush, green grass. The stench of death and decay was swept away and new life came to bring joy to all. Flowers grew, crops survived, and people rejoiced. But there were two people too busy catching raindrops on their tongues and laughing to notice.