Title: Stop The Rain

Rating: T, for a little language.

Disclaimer: I was listening to Travis' "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?" and I came up with the idea of this short story. The italics are lyrics I borrowed from them for this. I do not own those so don't steal them either. I didn't really have to come up with much of the story because it's partly a true story. I'm using my old characters Sarah Elizabeth and Andrew in it, and they belong to me, as well as the plot line. NO STEALING. If you ask nicely, I'll think about letting you borrow.

A small dedication: To Chris, as most things I've posted lately because she's been such an inspiration for me to start writing again, despite the fact that I should be doing my PowerPoint on Ansel Adams at the moment rather than writing for pleasure, or writing at least one of my six papers that are due in 2 weeks. And a thanks to fivedollarshake/mattsgirl for the beta help! Girl you've got to promise not to disappear for so long anymore!

AN:FP would not allow me to do my normal page breaking so I had to use their page break inserter, I apologize for any confusion, but I'm thinking it should not be too hard to find your way through it.

On to the story!

She got her best inspiration when it was raining out, or when she was depressed and she felt like she had a large black rain cloud above her head. Tonight she lay in bed…feeling particularly guilty. Suddenly she sprang from her reclined position and reached for the pad and paper she kept in the drawer of her mahogany nightstand. Writing out her feelings always seemed to help her. She began to write lines, and the lines became verses. This was her lyrical poetry that could double as a song any time she wished it, or so she hoped. She had little musical talents to her name, and the musicians she knew wouldn't be interested in the type of music she had in mind. Even though she kept telling them they could add bits to her lyrics to make them more worthy for the band. So far no one had bitten on the offer. She always wrote for herself first, and then if anyone else liked it, it was his or her decision. She hadn't gotten negative criticism over the years, but that could mean that those who didn't like her work just never bothered to tell her. And she didn't care.

She always started out her poem telling her location, or her situation.

'Why should this time be any different?'

I can't sleep tonight

Everybody's saying everything is alright

Still I can't close my eyes

I'm seeing a tunnel at the end of all these lights

Sunny days where have you gone?

I get the strangest feeling you belong

She always felt like the sunny days she used to have in her life needed to come back. She felt like the gloom was wrong, that there was something more to life than feeling like the end of the day was the end of the world. She used to feel that way. It all stemmed from one event in her life. It plagued her so much now because of a more recent event.

'Why does this plague me?'

Why does it always rain on me?

Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?

Why does it always rain on me?

Even when the sun is shining

I can't escape the lightning.

Ever since the day over Thanksgiving break nearly four years ago when she hadn't come home one night, she'd felt miserable.

/Flashback/

Sarah was laying on the couch napping. It was around 4 in the afternoon. She heard her mother come home from work, so she turned on the TV and continued to lie there, pretending to watch it.

When her mother came up the stairs, she was hit with an explosion.

"WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU LAST NIGHT???" her mother screamed as she slammed the door. 'Oh fuck….'

Sarah had a remotely blank look on her face; merely for the fact that her mother had so frightened her she could barely think.

"You didn't come home last night." 'groan…'

"I know. I was helping James paint his apartment. You knew that."

"DID YOU SLEEP WITH HIM??" Her mother faced her in a very accusatory way, as if she didn't trust her daughter one bit.

"MOM!" Sarah screamed back. "We were painting and watching movies, by the time the second movie was over, it was almost 2 am. It was pouring down rain and James asked me if I would stay, because he didn't want me to get in an accident on the way home. NOTHING HAPPENED."

"I WAITED UP ALL NIGHT FOR YOU, AND WHEN YOU WEREN'T HOME WHEN I WENT TO WORK I GOT WORRIED."

"Sheesh, ok mom, nothing happened. James is just a friend, you know that too!"

"But he's a boy, and older boy." He was only 6 years older than she was, and they'd known each other for the better part of the last 8 years.

Sarah rolled her eyes, rolled over on the couch and blankly stared at the TV, hoping that would be the end of it. She had lied to her mother with something big for the first time in her life.

/End Flashback/

James was her friend, so she hadn't regretted it. But she should have. She found out that they had both liked each other, which she'd already known, but she also found out that she wasn't the only one he had on his menu. Even though he liked her, he wouldn't give up the others for just her. She was crushed the day she found out, she had been disillusioned, but she still didn't regret what she'd done. After that day, the rain cloud grew bigger and lying to her mother was a bigger regret. James and Sarah still spoke to each other, and hung out on occasion, until he went to boot camp and into the military. He said he'd always wanted to fly planes, and now he was. Since then Sarah's scene had changed. She found new friends completely different than James. Some of them she'd already known from high school theatre. They'd worked closely with each other throughout high school, but had never become friends until the end of their senior year. Strangely enough, they were all male. She made sure they didn't get into too much trouble, and they made sure she had somewhere to spend her weekends. Whether that was Andrew's basement, or the local pub in Shepherdstown that was across the street from the college most of her friends went to.

She furiously wrote the next part after thinking about it for the longest time.

I can't stand myself

I'm being held up by invisible men

Still life on a shelf when

I've got my mind on something else

Sunny days, oh where have you gone?

I get the strangest feeling you belong.

Why does it always rain on me?

Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?

Why does it always rain on me?

Even when the sun is shining

I can't escape the lightning.

Sarah needed something to fill her Saturdays, morning to night, and her Sunday afternoons while her mother worked. She came home from school on the weekends to spend time with her mother. She'd recently gotten her mother a cat, for the company Sarah knew she needed. Her mother would call her and complain about the cat getting on the counter, or eating her plant, or knocking things over, but she knew her mother needed some company during the week when she was gone.

Sarah began crying as she thought about why she was writing this. Her fleeting moment of happiness thinking about her friends had passed.

Oh where did the blue sky go? Oh why is it raining so?

It's so cold.

She couldn't write anymore, she decided just to repeat the first verse as the third and call it quits. She knew this was the most emotional poem she'd written. Everything was not alright in Sarah's world, and she was tired of everyone telling her that it was. She'd realized her mother's mortality, even if her mother hadn't. She wouldn't let herself become aware of the disease's stronghold on her, but Sarah noticed it every weekend. Her mother's mind was weakening at the debilitating symptoms of the disease; they made her so frustrated. Her body was weakening too. Secretly Sarah wondered if it was because she'd lied that day that her world was crumbling. That tunnel she'd written about…was her mother's.

I can't sleep tonight

Everybody's saying everything is alright

Still I can't close my eyes

I'm seeing a tunnel at the end of all these lights

Sunny days where have you gone?

I get the strangest feeling you belong

Why does it always rain on me?

Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?

Why does it always rain on me?

Even when the sun is shining

I can't escape the lightning.

She was crying again, trying to be as quiet as she could so she wouldn't wake her mother. Many nights her mother found her sleepless, writing, working on the computer, or reading. She always worried Sarah wasn't sleeping enough. It was nearly five in the morning. She scribbled the last bits of her poem down before she lay back exhausted.

Oh where did the blue sky go?

Oh why is it raining so?

It's so cold.

Why does it always rain on me?

Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?

Why does it always rain on me?

Even when the sun is shining

I can't escape the lightning.

She was woken the next morning by a gentle nudge. She rolled over to see Andrew sitting on the edge of the bed looking at her notebook, and her bedroom window wide open, curtains blowing in the light breeze.

"Andrew, mom's not home you could have come in the front." She told him.

"Nah, it was locked. I guess your mom knew you wouldn't be awake before 11."

"Is it 11 already?"

"Nope, 10:30, but you'd still be asleep if I hadn't come over."

She mock smacked him; he gave her a warning look then tickled her sides. She giggled then quickly realized she was still in pajamas. She jumped up and ran to the bathroom.

"What's the matter?"

"Andrew, I'm in my pjs!"

"Yeah, but you look hot in them."

"Shut up…just let me change." She hopped in the shower quickly and rinsed off. About ten minutes later she emerged, dressed khaki Capri's and a lavender fitted polo shirt. She pulled back her long brown hair and sat back on the bed, then he asked her.

"Hey Sarah, what's this?" He motioned to the pad where she'd written the poem the night before.

"Its just a stupid poem."

He moved from her bed to the piano she had in the corner of her room. She used to try to teach herself to play, but gave up and used it for tuning her flute. He put the pad on the stand.

"It would be an awesome song."

"Yeah, maybe…"

He started banging out some simple chords and singing the first bits. He stopped and looked at her with a huge grin.

"This is wonderful. It just needs a few adjustments and it could be a hit song."

"Haha, don't joke me. It's not that good."

"Lemme take it to the guys, I promise we won't change a whole lot. When we get it together, you can come hear it."

"I guess." She said mundanely. She'd always wanted this to happen, but she didn't want to show it.

He jumped up and kissed her cheek and flew back out the window to take his new find to the guys. He called her that Wednesday to tell her they had a gig at the same old pub that Saturday night. He said they'd play the new song. He told her all the guys had loved it. She wanted to hear it, but he promised her they hadn't changed much, and she could hear it at the gig. In fact, he told her, the only thing they had changed was one word in the chorus. It now read, "I can't avoid the lightning," as opposed to escape. He was the one she told every secret and all her problems to, so she trusted him to tell the truth.

That Saturday he climbed her window again nearly dragged her down the ladder outside. Ironically, it was rainy so she'd chosen jeans and a long sleeve tee from her college. She threw her shoes on and pulled Andrew down the stairs and out the front door, making sure to lock both her window and the door before she left. Andrew threw her a hoodie and she put it on before sliding into his car. This time it was his Brand New hoodie. He alternated between this one and one or two of his other band hoodies, but he knew this was her favorite. It was her favorite band besides them. This was their routine. If it was cold, he brought an extra hoodie for her, they'd ride to his house, load up the equipment and then go on to the gig with the rest of the band. She gave his hand a squeeze and smiled at him as they drove down the road. He smiled back at her, his blue eyes shining with pride. They were 22 years old, and for him, nothing could be better in his life, except getting the band signed.


Andrew had announced that they were going to do a brand new song that evening, along with the usual set of a few originals and a few covers. Most of the crowd had been cheering for it, but a few looked like they'd rather not hear it. He ran a hand thoughtfully through his dirty blonde hair. He was hoping that by the end that everyone would love it as much as he did.

"The lyrics were written by one of my good friends Sarah Elizabeth. She's sitting at the bar tonight. This will be the first time she's heard her song, so she's in the same boat as all of you. Let's give her a round of applause for giving us this song." He and the band started clapping, and the crowd joined in, many turning to look at her.

She hid in the oversized hoodie, waiting for the band to start. She was awed with the sound. She never imagined one of her songs/poems could sound so good set to music.

Why does it always rain on me?

Is it because I lied when I was seventeen?

Why does it always rain on me?

Even when the sun is shining

I can't escape the lightning.

Why does it always rain on me?

Why does it always rain on…on

The only other thing they had changed was the last two lines of the song, and they had added those. She was in tears by the end of the song. Everyone was clapping and whistling and it made her feel good. She waited for the end of the set before rushing up to Andrew and throwing her arms around him.

"That was beautiful Andrew."

"It's only because it was written by a beautiful person Sarah." He paused before continuing softly, "I know what the song means."

She sort of hung her head; she knew he would realize it.

"I never knew that had happened with James. You'd told me that you grew apart when he left for boot camp. What really happened?"

She looked up at him and locked her brown eyes in a gaze with his, "He wouldn't give up his other women for me; he used me."

He hugged her tighter, then handed her a piece of paper.

"What's this?"

"It's music for you."

"Why?"

"It's for your flute. The next show we want you to play this song with us."

"But Andrew, I'm a ballet dancer, not a musician, and there's no place for a flute in a band like this."

"You are both, and that's why we're an indie band. Tell me you'll play it with us?"

"I'll give it a try." She told him sincerely.

He kissed her firmly on her lips, and though she was surprised, she didn't pull away. He held her arm after he broke the kiss.

"Invite your mom to the next show. Tell her you are in it, and we're playing your song. You need to put this to rest. Oh, and you got any more songs for us?"

She laughed at him and nodded.


Her mother was present for the next show. She was proud that her daughter had finally been recognized for her writing skills, even though they turned out to be musical. As the song ended she felt a little disappointed in her daughter, but proud of her at the same time. She looked so happy up there, and she hadn't seen her daughter that happy in four years.

She hugged her daughter when she came off the stage. Sarah whispered her apologies to her mother as she hugged her back. Andrew came up behind them and wrapped his arm around Sarah.

"That was wonderful Andrew." Her mother told him.

"Only because of your daughter, we want her as a permanent addition." He beamed.

"You're good for Sarah, Andrew; take good care of her when I'm gone."

Andrew promised he would, knowing the implications of the statement, as he pulled Sarah closer to him. Unbeknownst to them both, that day would be sooner than they ever imagined.

When the day came, no one had expected it. They were playing a good two hours away from home that night. They finished the last set and started packing up when Sarah noticed she had a voicemail on her phone. She listened to it and Andrew noticed her strange face. She rushed off leaving the band cleaning up, suddenly glad she'd brought her own car to this gig; she'd spent the day in the town shopping for her mother's birthday, and had packed her equipment and some of the band's in her car. She'd insisted on making things easier on the band tonight, knowing full well all the equipment could fit in the van.

Sarah completely secluded herself, taking a hiatus from the band. She accepted no visitors, and even blocked out Andrew when he tried to get in, from either the front door or her window. She didn't tell him what happened, he'd found out from someone else entirely. She wouldn't answer the phone, or even talk to the few family members she had left. She was so devastated that she had just finally told her mother the truth, and made amends with her, and then all of a sudden she was lost, gone. So devastated was she that she couldn't even find the energy to write a song out of her troubles this time.


The day came for the funeral. Sarah dragged herself from her bed. She was moving in slow motion today, dreading saying that final goodbye. She left the house and walked slowly down the street, there was to be no memorial or viewing, as Sarah wanted her mother to be at peace as quickly as possible. There was no open announcement about the interment, as she wanted to attend as alone as possible. Some family of course was arriving for the event, and some of her mother's friends, but Sarah wished the other onlookers who just wanted to attend for the fun of it, or those she would rather not see, like the band, would not show up.

When the small graveside service had ended, all the other attendees had dispersed; giving Sarah the time she needed to be alone with her mother. She was glad she hadn't spotted Andrew or anyone else her age that she spent time with. Hopefully, she thought, Andrew had gotten the message to just leave her alone.

While she was thinking about memories of her mother, she felt a hand slide over her shoulder. So deep in contemplation she was that she never heard Andrew walk up behind her, emerging from his viewing space very near a huge tree on a small hill overlooking the site. He had known Sarah didn't want him there, but he'd made a promise to her mother those months ago, and he intended to keep it.

She looked up to see Andrew there, and all she could do was bury her head in his chest and start to cry. She wanted to push him away, she wanted him to leave, but she finally admitted to herself that she had missed him, and that she needed him.

"Sarah, your mother is proud of you." He said softly. "She never imagined that you would be a rockstar," he joked, "but she is proud of you for no matter what choice you make. And if it's a wrong one, then she's proud of the lesson you learn from that mistake."

Sarah nodded softly and Andrew continued.

"She'll always love you Sar-bear, and all she ever wanted for you was for you to be happy. She saw you happy for the first time in years just before she died, and she died at peace with that. I know it's going to be hard for you babe, but you have to move on. Come back to the band, do something that will keep you from dwelling on this. We all miss you, we need you. We suck without you to tell us the emotion you meant in the lyrics, and without your flute to soften our roughness. The fans are sick of us doing all the old songs, they want your songs." He ran his fingers through her long blonde locks, holding her to his chest, comforting her as she cried in his arms.


By the spring, the new song was such a craze that a recording studio in the area approached the band. Though it was a small studio, they offered to help them make a demo album. The demo album was sent to major recording studios, with Sarah's hit song smack in the center of the album, and it wasn't long before they were signed. They started touring the local scene soon after the semester ended. After the apology song to her mother, Sarah's rain cloud disappeared. She had everything she ever wanted, except her mother. Though it was hard, she lived for the moment, and for her mother's memory.