A new beginning…
Thick gloominess hung heavy in the late afternoon air, shadowing her own ominous mood. The dark dismal gray blanket of clouds foretold the storm that would soon release overhead.
Leslie tilted her head back and inhaled the musky aroma of humidity. The scent clung to the inside of her nose.
A flash of lightening lit the dark bleakness around her. For that brief moment life inside her sparked, lighting the darkness wrapped around her heart causing it to pound strongly in her chest. But the moment ceased when the crack and boom of thunder fizzled and extinguished the flicker.
She grasped within herself, struggling to hold onto that tiny little spark. But she couldn’t hold onto it. It was gone—forever evasive.
She was pitiful. How long would she mourn the loss of her husband?
Two years, three months and eight days since his tragic death and still she mourned. Not just by avoiding men who sought to take her out for an evening date, but life. She closed herself up in a world away from the world.
She died that day, too. Maybe not physically, but mentally. Her heart still beat, her lungs still filled with air. Inside, beneath all the layers of herself, her soul rested in deep slumber, leaving her numb and dead.
The first drop of rain landed on her arm, followed by another and another until the heavens opened wide and spilled down in thick torrents.
This became a ritual of sorts since last summer. She’d hoped that one day if she sat in the downpour of water it would wash away the loneliness that consumed her day after day. She sat hoping, praying, this time would cleanse away the shadows dwelling inside her.
An hour passed, and the rain lessened. The clouds lightened and dissipated. Blue sky broke through and the sun’s rays shone down, twinkling in the rain drops that clung to leaves and grass.
Life around her awakened as the sun brightened the earth, transforming nature into vivid hues, yet she still remained lifeless.
Drawing in a deep breath, she looked up to the sky. Her breath caught in her lungs. She closed her eyes and slowly opened them again. A small smile curved her lips. A shiver passed through her and the hairs at the nape of her neck stood to attention.
A beautiful, intense rainbow arched majestically before her. A sign, she mused. Her eyes followed the arc of brilliant colors from one end to the other. Just out of her field of focus something caught her eye—another rainbow, dimmer, a reflection of the other.
For the first time in a very long time, her belly stirred as a seedling of hope planted itself in the thick darkness inside.
Her cell phone rang and the mechanical, man-made sound startled her. Grabbing her bag from under the shelter of the bench, she reached inside and checked who the caller was. “Hello.”
“You’re soaked, aren’t you?” came the familiar voice on the other end.
“You know me too well. I’m surprised you still give a damn.”
“As if I could ever not give a damn. You’re my sister, and I love you,” Megan replied, trying to stay casual, but Leslie noted her concern drifting through the connection in the quiet tone of her voice.
A long pregnant pause followed.
“Listen, Leelee, I’ve mentioned it before, and I really think you should reconsider taking a weekend trip to Lily Dale. It may do you some good. The summer season will start soon. I could go with you, if you like.”
Megan embraced the psychic and spiritual lifestyle. She claimed it cleansed her soul. Leslie couldn’t argue the fact that Megan always did seem happy, lighthearted, calm and at ease within herself and her surroundings. Leslie felt that way too once. Up until two years, three months and seven days ago, that is. However, the very next day her world shattered.
Now, nearing her thirty second birthday, she felt as though her life were in shambles—lost, unable to get a grip.
She looked back to the double rainbow. A sort of resoluteness passed through her. “Maybe you’re right, Megan. I’ll look into it when I get home.”
“That’s wonderful. Oh, that’s wonderful.”
Leslie laughed. “You sound so relieved. Did you think I would argue?”
“Not exactly argue, but you did when I mentioned this last summer.”
“I wasn’t ready then.”
“And you’re ready now? Your rain cleansing must have finally worked.” Megan teased.
“Yeah, I think it finally did.” She nodded her head, emphasizing her resolve. “Yeah, I’m ready now. It’s been long enough. I need to find a way to move past this. But I think I need to do this on my own.”
“Okay, Leelee. I’ll send you some links. Check your email when you get home.”
“All right. Bye.”
Leslie clicked her phone shut and placed it back in her bag. She stood, water dripping from her clothing and hair as she walked to her car. She pulled out a towel, one of many she kept in the trunk for moments like this one, and dried off.
Over two years of mourning, she needed to move on, find some peace within herself. She had a lot of life yet to live, and if Charlie were still here, he would no doubt be disappointed with her.
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