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When the Rain Stops. (standard:drama, 2999 words)
Author: NothingmanAdded: Apr 07 2002Views/Reads: 3137/2159Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
An emotional story of a young mans struggle to come to terms with the death of his father.


I'm cold. Inside and out. I think it's raining, but it may just be my
skin tingling. My hands are numb. I shove them into my pockets hoping 
to feel some warmth. But there is none. It's going to be that way for a 
long time now, maybe forever. The priest's words are lost in my head. 
Something about everlasting life, in the kingdom of God. Watching over 
us for the rest of our lives. But they're just words, euphemisms. Does 
he really believe that or just doing his job? Saying what he has said 
many times before. Maybe he's saying the same thing he said at some 
other funeral. He probably has certain speeches he uses depending on 
whether it's a mother, father, sister or brother lying in the box in 
the ground. The coffin is lowered as the muffled sound of tears 
increase. A tear runs down my cheek or maybe it's rain; I can't tell. I 
can't feel, can't think. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust." The gathering 
starts to break up. People stagger off arm in arm. Black shadows 
wandering back to now darker lives. Mum squeezes my hand as Uncle Dan 
helps her up. She wants me to come but I resist and let go. I remain in 
my seat alone. Alone in the present and future. Alone in my head. So 
alone. Finally, I get up and stagger over to the mound, placing my hand 
on the wet earth. Hoping to feel his warmth, his love. I try to picture 
him in my head as my body starts to tremble. I clutch the dirt in my 
hand and realise the agonising truth for the first time. The 
inescapable truth that makes my body feel like it will tear apart. ‘Oh 
God, Dad's dead'. 

Sitting in the TV room watching Bewitched, I touch my eye. It's really
swollen and barely open. It hurts so I try to focus on the television. 
Mum's in the kitchen making dinner. The smell drifts from the kitchen 
and seems to lessen the pain in my eye. 

A flash of lights comes through the window, slowly moves up the wall to
the ceiling, then disappears. Dad's home. The sound of the car door and 
then Dad's footsteps. He opens the door, looks at me and smiles. Mum 
greets him at the door and they kiss, then disappear into the kitchen. 
I pull at the blanket over my legs as Dad reappears and walks over and 
sits next to me. He pats my leg with his strong workingman hand. 
"That's a pretty good shiner you got there." I smile and nod my head. I 
don't know what to say, I feel kind of ashamed. "Sorry," is all I can 
manage. Dad laughs as Mum enters the room. "There will always be 
bullies." "Yeah." Mum kneels in front of me. "Hungry?" she says in her 
tender voice. "I'm going to call the school tomorrow morning." The 
phone rings and Mum gets up to answer it. Dad looks me in the eye "Do 
you want your mother to call the school?" I shrug my shoulders, 
"Dunno." He looks up at the TV and then back to me. "You know some 
people say you have to stand up to bullies. Some say ignore them. But 
you know what? There's nothing wrong with getting hit by a bully as 
long as you get back up. You don't have to fight them, you don't have 
to beat them. Just don't let them beat you. You know what I mean?" I 
nod and grin. "Okay then. How about some dinner?" I nod again. Dad 
ruffles my hair and gets up and heads off to the kitchen. My eye still 
hurts but not in the same way. 

The car ride home is long and silent. I'm still cold, so cold. I feel
numb, trying to keep a clear thought in my head but I can't. Mum's in 
the front seat staring out of the side window. I can't see her face; I 
wonder what she's thinking. How she feels. Time seems to be going in 
slow motion. If only it was the other way, if only it was going 
backwards. I begin to get flashes of my father's face and for a few 
seconds everything is clear and then I realise I'll never see him 
again. That's when my body goes haywire. My eyes fill with salty tears 
and my mind rushes forward, backwards and sideways all at once. Anxiety 
and fear wash over me in a tremendous wave. And then slowly disperses 
and a cloud of confusion sets back in. I remember when I was young and 
I would get lost in a crowded shopping centre. One minute you're safe 
and happy, your hand firmly in the grasp of your father's. Then a few 
seconds later it's all gone. Surrounded by strangers, your heart thumps 
and your pulse races. You run around frantically looking for your Dad, 
screaming his name as figures look down at you offering help. And just 
when you're about to lose it, you're suddenly lifted up and you're safe 
again in your father's arms. I'm in that shopping centre again, 
running, desperate. But this time it's different. This time I know I'm 
lost forever. 

"Ah shit." "What? What's wrong?" "The spanner slipped and I cut the back

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