The Rain Game

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
"Our generation is full of spoiled kids who have nothing to fight for, nothing to live for, and nothing to do but sit around and imagine some great pain. Then we take Prozac to get through all this imagined pain and depression, which is probably simple boredom."

Submitted: July 20, 2017

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Submitted: July 20, 2017

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Shawna Van Arum

The Rain Game (2001)

"Our generation is full of spoiled kids who have nothing to fight for, nothing to live for, and nothing to do but sit around and imagine some great pain. Then we take Prozac to get through all this imagined pain and depression, which is probably simple boredom."

I sit in front of the open door. The rain pours down, splashes off the wood balcony onto the tan carpet. Aromas of Incense and fresh rain saturate the air. The only light is from the streetlight outside and the blue glow from my fish tank. The young man next to me, with over-grown sideburns, rants obsessively about not wanting commitment.

"I feel like I have to be alone for a while to find myself. You know, figure out who I am," he whispers.

Although I understand his point, most of what he is saying sounds like lies. The back of my throat burns and I realize I'm not the first one to hear this after having sex with him.

"...and I'm having a hard time getting over my last girlfriend. You remind me so much of her." 

As he talks, I see he's afraid I'm going to fall in love and strangle him with relationship expectations. Actually, I wish to God he would leave! Pick up his clothes, throw them on, and get the hell out of here.

Don't get me wrong. It was quenching to be touched by a man again. His hands felt so warm on the small of my back as he flexed his muscles, pulling me closer. His chest pushed tight against mine as I laced my fingers behind his neck. My heart thumped heavy and I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I wanted to savor that feeling of jittery primal emotion. How pathetic of me to enjoy this meaningless hug from this meaningless man. It made me realize how long it had been since I let another person touch me.

I should have stopped at the hug and kept the vows I made to myself after my divorce. I planned to avoid men. I buried myself in a mountain of work at the office. I bought a dog and spoiled him. I planted a garden, painted the kitchen, and read cheap romance novels. However, the long evenings I dreaded cooking for one,the silence the fresh coats of paint failed to hide, and the relentless agony of not having anyone to laugh at sitcoms with got the best of me. I didn't stand a chance. I decided to allow myself a little slip. A one night stand meant an instant friend who can disappear quickly, leaving me feeling refreshed in my solitary lifestyle.

The sex turned out to be clumsy, quick, and it resembled having an out-of-body experience. Inside, I cried like a regretful virgin. The flaws to my master plan lay naked. I'm not going to get a 15-minute miracle cure from a one night stand, anymore than I did from buying the dog.

This symbol of my failure chats continuously as I focus on wanting him to leave. Every word from his mouth sends disgust through my body. My frustration struggles to boil over. I feel heat rising to my eyeballs, evolving into anger.

I watch the rain get caught in the tiny holes on the metal screen door. They linger for a short eternity then wink at me and disappear. I want to stand in the rain, face up and mouth open. The water would fill my mouth and chill my teeth, cleansing my face of all the pretty painted colors, and strip away everything but me.

"I'm gonna be real busy with class and the band for a while. I'm moving soon anyway. Besides, I just don't need anymore pain in my life," he continues.

I feel he wants to leave but is imprisoned by guilt. I guess he's not so good at the "Wham bam...thank you, Ma'am" either.

"I've hurt too much in my life," he pouts.

It's bad enough I have to dwell on how this experience isn't going to help me but to do it while he sits here tortured by his own hang ups is more than I can handle. The rising heat inside of me peaks and excretes all over the room.

"Do you realize how weak I'd appear if I unveiled my pain? I read the other day 'Pain is weakness leaving the body.' It reflects on emotional pain as well as physical," I choke, afraid that at any moment I will burst, either into flames or tears.

"Oh yeah?" He asked, with a smirk that drove me to the "burst into flames" option.

"Yeah, and I'm so sick of hearing all the complaining of pain and misery. Our generation is full of spoiled kids who have nothing to fight for, nothing to live for, and nothing to do but sit around and imagine some great pain. Then we take Prozac to get through all this imagined pain and depression, which is probably simple boredom. I've endured real pain. I'm not compelled to tell anyone about it though. Otherwise, I might be considered another bored youth from a nothing city with a nothing frown. My theory is, if you choose, pain can make you stronger. It makes it a little easier to say 'fuck you' to the world, not 'look at me I need sympathy and medication'."

"So what GREAT pain have YOU suffered? All wise and knowing one?" he asked raising his voice.

"Fuck you. I said I don't talk about it."

I gaze out the door again and watch a fragile woman jump out of a Cadillac and pop her umbrella open. She takes five steps to the door of her house and goes in. I don't own an umbrella. Do some people go their whole lives without feeling a drop of rain?

I turn, he is dressed and leaves making ridiculous promises to call.

It's refreshing to sit and enjoy the rain sometimes. Leave the door open, get the carpet wet, as you watch the rain wink at you in the screen and feel something beyond what you've been told to. Remember the sound of the rain. Close your eyes and listen to the rain slapping the perfect little sidewalks.


© Copyright 2017 Shawna Van Arum. All rights reserved.

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