And Rain Will Make The Flowers Grow

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
Because, while rain can come in the form of a bad storm, something angry and unforgiving, it can also be light and lovely. Sometimes, it's a good kind of rain, the kind where you can turn your face up to the sky and dance, carefree, like nothing can hurt you.

Submitted: July 15, 2012

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Submitted: July 15, 2012

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Ellie likes the rain. She shouldn’t, because every bad thing that happens to her happens in the rain. Her mom left her during a rainstorm. Her dad died during a thunderstorm. Fitting, no one could hear her crying. Now that she lives with her aunt and uncle, it doesn’t rain. Maybe that’s why she loves it so much, the rain. Maybe it reminds her of times when she was happy, times when she wasn’t alone. That’s all she really feels now, alone. And it’s not even because she isn’t with her parents anymore. No, it’s because it doesn’t rain in sunny California.

Ellie is like the rain. When it rains, the sky is gray, sometimes black. When it rains, the trees and grass and flowers are momentarily flattened. Ellie is so quiet, so sad that she is the human equivalent of grey-black storm clouds. Heavy, almost suffocating. But, that works, because what does she feel most of the time? Flat. Like the trees and the grass and the plants.

Yet, Ellie still likes the rain. Because, while rain can come in the form of a bad storm, something angry and unforgiving, it can also be light and lovely. Sometimes, it’s a good kind of rain, the kind where you can turn your face to the sky and dance, carefree like nothing can hurt you.

Ellie loves the rain.

- - - - - - - - - -

It is raining the day Ellie realizes people don’t understand her. Her school is full of happy, smiling, bouncy people that she can’t relate to. She is quiet, forlorn and whatever the opposite of bouncy is. She hates bouncy people. And, it seems to Ellie, that the bouncy people hate her too. They hate the sadness that she carries with her, and the quietness that she can’t leave behind.

For the life of her, Ellie can’t understand why people are so happy and loud all the time. She doesn’t think that they should be upset because she is, oh no. She just doesn’t understand how their lives are so perfect, how they don’t have one bad thing to frown about.

And then she gets poetic, because she thinks that a little fall of rain can’t hurt them.

- - - - - - - - - -

It is raining the day Ellie falls in love. His name is Austin and he is nothing short of wonderful. Austin is nothing like the rain. He is the sun. He is bright, painfully so, in every way. He smiles at Ellie like she is perfect and that is the biggest reason Ellie loves him.

Austin loves Ellie, too. He tells her all the time that she is nothing like a rain storm. He believes that Ellie is the sun, too. Like him. (That’s the biggest reason Ellie doesn’t love him, though. She doesn’t want to be like the sun.) She warms his heart, so much so that he gets scared. Scared of the sun in Ellie. And because he is scared of the sun in her, he is scared of the rain in her, too.

- - - - - - - - - -

So, it is raining on the day that Austin breaks Ellie’s heart. In a twisted way, it’s perfect, really. At least to Ellie. The rain isn’t calm enough to dance in, but not heavy enough to be considered a storm. Ellie is confused, just like the rain.

But still, Ellie likes the rain. She can still relate to it, and now she has something to think about every time it rains. Because that is better, she thinks. She’d rather think of something, than stare mindlessly at the clouds she relates so much to.

It stops raining for a long time in Arizona, after Hurricane Austin. During the dry spell, Ellie doesn’t feel much. She doesn’t want to. Why should she? She was hurt too many times in her life to really want to do much of anything.

- - - - - - - - - -

It is raining the day Ellie runs away. She writes a lengthy note, explaining everything. Her feelings, her reasons for leaving and exactly where she’s going. (She has to defend herself to at least one person about why she left. She leaves the note on his doorstep, a final goodbye. He won’t want to look for her, anyway.)

 She wants to go somewhere where she can see the beach. She figures that if she is anything like the rain, then she should be exactly like the ocean on a stormy day.

She is.

The churning in her stomach matches the churning of the waves. The crashing of the water on the sand is just loud enough to drown out her screaming brain. Her thoughts crash into each other and run away and no matter how many times she tries, she can’t catch them.

Ellie thinks of the note she left. There was a little storm doodled in one corner and her tears dotted the page like raindrops on the pavement.

It’s stupid, she thinks. I’m stupid.

Why did she have to write the note to Austin, of all people? Maybe because she knows that he is the only one who can truly understand what is hurting her so much.

She throws a rock at the waves. If she is being honest with herself, she knows she wants to be like the rock, sinking down to the ocean floor, submerged in water. Water, which was the one thing Ellie could really love, the only she could really understand.

If she’s lying, she hates the ocean. It’s nothing like her and she doesn’t want to drown in it. Ellie hates lying.

- - - - - - - - - -

It is drizzling the day Austin watches Ellie dance on the beach. She spreads her arms wide and turns her head up to the sky. She loves the rain, he can tell. It takes him a moment to figure out why.

When it’s raining, Ellie, for some reason, is free. She can scream and cry with the thunder and no one will hear her. She can smile in the mist of a left over storm and let her heart beat with no worries, because the worst of the storm is finally over.

He truly understands, then, why she is like the rain. He can’t relate to it and he can’t say he agrees with her feelings, but he gets it.

It takes a while for Austin to do something. He had followed her here, so he might as well try to comfort her, right? He walks up behind her, the raindrops falling down his face, gently touches her shoulder, and mutters two simple words:

“I understand.”

- - - - - - - - - -

Ellie loves the rain.


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