A Rainy Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

The effect a rainy day has on different people and their life styles.

 

A RAINY DAY

 

“And now for the weather report,” the weather announcer declared, turning her face to the map of the country. “For the next twenty-four hours, the rainfall will be what normally falls in a month. Flood warnings have been posted in the areas that are more likely to receive the majority of the water.” Flora Watson, the weather girl, now pointed to another map that showed the areas where floods were to be expected. She smiled and signed off.

 

Ken and Glenda Sharpe were a retired couple who lived in a time capsule, psychologically speaking. They got up at the same time every day of the year - come rain or shine. The morning that the deluge was announced, they woke up and stretched for a few minutes, and then rather reluctantly got out of bed. Ken went over to the window that looked out onto the street, and said in a rather flat voice, “It’s pouring! Well, there’s enough water running down the window panes to put me off going out till it stops.” He clomped his way out of the bedroom and into the bathroom, where he showered, dressed, and shaved. His ablutions over, he returned to the bedroom where Glenda, his wife for forty years, was sorting out her clothes for the day. She had already made the bed, and was just sitting waiting for Ken to go downstairs.

Ken warned her, “Don’t look out of the window. It’ll break your heart. Another bad day for the country at large, I shouldn’t wonder. See you downstairs in a minute, what would you like for breakfast?”

“It’s all right, I’ll do it myself, it looks like we’ll have another long day in front of the television or the ipad. So I need to do something,” Glenda said in response.

Ken walked downstairs and into the kitchen, where he was unable to hide from the sight of the rainy garden. He put the kettle on, and got out all he needed to make himself a full English, which was quite ridiculous as he wasn’t going anywhere to use up all the calories the breakfast would give him. He put everything out on the table, and waited for the kettle to boil, and the eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, to fry. The toaster shot out two pieces of golden-coloured toast. Ken loved breakfast, and he began with cereal, before tucking into his fry up, and then toast with marmalade. By the time Glenda walked into the kitchen, Ken was busy washing up his crockery and cutlery and the teapot. He then went into the dining-room and switched on his computer. Glenda made herself a cup of ginger infusion, and a bowl of muesli with fruit, which she mixed with a yogurt. When finished, she also cleared up everything she had used, and went into the living-room and switched on the television, her ipad she had by her side on the sofa. Their house was comfortable in summer, and winter with central heating. The weather outside was of no interest to them. They lived out the plan they had arranged many years ago, and nothing and nobody was going to upset it. The tons of water that the heavens were sending down weren’t their fault, so they did what they always did, and sat the inevitable out. There was no point in their getting angry or upset, the weather was the one thing they could do nothing about. Glenda turned to her favourite morning programme.

 

The day of the deluge, as it was called, was the perfect excuse for not going to school or work. The four teenage friends were delighted, although freezing cold from the water that just wouldn’t stop coming down. Amber, Grayson, Jade and Marnie, had been friends since they had started school. Their mothers all knew each other and the children too, so the situation was one of confidence when they said they were going out with one of the group. They spent a lot of time taking selfies, and sending them to whoever they felt like. The four were also dance fanatics, and loved practising dance moves and choreographies they had invented. They got the idea of being ‘cool’ from old films. One hope they all had, was that one day their group would be bigger. Grayson was the only boy, and he was always asking other boys to join them. That day, they had made the decision not to go to school, but to use the free day to practise some of their steps and moves for a competition. Amber’s house was the best choice to use, as she had larger rooms, and her mother would never stay home for any reason whatsoever. The trio walked round to Amber’s, and she let them in. They treated themselves to a soft drink each, and then changed out of their street clothes and into their tracksuits and trainers. The music was put on, and they began to work on the dance they had been preparing for weeks. Somehow they had managed to learn how to click their fingers, jump, and dance in unison. Whatever was happening outside Amber’s kitchen window went straight out of their minds as they stretched, jumped, and clicked their fingers to the very rhythmical music. They were lost in the dance.

 

Miranda was a far-sighted woman as regards certain aspects of her life. When she was single, her idea of a husband was anyone who would be able to help give her the style of life she felt she deserved, and in exchange she would make an effort to provide the kind of home every man desires. There would be no children to disrupt a perfect household, unless he mentioned it. Any pets would have to have a pedigree, none of the mixed variety that were so obviously not the best purchase, as far as Miranda could see. Miranda made every effort to encounter the man she felt lived up to her expectations. After a long, hard search she met Justin, who although lacking in some parts of his character, she thought she would be able to make him fit in with her plans. Miranda was blonde and quite pretty, if you didn’t look too hard at the propensity she had to putting on weight. Miranda also liked to think she always had the best. From the outset, Justin was like putty in her hands. They had done the right thing by getting married, and then reproduced a son and a daughter. Miranda had gone on working and, later on, the two perfect children were married and became parents themselves. On the day when the television weather woman had announced the heavy rainfall and flooding, Miranda had been free of any encumbrances like baby sitting for her children or grandchildren. Miranda never rose early since she had been unemployed, and really loved her bed. Her far-sightedness had informed her to buy double windows to keep the house warmer and drier. Another benefit of the double windows was silence, and on the morning of the rain, neither Miranda nor Justin was aware of the biblical rainfall, till they had gone downstairs and seen the water sliding down the windows. Justin, who was still working away from home, had set out for work after a hasty breakfast. He got into his car wondering whether it was a wise thing to do, or if he ought to ring in and say he wasn’t going in. The awful prospect of being caught on a flooded road held no appeal for him. It was eleven o’clock when Miranda finally opened her eyes and saw that Justin’s side of the bed was cold. Slowly, very slowly, she got out of bed and went downstairs, and saw the rain running down the garden path and into the pond. Miranda shivered, not through feeling cold, which she didn’t, but from the thought of being out in the rain. She prepared herself a tray with a plate of scrambled eggs on buttered toast, toast and marmalade, and a pot of coffee, and biscuits. Miranda made her way carefully upstairs, and gently put the tray on the bedside table, then taking care not to disturb anything on the tray, she got back into bed she had kept warm by leaving on the electric blanket. When she was eating her late breakfast, Miranda stared vacantly at the television that was opposite the marital bed on a high shelf. Breakfast finished, she lay back against the pillows and watched one of the morning television shows. She asked herself how the guests and presenters made it to the studios - glad she didn’t have to. Miranda felt a bit drowsy and switched off the television, and went back to sleep.

 

Eric’s two dogs and three cats had their breakfast in the kitchen. When they were busy eating, he took his own breakfast into the living-room and sat at the table to eat, alternating between watching the television and looking through the window. Eric was a methodical man, who no longer worked full-time, but stepped into his old office two days a week, to catch up on what was going on in the world of finance he had left some five years before. Eric was a widower, and had acquired his pets when he discovered that the house had become too large for him without wife or children. The dogs and cats had their own space, and used his too. He saw that there was no let-up in the rain, so went back to the kitchen and tidied it up, and put away the plates and bowls of the animals. He knew beforehand that the cats would refuse to go outside, therefore let them get on with things in their own way. They had a dirt box, but the dogs didn’t, and Eric wondered how long they would be able to put up with not relieving themselves. The back garden was nothing more than sodden mud and grass, and the trees bore a pathetic look, as if weighed down by so much water. The clouds were low and threatening. He used to think that all the rain fell on England and the rest of Europe only received the overspill. The summer had not been all that wonderful, but there had been some very summery days. Eric had gone to Portugal for his summer holiday, and had had a wonderful time. He had stayed at a tourist spot called Sintra. He had enjoyed it immensely, due to the ancient castles and churches which abound. The area was delightful for walking around in the mountains. He had kept the visions of the visit in his memory after he returned home, and when he had got his second dog he called him Sintra, to remind of his holiday. Eric’s pets were rescued animals that had been abandoned or had got lost. Eric had felt lost too, when first widowed, and had found great comfort in his pets. Around midday that day, Eric thought he saw the rain easing up and put leads on the two dogs, Sintra and Memo. That done, he dressed them in rainwear for dogs, and he wore his bright yellow oilskin wear. There was nothing worse than getting wet. The dogs wouldn’t like their paws being wet, and nor would they appreciate having to do their necessities on wet ground. Eric felt bad about that detail, but thought it would be better to get it over and done with. Opening the front door was an event in itself, the rain was so heavy it virtually drove the trio back into the house. Eric persisted, and after a lot of pulling and tugging at their leads, he and his dogs made their tremulous way to the nearest shops. He knew it was expecting a lot, but he understood the effort, however bad the weather, would be beneficial to the three of them.

 

The night set in rather earlier than it would normally have done so, due to the still heavy dark clouds that covered the sky, the temperatures had dropped alarmingly, and the weather girl appeared on night-time television dressed in a knitted, wool dress to inform her audience that the late evening and night would be icy.

 

Ken had spent the day on his computer, only looking at things that interested him. He had also got in touch with those he was linked up with on Facebook and Twitter. Everyone he had got in touch with, had found the day not to be so difficult to put up with, once the computers had been opened. Ken had never mentioned his online life to Glenda, who was more interested in romantic novels and films and whatever was happening on the television. They had got together for the evening in their pyjamas and dressing gowns, and were sitting in the living-room and eating their nice heavy supper on occasional-tables. The rain had not put them out in the slightest. Their cosy lives had gone on as always. What did it matter if some were being flooded out of their homes, while they were in their cosy, centrally heated home, eating a hot meal of meat and vegetables to be followed by rhubarb crumble and custard? Ken went out into the kitchen to wash up before their favourite evening programmes started. Glenda burped a few times, out of her husband’s hearing, and drank a glass of water. At nine o’clock when the news was about to start, they turned down the sound and went into the kitchen to make cocoa, which was accompanied with crunchy biscuits. This they drank and ate while watching the last obligatory programme, before turning in for the night. They never saw the next day’s weather report. What you didn’t know didn’t hurt you.

 

The lively quartet of Amber, Grayson, Jade and Marnie were all in their homes, after daring to try out the rain, just as it was beginning to get dark. They were all right, in that they lived quite near each other. Amber’s mother saw that Amber was a little red in the face. What she was unaware of, was how her kitchen had been used as a rehearsal room for the group’s competition dance. Amber had swept the floor and put the chairs and table into their usual places. Amber knew her mother very well, and had the kettle on and the frozen vegetables and fish thawing out, well before her mother arrived. Amber and her friends were all sweaty, and had a shower before their suppers that evening. Supper over, they all went to their bedrooms and sent selfies to each other, and to their other friends. From the news the other friends sent them, no one had attended school that day, using the rain as the best reason for not doing so. Their parents had no idea that their offspring had stayed at home, and had done many things on their ipads and computers, while their homework was still inside their school bags and had gone completely ignored. The weather girl’s dire warnings about the following day’s weather of icy roads and treacherous conditions, were neither heeded nor paid attention to. Everyone was doing his or her own thing. Tomorrow with all its dangers and problems would come soon enough. Meanwhile there was television to watch, and selfies to send.

 

Miranda and Justin had partaken of a delicious supper that they had prepared together. The dishes and cutlery had been washed and put away, and they were now in front of the television watching a film that neither was very interested in. Justin wanted to go to bed after an exhausting day, driving to and from in terrible wet conditions. Miranda was still wide awake after staying in bed until an hour before Justin got home. She stated that her day had been exhausting too. If Justin only knew where Miranda had spent the majority of the day, he would have stayed behind and kept her company. There they were, he on the brink of falling asleep and his wife all revved up to see more television. They never saw the weather news either, and Justin told Miranda before falling asleep, that if the weather the next day was bad, he would stay at home too.

 

When Eric arrived home with his dogs, the three of them were very wet. He gave them a good rub down, and then some food. He always spent the evenings with his pets, playing games with them; or ringing up his relatives. The television with all its reality shows was not for him. He found his pets more fun than the people on the box. The five pets had something to eat in the kitchen before going into the living-room where they spent the evening with Eric. When bedtime came, he showered, put on his nightclothes, called to his faithful friends, and the five of them trooped up to bed. They had their own beds in the second bedroom, but they ended up in his room, especially when the weather was cold or wet. That night they certainly did.

 

And so, all those mentioned had, somehow or other, managed to pass the horrible weather doing something or nothing much.

 

What else were they expected to do?


Submitted: November 30, 2014

© Copyright 2021 Georgina V Solly. All rights reserved.

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