Gabrielle Rodriguez

Rain

When I set out, the sky was the oddest color I have ever seen to this day. A sickly yellow color spreading over the usually bright blue canvas of the sky. I didn’t mind it, I continued on my way paying it as much attention as the corner cat did to me. While I flagged down a cab, rain had started falling. Fat drops that beat the sidewalk in a perfect rhythm. The cold water dripped down my hair, snaking their way into my collar where they ended their short journey pooling in my collarbones. I climbed into the cab stating my destination in a soft tone, watching the vile clouds twirl in pattern, beautiful and strange.

All throughout the long cab ride, my face was pressed to the window eyes wide in wonderment, stomach churning as much as the clouds above. The rain had started dropping faster now; the drops not playful but hard bullets of sleet making the cab’s wipers go at a frightening speed. Through this time, the sky continued its bewitching dance of disease, the sound of the unrelenting rain it’s music. I continued to stare as the cabby sighed and mumbled curses to the sky struggling to drive on the road. Huffing out a laugh at his latest string of profanities, I glanced at him then back at the twirling sky. A peek of the blue sky greeted me when I did, yet it continued to pour.

The cabby continued his tirade with the sky, anger making his hands clench around the wheel. His knuckles white around it, matching the fog spreading across the windshield. He apologized for the crawling pace of the traffic around us with a voice thick with a temper about to snap. I motioned for him to not worry with a quiet voice, catching his eyes in the mirror with a smile. The cab went into side streets, the rain still unyielding while the traffic gave up its fight. The sky had stopped it’s seemingly endless performance and was now a blanket of that ill color.

I watched the icy rain making the cab an envelope of humid air. Heavy and humid, it penetrated the very inside of the cab creating a suffocating atmosphere. Thoughts of where I was headed infected me. A dark fear fell over me, making my hands shake, my breathing shaky. I looked back out to the skies watching as the clouds tossed and turned. Every smell was magnified a million times over. I could smell the lunch of burgers and fries the cabby had eaten, the freshly cut grass in the manicured lawns of the neighborhoods. It was sickening. My head was swimming, the rain pounding ever the harder making my stomach churn with panic. It was all too much, and yet the clouds poured. I could see the sickening color of the sky through the windows. My hands were clenched together in my lap, the knuckles white, veins bulging. As I reached my destination, the sky had become a thundering cauldron of lightning. The cab stopped.

The brakes squeaked, the ringing staying in my over sensitive ears. I stepped out into the pouring rain flicking my hand in a quick motion. The half-frozen drops stopped stabbing into my skin and stay suspended in the mustard colored atmosphere. They glittered in the air around me, threw the light around, made rainbows across the cement.  I paid the cabby smiling as his eyes looked at me in amazement. My head was clearing now, the over bearing smells and sounds retreating to the background where they belonged. I waved, walked into the looming building, my stomach calming as the sky cleared above me.

 

Gaby (they/them/their) is a non-binary Puerto Rican pursuing a BA in English at Mount Holyoke College on full-ride scholarship. They’re a Taurus sun, Scorpio rising, Virgo moon. If you don’t know anything about astrology, that’s a cocktail of constellations that means they’re a perfectionist hungry for success.  As if school and work aren’t enough, they’re also a staff writer for the books and literature section for Mt. Holyoke’s newspaper. They’re in the process of writing their debut novel and excited to help other QTPOC get their work out in the world. They love bringing other writers’ worlds to life in Theater, watching all the Twilight movies instead of doing homework, and sends you all the love and light you need.