I watch the water move up the shore of the beach and go back down. The water is dark and rough, high tide. Anytime now the water will be reaching me. The waves are small but strong and violent, a storm is approaching. These are no birds in the sky and hardly anyone on the beach. They are all hiding in the safety of their homes.
The wind blows, it comes at me, pushing my long hair out of my face. Sand gets blown into my eyes and my mouth. With every growing minute the smell of the beach and rain gets stronger. I can hear thunder rumbling in the distance making it's way towards me. The lightening gets brighter and bigger as the thunder grows. This is going to be a bad storm, I should probably leave. But I don't think I will, not yet. The beach is always so beautiful before a storm hits. The way the water thrashes around, the wind blows and the sky turns black. There is no better place to see it than here. Sometimes I wish I could stay here forever, but then I guess it wouldn't be nearly as great when it actually does happen. Not that I could ever get sick of the water like this.
The wind blows and I shiver. My thin sweater isn't enough to keep me warm enough this wind. I lay on my back and stare at the sky. She is so angry, so dark. She's waiting to let loose and violently attack us. Or maybe she's just sad. Maybe instead her tears are ready to pour down on us at any given moment. She'll use the thunder to scream, stomp around and slam doors. She'll let loose and let the world around us feel her anger and her sorrows. She'll feel that it is all our fault and there is nothing that she will stop at until she gets her point across. She will not loose an argument. Mother Nature always gets her way no matter what it takes. Mother Nature knows best.
A rain drop finally falls from the sky and hits me in the face. Her tears are cold. I wonder what makes her cry. Is it because she is lonely? Does she get so angry and frustrated that no one will listen that she feels the need to cry? Is she just doing for it the attention that she'll never get? We will never know, Mother Nature doesn't talk. She lashes out. But her tantrums are beautiful.
The rain begins to fall harder. I decide that I will leave now. The water is starting to come closer up the shore. Almost to my feet. I stand up and grab my blanket. Time to go home and watch Mother Nature cry on the safety of my porch. Mother Nature cannot release the ocean on me there.
I begin walking home, the rain falling faster with each passing moment. I am drenched before I know it. I'm not even completely off the beach when the thunder claps so hard that I jump. I was not expecting it to be that loud, at least not wait. The lightening is already illuminating the entire sky. If I do not leave her alone soon enough she will streak me. She's already yelling and screaming at me to leave. I do not belong here. She wants me to leave her alone.
Only ten minutes later I am walking into my house. The lights are off and no one is home. I go into the kitchen. The is a single piece of paper on the corner of the fridge with just one small sentence for me. 'See you tomorrow morning.' I remove the sticky note from the fridge and throw it away. I open the window above the sink and let the smell of storm and ocean fill the house. I go to the living room and open the sliding glass windows. I go into my room, get a book and go onto the porch. I listen to Mother Nature's rage, but I do not crack open The Great Gatsby. Mother Nature has once again captured me and I'm pretty sure she won't be letting me go until she's calm.
Oh, Mother Nature, why are you so captivating? Why are you so beautiful.
I do not think or day dream. My mind is empty. This storm, it's better than watching a movie. But the phone ringing quickly pulls me away from this wonder world. I sigh and go inside to get the phone. In the kitchen our old fashioned white phone that still has a chord is screaming at me.
"James… I was busy."
James laughs. "Watching the rain."
"Mother Nature and I understand each other. " I forget to mention that she understand me bette than you do, James. We've been best friends for eternity and you still cannot see through me. James, you do not understand me.
"Well, I was wondering if you mind if I come over? I mean I don't want to interrupt Mother Nature and you, and I certainly don't want to be the third wheel, but I'd rather not sit around here alone all day."
A small creeps onto my face. "Come on over. I think I could use another friend around her. Mother Nature is a bit angry right now and Clarissa isn't here."
"Okay, I'll be there in a few minutes."
"Bye," I say in a singsong voice and hang up.
I go back to the porch and watch the storm worsen. Mother Nature feels I am ditching her for James.
Oh, Mother Nature, I will never ditch you.
I hear my front door open and close. Only five minutes since I talked to James on the phone. He must have been on his way already. I listen to his steps falling, leading him closer to the patio. James may not understand me, but he does know me well. His feet bring him right behind my hammock and stop right there.
"Hey, Iris," James greets me.
"Hello," I say softly without turning around. James walks around sits to my right. Heat is radiating off of him. That makes me jealous, he is always warm. I always feel cold. Life would so much easier living in a cold place if I was a human heating system like he was.
"How are you?" He asks and gently bumps my shoulder with his.
I still look ahead. Sometimes I cannot look at him. I am always straightforward, but I always feel I am deceiving him, or just plan old making him anger. "I am okay today."
I can feel James looking at me, concerned but relieved. "That's good."
"What about yourself?"
"I'm pretty good. This storm is making me tired, though." Out of the corner of my eye I say James glance at me and chuckle. "You've got to be kidding me. I can't believe you're cold." Oh, James, I am not shaking just to kid you. I kid you not, my friend. Ice sleeps in my veins.
"I'm freezing, but that is nothing out of the ordinary."
James reached behind him with his long arm and grabs my blanket that was carelessly thrown on the chair. "Here," he says and hands me the jacket. Part of me does not want to take the blanket. I am not a child, you are not my father. I do not need you to baby me, thank you very much. Part of me wants to yell at him for treating me like a child. Instead I grab the blanket and wrap it around myself.
I glance at him, "Thanks," I mumble.
Once again I find myself watching Mother Nature. I am not sure what I should say. I am not sure that I should even make conversation. James is my best friend and I can say just about anything around him, but I am still painful awkward around him. I am not good at talking, not even to those I am the closest to. But, I am good at ignoring that voice inside my head that tries to keep me from talking to him, no matter how awkward it is I still manage to say what is on my mind. Well, mostly.
"Today…" I begin, but I let that sentence trail off. I stay silent for a moment. "I do not feel numb today."
"What do you feel then?"
"I feel dead inside."
After I say that I finally turn my head and look at James. He is looking down and racking his brain for something to say. He bites the side of his lip, that's what he always does when he's thinking hard. He wants to say that he understands. He wants to say that as long as he is around I will not be alone. But that is not true. He cannot say any of that.
"You don't need to say anything to make me feel better. You know that, right? Because I do feel better. I feel dead, but I feel happy."
I look at him again. This time I give him a hard look that fights his disapproving look. "Really, you don't need to say anything. I'm okay today. I don't need any motivational speeches to get me through another day, James. I. Am. Okay."
I get off of the hammock and go stand near the edge of the porch. The rain lightly splashes me as I lean against a cold wet wall with arms crossed. I cannot look at James. This is what I get for opening my mouth.