I watched the thunderstorm this evening. When I was aware that it was going on, that is. I love watching the stormy weather. The lightening light up the sky, the thunder crash. The walls of the house shaking from the hard thunder. Surprisingly, the kids were mellowed out during the storm. I watched the lightening flicker across the darkened sky. Thoughts of yesterday and my graduation came back to me. It was raining quite violently when I graduated. The storm shook the auditorium. My anger at the people there shook my core. But I smiled through the anger. I smiled through the disputes. I smiled, got the degree, and made a small vow to myself. I am going to get away from these people.
After the graduation ceremony, my mother hit me up for money. What. The. Hell. She only came to my graduation to ask me for money? I told her I didn’t have any on me, and she suggested that I sell my things again. What…? How many people have their moms come to their graduation only to have her demand money out of them? Yes, I think I am in a class by myself. She picked a fight with me. She told me she knew who I was married to. Good for you, you’re now in the same boat as 90% of the rest of the world. I was stressing. I was losing it. I slipped out of the auditorium, mooched a cigarette and from a group outside, and stood there in the canopy of the auditorium, watching the rain fall, as I blackened my lungs some more.
I didn’t hear Matt come out of the auditorium. I didn’t know he was there until he spoke. “I thought you quit,” he said. I shrugged. “I did,” I replied, taking another drag. “It was a nice graduation. You were third in the class,” he said. “Lance beat me,” I muttered. “His father is a doctor. And alumni of the school,” Matt replied. I scoffed. So because his dad graduated from the school and became a doctor, they should just pass the guy? I think I saw him all of five times in the three years I was in medical school. “I know I didn’t know you when you started, but I’ve seen you through most of the journey. I’m glad that you finished,” Matt said. I sighed. “Chris was supposed to be here,” I replied. “How many people made it through? Twenty out of a hundred?” Matt asked. “Twenty two out of one-seventy-five,” I replied. It was true. Out of the 175 people who had been in ‘freshman orientation’ in the fall of 2007, 21 of us made it across the stage that day. Most people had dropped out. The next largest group had been unable to continue their education due to finances. The next changed majors. Some had to leave. One person had died. Chris. “They’re still going to put his name on the wall,” Matt said. “Yeah. Right under Jess’.” I replied. We were quiet for a few moments.
“Look at that!” Matt said suddenly and pointed to the Eastern Sky.
Spread across the darkened sky was a bold, double rainbow. The sun had popped out in the western sky, yet the rain still pounded down on the Eastern horizon. “Do you know what double rainbows mean?” I asked. “Scientifically, I do,” he replied. I smiled. “According to legend, it means someone you love is saying good bye from beyond,” I replied. I didn’t go into the details of how I had been having nightmares about Chris, where Chris was mad at me. I didn’t understand those night terrors. I had done nothing to make Chris mad at me when he died.
We watched the rainbow until it dissolved into the darkened horizon. Matt snapped a picture of it with his camera (it’s terrible web-quality).
While the violent storms were going on tonight, I thought of that rainbow. I thought of the journey I have been on for the past three years. I’ve forgotten why I even came down this road. The job I loved is gone. The person I loved to do it with is gone. There seems no rhyme or reason for me to continue, or to even be here. But here I am. That window will open for me again. I just know it.