“Go inside,” I whisper into the dark, heavy air around me. Right on cue, I felt a strong wind blow into the crook of my neck and send a shiver down my spine. I let out a sigh before turning around and shutting the glass doors to my patio.
I quickly changed into the comfiest pair of sweatpants I could find and cocooned myself into a blanket that always sat on the floor next to a basket of odd things I liked to keep. The sky slowly began changing colors to a dangerous dark purple. The fiery red of the evening sun was long gone.
“Do you want to come down and sleep with us today?” Myra asks from behind me, slowly stepping into my poorly lit up room and looking around, instinctively almost.
I shook my head and crouched deeper into my blanket. “I’ll be fine. It’s pretty outside.”
She pfft-ed before walking toward me. “It’s going to be the worst storm we’ve ever had, I heard. It’s only the calm before the storm. Literally and figuratively”, she said sitting down beside me.
Although the two of us snickered, hers was a nervous laugh. “We’re not going to get knocked down, M”, I replied placing my warm hand over her stone cold ones. “Don’t be a sissy.”
“Can I sleep here?”
I roll my eyes and look back out the window again. “No.”
She sighed and prepared to leave but I held her back down. “Not as yet you can’t sleep. Watch the damage with me”, I said throwing another blanket at her.
She pulled the blanket around her petite body and inched closer to me. I shot her a look before she completely pressed into me. “Okay.”
“You’re in my space”, I warned.
“Move, Myra. You’re breathing into my neck. And so loudly. You’re killing my vibe here.”
She sighed again, dramatically this time before moving ever so slightly away from me. I gave up any attempt to reason with her and clutched my knees close to my chest, rocking back and forth.
“What do you like about this?” she asked, mimicking what I was doing but looking at me all the while.
I shrugged before getting up. “I don’t know. Lightning is scary –Mind if I open this for a bit?” I asked, with my hand on the handle of my patio door. She shook her vigorously but I opened them anyway. “You’ll get used to it. It’s fun watching it this way.”
“The wind is too hard. It’ll knock things over.”
“I’ve cleared them away. Now we can watch better, see it so much better.”
Before I turned around to go sit back down, a dazzling light lit the whole entire sky before it fell dark again. My jaw slackened and my eyes searched for whatever I could find. “DID YOU SEE THAT?” I breathed, fearing if I spoke too loud I’d disturb the peace that followed the fire.
“Uh-huh” I heard Myra’s weak voice, muffled by the blanket she held in front of her mouth. “That was cool.”
“IKNOW! Now listen for thunder. It’s not as great, though”. I spoke too soon for a thunder followed immediately after I had finished speaking. The sound was deafening and I staggered back into my room, my legs feeling like strings of spaghetti. “Jesus Christ! I didn’t think it’d be that loud.”
“That was nasty”, Myra screamed at me, eye wide and frustrated.
I frowned at her. “I can’t help it. I’m not the one playing with the settings here. Just watch out next time.”
Looking back into the sky, I rocked back and forth on my behind, fingers entangled into each other in front of my knees. Myra breathed loudly beside me again. “So”, she said, “What do you like about watching this?”
“Fear. Doesn’t it fascinate you how something as deathly frightening as a lightening is can also look so majestic when it rips through the sky, leaving no mark that it was there but you know better? You can watch it destroy everything in it’s way and still not be affected from where we are. Cool, huh?” I asked, looking right at Myra, catching her confusion.
“So you like watching things burn?”
“You needn’t put it that way”, I rolled my eyes. “I like watching things that are powerful enough to not want as much show time but it’s all everyone wants to see. It’s just cool to look at”, I sighed.
Just as I had finished, another terrifying flame lit the sky, awakening everything that hid behind the blackness. “Don’t you like it?”
“I’ve never watched a thunderstorm before. I’m much of a coward to do it all by myself. I think I like it now. It looks terribly beautiful.” An ear shattering thunder sounded somewhere far away and the two of us held our ears in response. “Gosh I’ll never get used to this.”
I laughed once the sound died down. “Oh believe me, you won’t. It’ll catch you EVERY TIME. You can never see it coming.”
Her head suddenly snapped up and she turned to look at me. “Is that what thrills you?” she asked seriously, her brown eyes wide. “You’re not as shaken because this is your routine, isn’t it?”
“What are you on about?”
“This. You know it’s going to happen, just like everyone else, but you’ve watched far too many storms to not find this as scary as it really is.”
“I have. I’m still scared, though, if that’s what you’re trying to tell me”, I frowned.
She shakes her head. “You might be but you don’t fear like the rest of us do. You see it coming, you want it to come back even though you fear it because you’re comfortbale with the fear. It doesn’t shake you like it would if you weren’t really used to it. You see something in it that none of us do.”
“I do?” I was starting to lose Myra now. “What do I see?”
“You”, she breathed. “It’s you that you’re acquainted with. You don’t find the thunder as fascinating as you find lightning. It can’t just be the fact that it’s pretty to look at. You find the calm destruction fascinating not the science itself.”
I gulp. Even with the blanket wrapped around me, I felt my hair rising against my skin. I shook my head feebly, attempting to not relate with everything Myra said. “That’s not it, M.”
“You wouldn’t sit with the doors open, on the worst storm night and still say you’re not used to it if it wasn’t for the fact, you’ve welcomed the fear. You’re used to it”, she says before holding her hands against her ears while I just flinch at another loud thunder that roared. “Gotcha!”
I can only smile at her before looking back at the sky, a thousand things running through every cell of mine, waiting for the next strike. Waiting for the next strike.
Until our time meets again,
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