Downpour

 

Melissa loved the rain. She loved the way the water pelted the roof, creating a kind of song. She loved to step outside her door on the covered porch and breathe in the scent the tiny droplets seemed to evoke in the most obsolete of things. Most of all she loved how the water that splashed from the clouds seemed to cleanse everything in its path, making the colors of nature so vibrant; they seemed to be alive, reborn. It symbolized to her Spring Time, when everything is new and fresh. It practically embodied the thing she wanted most: to carry her own baby, give birth to her own child, become a mother.

Melissa got up from her perch at the window seat. She crossed her arms and rubbed, trying to will away the goose bumps that had spontaneously erupted across her skin. She crossed the room, stopping decidedly at the base of the main staircase. While she climbed the stairs, Melissa looked at the wedding pictures she had framed when they moved into the house. The beautiful Victorian home across the street from the park with groves of Maple trees that created a blissful shade in the heat of summer; the white house that stacked, floor upon floor of beautiful hardwood, gloriously decorated bedrooms, and top of the line appliances. The house that was supposed to become a home where Melissa and her husband, Trevor were to create their family.

Melissa couldn’t help but smile at the memories of her wedding. It had rained that day. She remembered how, after the vows, the rings, and the kiss…the kiss…she and Trevor had ran out into the rain, frolicking in their pure bliss, the drops seeming to bless them and their new life together. They had been so in love, so naïve.

Melissa found herself drawn, yet again, to the rain. She wandered out onto the porch, then, eventually to her front yard, the front yard that her babies were supposed to learn to walk, her children were supposed to play, and her teenagers were supposed to sneak across late at night. Melissa let her tears mingle, disguised by the fat drops of rain the clung to her clothes, making them stick to her body.

It was moments like these when he found her standing in the rain, dancing with the vacuum, or singing in the shower, that made Trevor fall in love with Melissa all over again. It was moments like these when he saw the sweet little literature major he couldn’t get enough of. Moments that let them both forget the child they couldn’t have. Seconds like these let him forget the pin-cushion his wife had become between the blood the doctors insisted they needed and the endless hormones both he and Melissa had to pump into her veins to help increase the chances of conception. The hunger for a baby had driven them both to extreme lengths and was beginning to pull them apart.

              Trevor looked through streams and splatters that ran down his windshield. He gulped through the tears he could feel pressing at the back of his baby blues. He shut his eyes tightly against the emotion that threatened his masculinity, ready to spill onto his lightly freckled cheeks and dropped his head back onto the cool leather of his head rest. His stomach churned and he felt sick, his heart seamed to be replaced by a black hole, his chest tightened. Trevor hated this feeling. He was so enraged with the doctors that prescribed his wife false hope in the form of syringes armed with hormones, so incensed with the clipped responses that hiss marriage had evolved to, and so disgusted with his incompetent self.

            He sucked a deep breath through his nose that filled the vacuum of his lungs and held it until his toes began to tingle and his mind clouded over. He opened his eyes, sat up straight and pulled the car into the garage below the family room. After stepping out of his car and retrieving his brief case from the back seat, Trevor trudged to the top of the stairs leading to the entry and pushed the button on the wall to close the door. He loosened his tie and looping it over the banister, and with a resigned sigh, walked to the front door and grabbed the knob. He took another spine numbing, thought clearing breath and with a twist of his wrist, pulled the door open.

            He looked at the soggy, trembling body of what used to be his wife and hopped down the stairs, crossing the yard with five long strides. He reached out, his fingers stretching ahead, craving to touch Melissa’s hunched back, to provide comfort. She jumped. When Trevor laid his caressing hand on her upper back, Melissa jerked away. Granted he had come up behind her and could have merely frightened her, she flinched and stiffened when at one time she would have sunk and softened into his embrace.

            Several years ago, when Trevor suggested a trip to the doctor, exasperated and impatient in waiting for his son, he was nothing but supportive. He had held Melissa for hours when the doctor had called with the heart breaking news: something was wrong, had allowed his own tears to cascade with hers. He reassured her that they could keep trying, that they could pay for the doctor, the specialty treatments, they could endure. He braved the kitchen to prepare a special meal for Melissa when she had called him at work and told him the news they had awaited for so long: they had finally conceived.

            He called 911 when they had woken up in the middle of the night to find the sheet soaked with blood and held her tightly while they waited for the sirens attempting to keep their breaking hearts together. Their first miscarriage. He had clasped her small hand in his during the ultra sound. The ultra sound when the doctor promised they could hear the heartbeat. The ultra sound when they didn’t. Their second miscarriage. He had listened to her tears. He had squeezed her trembling body against his, hoping to quell the incessant sobbing. He had shared her pain. He had been her hero.

            Melissa leapt to her feet and whipped around. She came face to chest with Trevor. She crossed her arms and looked up at him indignantly.

            “You’re going to ruin your pants.” Melissa left Trevor with that sentiment, her name on his lips and fury in his heart.

            “Melissa!” Trevor stomped through the entry with a slam of the door, his anger resounding as the sound waves from the door jamb dispersed through the mudroom.

            Her quiet call came from walk in closet. Trevor took the stairs by twos, his voice racing ahead of him, “Melissa, what…why…ruin my pants!” Trevor’s rushed and started aggravation reached her in the closet. She turned to his voice as he pushed through the bedroom door. “Melissa you’re sitting out in the rain and you comment on my pants!”

“Well, I just picked them up from the dry cleaners yesterday and you-.” Melissa’s indignant retort was interrupted by an exasperated sigh.

“It’s not about the god-damned pants Melissa!” Trevor exploded.

“Then what is it about, all I can see are grass stained khakis” Melissa’s stubborn arms unfurled from across her chest and brushed up down her arms as her voice began to tremble. She knew exactly what he was talking about.

Trevor stepped closer to her and stilled her anxious hands with his own, “It’s about us.” He managed to whisper as he felt a new feeling bubbling into his throat: regret.

 

They stayed, searching each other’s eyes for only a few moments longer, when Melissa remarked that the salad was not going to toss itself and the pork loin would not get up and walk out of the oven on it own. They shared a sad chuckle and went their respect ways. Melissa down the stairs and Trevor deeper in to the closet, searching for his college sweat pants and baggy tri-athelon T-shirt.

This is how it always ended, but this time, Trevor was not finished.

The End

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