Include the following in your story: Las Vegas, radiology, etch, funeral, textile, sweep, muslin, wholesale, wildlife, English.
A terrible day made worse by the rain. Piper let out a heavy sigh. Rain rolled down her neck as she stood at the bus stop. Her clothes were soaked and she shivered from the cold. She wasn’t supposed to be hit by the rain this morning. She was supposed to be at the airport, flying off with the girls to Las Vegas for a weekend of reckless relaxation. Yet, she was standing in the rain and the girls she thought were her friends had left without her.
Piper wiped her cheek on the sleeve of her muslin sweater, her tears masking in the rain. She blamed yesterday for all of this, because yesterday was when it started. She was giving a presentation in her English class when she suddenly felt dizzy. She lost her breath in the middle of her main point and she passed out. When she woke up, she was in the hospital and the doctor gave her the results of a radiology report. It all involved one word that no one likes to hear: cancer.
Piper called her friends first, but received nothing except excuses for having to hang up. She didn’t have the heart to call her parents, but she wished more than anything that she could call her grandmother. They had been close. Her grandmother made the sweater she wore now. It had an etch of all of Piper’s favorite wildlife…and now it was getting ruined in the rain. Piper glared up at the sky and the rain fueled her tears. Her grandmother had passed years ago. Her last words to Piper were to live a full life of joy, but now she might not get a full life at all.
The thought of her funeral leaked into her mind. Who would come? Certainly not her friends. Her parents would be here, maybe her brother, but…who else? Piper turned her head to the ground and tightened her arms around herself to collect as much warmth as she could. Maybe a small family funeral for her was for the best? She should start planning it now. Likely, the cancer would kill her before this bus ever showed up!
Another shiver coursed her spine and Piper briefly thought about going to the wholesale store a few buildings down. At least there she could get a textile sweater or something to keep herself warm. She’d be able to see the bus stop from the store’s windows and wait there. Yet, she didn’t have the heart to move. She just felt heavy, miserable, and alone. The perfect feeling for a rainy day as relentless as this. Another sweep of shivers coursed Piper’s body. She felt like curling up into a ball and cursing the cancer in her body. Cursing her friends for abandoning her. She just felt like cursing.
It got her thinking of the first time she ever said a curse word. It was in front of her grandmother and it had come out by accident. Piper had gotten so hurt about something, but she couldn’t remember what that something was. While her parents gasped in horror at her word choice, Piper’s grandmother had taken her hand and told her that instead of using such foul language, there was a better way to express her frustration. It had been raining that day too and her grandmother had taken her outside to the biggest puddle they could find. She stomped in it. Water splashed everywhere and soaked both Piper and her grandmother. They both splashed in the water until Piper’s frustration turned into squeals of joy. They were soaked to the bone that day, but warmed by the love in their hearts. Her grandmother told her that day that rainy days weren’t for weeping. They were for learning how to dance through the pain.
Piper glanced down at the puddle forming at her feet. A prick of guilt poked her heart. She wasn’t following the life her grandmother wanted her to have at all. She just didn’t feel like dancing in the rain. Surely, her grandmother would understand that the hurt she felt was too much for a dance to cure. Piper tapped her foot in the water, watching the way the ripples coursed through the puddle. She tapped her foot again to make the ripples a little bigger. Then, again when water drops flew off her shoe to start more ripples in a different area. Sniffling a little, Piper swept her foot through the puddle, moving the water that it rolled down the sidewalk right to the little river that led to the gutter. There was a lot more water in that little river and it was likely going faster than the bus that refused to show up.
Piper jumped into it. With both feet she stopped into that little river and splashed water back up toward the rain. A breath she didn’t know she was holding escaped her throat. It felt good to splash in the water. The forgiving, unbothered, and carefree water.
Again and again, Piper kept splash and stomping until she was more soaked than the ocean floor. Laughs broke from her throat as she spun and twirled in the rain, kicking up the water to make it fly like magic in the wind. She didn’t even notice the bus finally pulled up.
The bus driver didn’t say anything when she finally saw him. He just held the doors to the bus open and stared at her like she was losing her mind. Piper only laughed and the new lightness in her heart left her uncaring of what the bus driver thought. Her friends had abandoned her, she was alone, and she was dying, but that didn’t mean she still couldn’t live a full life like her grandmother wanted. Piper waved to the bus driver and then turned down the street. She didn’t need the bus. She’d walk home, splash in the puddles, and dance in the rain.