The alarm clock goes off in my mother’s room. Ugh, it’s Friday, and it’s raining again. I can hear my little brother fussing in his crib in the next room. I go and get him and bring him to the kitchen, to let my mother get ready for work. The radio can be heard in the background as I place Kyle in his walker and I head to the fridge for some milk for my rice crispies. From our third story apartment the day doesn’t look as bad as the weather guy on the radio said it would, so I decide on walking to school instead of getting a ride with my mom. I even offer to bring Kyle to the babysitter’s, after all she’s just downstairs. The walk to school is quiet. Joann, my downstairs neighbor is gone to a skating competition and won’t be at school today, and I stop by Michael’s to see if he’s ready, but he’s running late, so I decide to leave without him. It must be the weather, it just makes want to stay home and not get out of bed. When I get to school, the yard is empty. I walk to the door closest to the gym, maybe we get to stay inside because of the weather. But I reach for the door, and it’s locked. I look at my watch and notice how early it. Oops, still a little early, I go and sit on the hard concrete gym steps, the morning sky still grey with clouds. There are puddles scattered around the school yard from last night’s storm. The huge tree from the convent next door sits bare, only a few golden leaves still cling to the branches. The long jump pit in the corner is filled with water. There are a few other kids here, but they’re from different grades. She sits on the cold, wet concrete staring out into the morning. Her breath can be seen as she tries to stay warm. The smell in the air is earthy, musty. She can feel the wetness of the bricks behind her. Listening, she hears the rumble of the rocks as children walk thru the yard, the sploosh of the basketball on the wet court as the older kids play. A gentle wind blows thru the tree rustling the leaves and shaking the last of the water from its boughs.
As I sit waiting for anyone to arrive, I think to the weekend. My dad has talked us into a day in the woods, so I guess we’re going hiking. My mom has packed a lunch for us, so we head before noon on Sunday. We drive into town, stopping for some snacks at the corner store. As we drive up the graveyard hill, I know we’re getting closer. I can now see the dark murky water of the lake as pull up to the trap line. Hills of golden and red leaved trees dot the distance. I can feel the weight of the car sink into our parking spot. As I exit my foot reaches for firm ground. We start up the trail. Where we are going? I’m never sure. I just follow. Pops of gun blasts can be heard in the distance. Darnit, hunting season and I’m not wearing any orange. I hope they don’t mistake me for a deer. We continue up the slippery moss covered rocks and mounds are in our way. Each step forward is followed by a sucking sound as you lift your foot. The saplings are bare. Small leaves cling to the branches still green. The sky grows grayer as we continue up the hill. With each inhale I smell the rain coming, dotted with faint undertones of wet rotting leaves. Pop, pop as gun blasts echo from the next ridge over. We reach the top of hill where we are surrounded by droplet covered pine trees. I try to squeeze thru them without getting wet. I look down to the lake below. It doesn’t look so grey and murky anymore. More deep blue as the the winds pick up causing small white caps and ripples across its vastness. The sun is trying to push thru as it sets. In the distance an orange sky can be seen. Does ths mean the rain is gone? I can’t remember the sailor poem now. Darkness is creeping in. The wet of the day can be felt on my skin and in my knees. My duckies and big wool socks keep me dry, but I still feel wet. The trail is getting harder to see. Where’s the trail? I’m now sliding down the slick slope reaching for twigs and brances to my self with. So fearless, forging ahead. I can smell the clouds now. Rain is coming. Sprinkles are felt on my face, the face quickens. I can see the car in the open fielf. So close, yet so far. I tired, I just want my hot chocolat and a dry coat now. Enough of this gloomy, fun time. I feel alone.