It’s raining again today. The whole week has been nothing but rain. Nast weather , the kind that makes you want to stay home unless you absolutely have to leave. The kind that makes you slow and drowsy most of the time. But not today, I woke at 5.30 and my eyes refuse to shut. No point staying in bed if I can’t sleep, right? So I make myself some coffee, black with two sugars, no milk, no cream. Never liked the stuff. I dully note the radio is playing some slow jazz, but for the life of me I can’t remember if I just turned it on or never turned it off. I live alone, well there’s the cat, but it can’t operate a radio.
It’s quiet, only the sound of rain falling and jazz music silently playing in the background. No other sounds. I think back on what could have woken me up, but I don’t remember, it wasn’t anything in particular. I didn’t have any nightmares, no sounds around either. My body just woke up and that’s that. I don’t need to go anywhere today. No reason to leave home or gar up early. My eyes just follow the raindrops on the window, the radio cuts to a news report but I don’t really heart it- something about someone drowning because of the rain.
The rain has really gotten loud, I don’t hear the radio anymore. It no longer sounds like rain but more like a maelstrom , all the water spinning, sucking everything into itself, like a black hole. Even light can’t escape it, forever stuck inside, stretched infinitely. I see It – the maelstrom. Cold wind blows but all I can hear is the roaring of the vortex. And then it’s gone, just me in my kitchen drinking coffee and the normal rain and slow jazz music. I tell myself that it’s because I’m tired, because it’s much too early to be up- usually I get up around 10.00. I decide to take a shower to wake myself up.
While the shower helped a little I still feel somehow off. It is now 6.09. I stand there and stare at the numbers on the screen. It’s like bubbles of oxygen rising from the depth of the water; something starts to bubble in my head..
It was the ninth of June when the three of us went to the lake. We were thirteen at most, that was over ten years ago. Me and my friends from school decided to go swimming in a lake. It wasn’t one of those lakes made for people to swim in. it wasn’t even a lake at all, we just didn’t care. It was quarry, a place where sometime somebody mined stone. But it rained a lot that spring and it filled up with water. A huge deep pit full to the brim of rain water. That is where we decided to swim. Without supervision, without telling anyone where were going. My friend Eli decided to play a game, to see who can swim to the other end of the quarry and back faster. I wasn’t the best swimmer, but I was decent. Eli was like a torpedo. The girl whose name I at the moment cannot recall. I can’t even recall her face. She had transferred in to our school this spring, when the rains began. We were not friends for very long but since day one we got on great. She was behind us. Eli reached the other end, I was near the middle of it and then I turned around.. There was no one behind me, there was no one anywhere. We went back to shore, thinking she got sick and got out. All her tings were still there, she didn’t leave. We searched and shouted her name until it got dark, refusing to except the other possibility. It got dark, people came looking for us.
The next day they sent in divers to search the quarry. It was deep, around 9 meters in the middle. We stood there on the shore watching them come up empty-handed not sure if we should feel relief of regret. I got grounded and we were not allowed to see each other. The next time we met was at the funeral. It was a closed casket funeral. As I watched them lower her into the pit I thought how strange it was that they pulled her out of a pit just put her into a different one. And one thing, one detail all of this bothered me even to this day: why didn’t she scream, why didn’t she call for help. She wasn’t that far behind me, I could have turned around and saved her. But there was no scream, one moment I looked back and she was just gone. Indeed she was gone, not just her, but her name and her face were gone from my memory, even the event of her death had slipped my mind until just now. I wonder if this means something.
The girl, let me just call her Rain. She showed up in our school at the end of February and since that day it rained constantly. In fact it had rained almost every day except the ninth. The day she died was the first sunny day in months. This coincidence is perhaps a little ironic but more so strange. What makes this even stranger is that the current rain season also began at the end of February. I remember now why it was so strange, because it was 29th of February when Rain came to our school and the rain began,. This year the rain began also on the 29th and has been falling without pause for the past two weeks now.
I poured myself another cup of coffee all drowsiness gone, recalling this awoke something in me. As absurd as it sounded I wanted to know what really happened, now , after more than ten years have passed. But this is not as simple as it sounds, it’s not like I can ask someone about what happened that day. I haven’t spoken to Eli for a good seven or eight years. I moved away from the town two years later, and that was that. We lost touch even before I moved away. Things just got cold between us, no more goofing off during recess, no more going to each other’s house to play video games. For those two years we hardly talked, we walked to school and back together but we never said anything aside from “Hello” and “Goodbye”. At school we didn’t talk much either. Sometimes I would find my eyes drifting to the empty seat and whenever I shifted my gaze up I would see Eli’s eyes. And at those moments even if I wanted to say something before, those words would die. So I never said anything, I didn’t need to say anything.
I figured that I would find closure if I visit the grave, hasn’t been there since the funeral. Maybe I’ll find out what happened to Eli as well.