The pain was pounding like a hundred thousand crystal jewels falling from the gray clouds of fluff hanging in the sky. Each tap-tap that hit the cold, dark concrete was like music; an African beat, a subtle classical nuance, a pitchy pop tune. I stepped away from the safety of my porch, and it felt like a giant leap; jumping out of an airplane, taking a dive into a pool full of seaweed and exotic fish; it was all the same though. A sharp intake of breathe, a gasp, and then freedom as I fell to the ground, my feet touching the concrete. I turned my head upward and breathed in the humid, wet summer air that reminded me of the beach, my childhood, and liberty. I stepped father away from my porch, onto the grass. Squishy mud and tickly grass seeped between my toes like sand. I twirled. I ran, and I fell. And I laughed. But then I stopped. I stood up slowly, and I looked back at my house. It was crumbling in, becoming smaller and more dilapidated. Gone was the pretty, big house that everyone would like to live in. Gone was the picture-perfect image of a picture-perfect life that I had yet to experience. The house crumbled to the ground in a heap of dust and my family began to disappear, morphing into unknown things. Their pretty images became more like their insides, coarse and bitter, a bit angry and very sad. I closed my eyes, and the rain fell on my cheeks, the tip of my nose, the edge of my eyelids. I stayed like this for a moment. But then it passed. I opened my eyes, and the rain had ceased. The sky was overcast and dull, like any other day. But the rain still dripped from my eyelids, ran down my cheeks. I realized if a person were to be walking by, it might have looked like I was crying.
You couldn’t tell the difference.
Originally appeared in the 2011-2012 edition of Outside In.