The day her mother died it started raining and didn’t stop for a week. At the time Sara had found it ironic, as though the sky had the ability to shed what she could not, its rolling rumble a mark of the burden far too heavy for her to carry. As a child she had imagined that its sound was merely the echo of an argument taking place between two angels trying to prove themselves to God. She had wondered then, as she watched the rain plaster itself against the window, wrapping the soundless house in a cocoon of grief, what her mother’s tears would look like falling from heaven.
The weight of her father’s body had taken her by surprise, his skin already waxen, stiff and unnatural on hers, and there are times when Sara can still feel the weave of the rope in her palm. She had cried then, the tears seemed to come from everywhere, anger taking turns with fear as the pain took hold. Driving home later that day, the sun had glared through her windshield as though trying desperately to illuminate the truth, its heat igniting a desperate plight, and leaving in her already heavy hands, the burden of proof.
It was when Bruce died that she had screamed, when the sound of glass breaking, the vase shattering against the floor had been little to muffle the wail of her grief. She had glared at Michael in anger, a masochist begging to be unleashed, an addict hovering within the threshold of withdrawal.
Oh how she had craved.
The glass had been cold against her cheek, and as the bourbon-scent dizzied her mind, she had closed her eyes, able, although briefly, to taste its bitter-sweet on her tongue.
When Michael dies Sara is paralyzed. She is no more able to act, to move, than she is able to breathe.
Perhaps it’s the child that pushes her forward, or the distinct feel of an internal compass guiding her towards something, a bright light in the distance. Like him, when he appears to her only on the blackest of nights, this shining light is slightly, and always, just beyond her reach.
Angels trying to prove themselves to God.
One day she just might get close enough.
There are nights when the pain is visceral, when the memory of his face and the sound of his name is enough to tear her in two. Those are the nights when she lies in wait, listening for the rain that will inevitably come.
And it always does.