They walked down the street hand in hand, her umbrella doing nothing to keep the rain from pinking off his little yellow rain coat. It took all her luck to get him to wear the hat with it, she had to bribe him with candy.Her ankles became soaked without warning several times. It’s really impossible to get a kid his age not to jump in puddle of water.
She stopped at the edge of the sidewalk to make sure there wasn’t any traffic coming. His hand bolted out of hers. Startled, thinking he was about to run out into the traffic, she yelled “BRYAN!” She turned relieved to see him, face and hands, plastered against the toy store window.
He was staring at the new G.I. Joe action figures for sale. The sound of the splash and gasp didn’t even register to him. Bryan turned “Mom! Mom! Mom! I...Mom?” Looking at him was a little girl about his age in a pink rain coat and hat like his. “Have you seen my mommy?” he asked her.
She looked at him like she didn’t know what he was talking about. “No, but there’s a puddle over there. Wanna splash it?” He nodded his excitement, as if that would be the funnest thing in the world. He ran over to it jumping as high as he could. Having his eyes closed, for the inevitable water that would go everywhere, he didn’t see the screaming reflection banging as hard as she could against the puddle. He landed with a giant splash, sending red water everywhere.
He turned back around to give the girl a huge grin showing her his great accomplishment, but she was gone. He turned again to call out for his mother. Her body lay there, bloodied and broken, against the curb. He fell down at her, shaking the corpse “Mommy! Mommy! Wake up! MOMMY!” he began to cry.
The sound echoed in the dank apartment. Bryan had tried to find one on the ground floor or somewhere on the second or third floor, but his landlord only had one place open and it had a leaky roof. The clock on the nightstand was blinking 12:00 A.M. from the brown out earlier. The wind could be heard whipping through the alley way just outside his window. But it was the sounds of rain that had him cowering under his pillow and sheets.
He’d tried Psychiatrists, Psychologists, drugs, everything to forget that horrid night his mother had died. Sure, he could still get by, but doing anything having to deal with water was tough. As a kid it was practically impossible to bathe. He finally managed to get over that aspect, but the rain still made him revert to that little child trying to wake his mother.
He tossed and turned trying to block out the sounds of the drips with the cotton pillow, tears streaming down his face. He couldn’t take it anymore, he turned and sat up. Placing his feet on the floor his eyes widened and he could not move at all, fear petrified him as the water dampened his socks.
The sound of a familiar voice broke through the silence, a voice that should have frightened him, but instead comforted him. “Do you want to leave this fear behind, never have to worry about the water again?”
She stood there, unchanged by the decade that had passed since the accident, pink raincoat and hat just as he remembered it. None of this clicked as it should have, he just wanted to get rid of that which ailed him. All he could do was nod.
She grabbed his hands and they sank into the puddle. A darkness where there would be no more fear. Just the prey above.