04 - Having Wept - Kimberly
In the event that you must cry, do not shed your tears. For all the hurt you hold inside, do not shed your tears. For every friendship lost or found, do not shed your tears. For every moment she's around, you'll have to shed your tears.
The night echoed with stormy unrest. The lightning bolts that catapulted across the sky were closely followed by rumblings unmatched by any of those which he had previously heard. He had been about to turn off the television when everything went dark.
Great. The lights went out. Where are the flashlights? Wait. No one else is home. I can just sit here! He sat in the darkness with that happy thought. He was always under the bright lights, sweating it out. It was good to be in the dark.
He lay back on the couch he'd been watching TV from and closed his eyes with the intent of sleeping. He was interrupted by a knock on the door. Who's crazy enough to be out in this weather?
He stood up and stumbled over to the door. He pulled it open to reveal a teenage girl with rain dripping off her and a concerned look on her face. She spoke quickly. "There's a tornado headed this way. Find some shelter. Okay?"
She turned to run down to the next house, but stopped. He looked down the street and saw a dark, swirling, funnel-shaped cloud galavanting down the street. I can't let this girl run off. I've got to help her.
He grabbed her arm and pulled her inside his house. He made his way through the darkened hallways then came to a wall, all with the girl's hand gripped firmly in his own. He felt around for the door handle.
He found it, grasped it, and pulled. The door which led down to their basement opened. He helped the girl down the stairs, then pulled her into the room they used as a storm shelter.
The room contained many blankets, flashlights, canned food items, as well as a few can openers. There was also a small propane heating/cooking unit. Hopefully, they would be out of here before having to use it.
He and the girl sat down in the middle of the pitch black room. He spoke as he realized that he knew nothing about the girl besides the fact that she was wet, female, and had been trying to warn the neighborhood about a tornado. Everything had happened too suddenly for him to find out more. He guessed that now was his time to do so. "Hi. I'm Taylor Hanson. Who are you?"
"Danielle Flowers. Pleased to meet you."
"Are you always this polite in such situations?"
"No sir. Only with people I don't know."
"So you've been through this before?"
Silence filled the air for a moment before she spoke again. "Unfortunately, yes. My best friend was killed last time I went through this."
He did not speak, nor burst into a comforting, sad song. He did not know what to say or sing. Instead, he put an arm around her shoulders and gave her a hug. He felt her squeeze back and hold in a sob. "Let it out. The more you hold it in, the worse it feels."
She pushed her head into his shoulder and began to cry. With every sob that she pushed into his awaiting shoulder, he let a tear fall from his blue eyes.
It made him think of all the times he should have cried, but hadn't. His grandmother's funeral. The first time he had moved. The time he had broken his arm. Everyone needed their chance to cry. Was this his chance?
He heard the wind howl and hugged Danielle a little closer to him. The tornado was close now, very close. The house rumbled and shook as the twisting storm loomed somewhere overhead.
It was only when he heard the ceiling above him start to crack that he knew exactly how close the storm was. It was directly above them, tearing through the house with incredible force. He wrapped his arms tightly around Danielle and pulled her to the side of the room.
They both subconsciously clutched at pipes on the wall as they spoke mumbled prayers to anyone listening. They held their breath and bit their lips as their hands were not available to cross their fingers.
A moment later, the rumbling and shaking ceased, followed by small pieces of building material falling from the ceiling.
Both teenagers stood on shaking legs in anticipation of the unknown. It was Taylor who broke the renewed silence. "Let's grab the blankets, flashlights, food and stuff and move to another room. I don't trust this ceiling to hold."
Danielle nodded and began gathering the items he had mentioned. "Taylor, is there any way I could get you to sing for me?"
Somewhat surprised, he answered, "Sure, just ask. Why would you want me to sing to you?"
She chuckled a bit. "Yeah. Like, I don't know who you are. I love your music. I always have. I love you and your brothers just for making your music. It's a nice thing to remind me of all the things I sometimes forget."
He carefully made his way over to her. He wrapped his arms around her and held her close. "Sometimes it's nice to remember those things, sometimes it's not. Why don't we go into the other room and sit down?"
She shook a bit in his arms, but said, "Sure."
They gathered up the storm supplies and walked out into the adjoining room. They sat down, face to face, and engulfed one another in their arms.
It didn't matter that they barely knew each other. Love was present regardless as love can exist without knowledge. In that love and in her arms, he finally let his tears fall.
They were still in their state of happy togetherness with tear stained faces when they were found the next morning by a search crew.
He loved her, she loved him. Having wept, they were one and as they touch, the single tear that threatens to fall from the corner of each falls in happiness.