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innocence lost

She's staring out the window now, watching the trees swaying in the fierce wind she can't feel though the thick glass. The sleeves of her oversized sweatshirt fall over her fingertips, only sliding back when she props her elbows up on the desk in front of her, leaning forward, resting her head in her hands.

She doesn't notice the crumpled paper falling to the floor, another failed attempt at reconciling herself to reality. She doesn't notice... and she couldn't care.

Outside, the rain begins to fall. It hits at her window, first softly, then in sharp slaps that sound on the roof of the house as well as all around. She only looks out, looking at the trees, getting drenched in the rain.

Getting drenched. Getting cleansed. The pure rainwater making everything beautiful. Falling from a gray sky, colorless droplets of innocence.

She stands up and leans towards the window, unlatching it with trembling fingers. It might be from the cold or they might just be trembling because they haven't stopped since she realized that nothing was normal anymore. Her eyes stare up at the sky, closing as the first gusts of the deliciously cold wind hit her face, followed by that fresh earthy smell. The smell of everything pure, the smell that she still loves, no matter what.

Suddenly, the sounds of laughter float up to her window, and she tries to see what's going on below. She wants to know who's laughing, what's making them laugh. She's forgotten how to; maybe they could teach her to smile again.

It's the children. The kids from next door and down the road, the children dancing in the rain. Their bare feet splash in the puddles and they clap their hands and squeal with excitement as the rain pours down. All of them are soaked, the clothes sticking to their bodies, but they don't seem to care. Innocent children, innocent beauty. The innocent rain and the innocent children dancing in the pure streets, cleansed of the dirt of the world.

For a second, everything suddenly makes sense, the sounds of children cutting through the mist that had descended on her mind and making her feel beautiful.

She's been told the rain is cleansing. She doesn't bother to put on shoes as she tears out the door of the room, ignoring the calls of her mother and stares of her father as she runs through the house, running up the stairs and towards the flat roof of her home. The stairs end at a door, and she throws it open, a gasp of fresh, cold air.

The roof is wet. Water, water, everywhere, in puddles and swirling down the drain. For all the water that's falling from the roof, more falls from the sky. Pure water. Cleansing water. She believes the rain is cleansing as she steps out, her feet almost slipping on the slick, wet concrete. She turns her face to the sky, cocks an ear to listen to the sound of the children laughing below.

The rain still falls, but the only sound that fills her ears is of it hitting the buildings around her. The children have moved on, their laughter with them, only echoes of it remaining in her mind. Slowly, she turns her face away, just standing in the water, feeling it soak through her clothes in all its ferocity, feeling her hair sticking in damp strands to the sides of her face. Her glasses have water spattered all over them and she can barely see.

The mist falls over her again, and she numbly wonders why. Why did someone lie to her that the rain is pure, that it cleanses all? Nothing can wipe away the marks that were left on her; nothing can bring her innocence back to her.

She stands there, a lone figure, staring at the view from the rooftop. The rain pours and pours, and from behind her, she can hear the sounds of people climbing the stairs. Her shoulders droop, and even as she feels the towel being draped around her, as someone wraps it around her and tries to take her back down, she knows that nothing will ever be the same again.

Nothing is the same. Nothing is innocent anymore.

Especially not the rain.



© Marziya Mohammedali, 2001-2013