Water is a sign of life. It is just one of the reasons why Charlotte Robb love rainy days. She pulled the blanket closer and listened to the rain falling lightly outside her window. Charlotte was jealous of its fluidity and freedom. It fell and landed wherever it pleased, leaving not a trace of wetness after a couple of days of sunshine. Yet it’s presence was everywhere. It left its mark on every living thing. The green of the leaves, the strength of a tree trunk, the musky smell of the earth, the brow of a man…it was everywhere. It could change the world and that’s what she wanted to do. Or at least change lives, just like her grandmother.
Marie Bond was undoubtedly one to be admired. She was certainly admirable in Charlotte’s eyes. Some may say differently. Hopefully out of my ear shot, she thought. All some people saw in her grandmother was a farmer raising nine children without a husband. They never saw how she taught her how to fight with her words and not her hands. Or how she would give her last to a stranger in need. They didn’t see her fight through arthritis, waking up before the sun showed its face, to till the soil all day to feed her family. Neither did they see the loneliness behind her smile, but Charlotte did. She would miss that smile. A wet lump began to birth in her throat, nourished by her memories of her grandmother. She shook her head as if to empty it and prevent the lump from giving life to a downpour of tears.
Charlotte groaned as she rolled onto her back, stretching her body to its limit. Her arms outstretched across the bed, legs spread wide until her toes peeked their head out from under the sheets. She wiggled them until they cracked. It felt good. She felt awake. Staring up at the ceiling, she could still hear the rain tapping on her windowpane. Her mind began to drift again. There were times that she couldn’t help but wonder if her leaving led to her grandma developing Alzheimer’s. She had overheard her Uncle Ted talking with her mom once.
“Since the first day you took Char away from Marie, she began to lose her mind. She lived for that child. She had nothing left after she was gone so she gave up.” He pointed out with certainty.
Her mom had said nothing. Charlotte remembered every detail of the day her mother said she could not live with her grandma anymore because she wanted her to go to a private school. The school would be closer to where her mom lived. At first she thought it would be exciting to move to a new place and go to a new school. However, she was sure that the emptiness she felt being away from her grandma and her friends those first few months was her first true heartbreak. She had cried and begged her mom to let her move back to her grandma’,s but she said she’d get over it. She did…eventually.
Nonetheless, she always wondered how her grandma truly felt. She would call her often. Sure she told Charlotte she missed her but mostly gave words of encouragement and reminded her not to keep bad company. Now she could hear her grand mother in the fall of the rain, her voice strong with wisdom and sure of herself. Suddenly this was a rainy day Charlotte had no love for.
Just as she glanced at the clock there was a knock on her bedroom door.
“Char, it’s time to get ready for the funeral. You’ll want to get something to eat first.” Her mom suggested.