I watch the raindrops become pellets on my scratched window pane. At first, they pat the glass softly, soft as a rabbit nibbling the grass. They create gentle, cool thuds in different subtle pitches that could soothe an agitated soul. It puts one in a peaceful trance, numbing worries like anaesthesia depriving the body of the senses. At first, it tingles as though someone has taken a tiny thin feather and poked your exposed skin long enough for your nervous system to succumb to the feeling. It feels as though ice water is running through your poorly insulated veins, as if it has found your Achilles heel, like it’s given up and surrendered in battle.
But the rain is not for me. It never has been and never will be. Because when it rains, it pours.
I am too sensitive to sounds. My brain cannot comprehend screams, angered tones or excited children. It cannot handle mother nature’s moody, gloomy days: the grey clouds, the zig-zagged thunderbolts that are rumored to be crafted by Jupiter, and the painful howls of the wind that rumble against my rib cage. I feel that my moods are connected to the weather like my soul is connected with the elements mother nature controls.
The warm glow that pierces through the white innocent, angelic-like clouds lands on my pale cold-blooded skin, igniting the hidden endorphins embedded deep in my endocrine system and giving me a rush. They rarely are released because very little things make me happy, but when they are, I like to imagine they feel like being on a rollercoaster, or a Ferris wheel, or… or maybe a hug. Things like that.
I can’t ride roller coasters because they are loud, tall, and filled with people born without a backbone. They abuse their vocal cords and scream at the top of their lungs because they can’t handle the thrill. I can’t ride Ferris wheels because heights make my sensitive heart throb in my chest. I hate being trapped in closed places. Claustrophobia makes me hate hugs. They feel as though I’m being sucked and squeezed into an imperial doom that I can never climb out of.
I watch my breath form into thick white vapor as they cling onto the thick glass and retreat as I pull it back into my nose.
Two knocks on the door.
1… 2… simple soft thuds.
I peel my skin away from the warped glass and welcome the winter air sting my exposed cheek. I’m fond of the bitter season actually. People hate the cold, the brisk air, the ice lingering on homes, slowing cars down, and snow-flecked eyebrows. But the cold is welcomed in this heart of mine.
I’m a visual person, I love to watch things twist and turn and churn into something new. I like to see things form and transform and change, see how they change, why they change, and what variables make them into what they are from now. You could say it makes me a thematic person. Seeing carbon dioxide turn into whimsical frothy strokes huddled together desperate to keep alive gives me some sort of thrill, excitement, joy.
Many see it as odd but I think normalized forms of entertainment are odd, like ice-skating. Why did humankind create such a dangerous sport and advertise it as fun for families and kids? Moving across ice on thin blades is enough evidence to close my argument but there is more. There is nothing but frigid thick cold water sloshing underneath you and you’re just waiting for the ice to crack under pressure so it can grab you by the ankles-
My feet make their mark on the white fuzzy carpet as I walk towards the door. The white threads poke through my toes, sparking my nerves and bringing me that warm fuzzy feeling. At first, it’s weird, coldness tries to go beyond my skin. I don’t like that part. The part I do like, however, is the wave of warmth that comes and smothers the cold. It’s like the seasons are fast forwarding in my body. Goosebumps are like winter, the fuzziness is like Spring, then everything calms down like how ice cream cools your tongue.
The door groans softly, reminding me for the umpteenth time to oil its hinges. But, I like its soft tune. It protects me in a way by warning me of intruders who refuse to knock on my wooden white grained door and are ill-mannered enough to barge in. The creaks reveal my Mama dressed in faux black fur standing tall and confident in her colored powder and heels. I honestly don’t see the practicality is synthetic pastes and powders clowns use and the sharp thin hazardous spikes women wear that can damage the structure of their foot but if it pleases my Mama, I won’t say anything. Another reason I won’t say anything is because I don’t want to be questioned about a red hand mark on my face before my therapy session.
“Ready for your Speech Therapy, hon?” she asks in a feathery tone as she put her black cat eyeglasses on her head.
“The snow,” I state as my finger points to the scratched window pane.
“Yes dear, isn’t it lovely?” Mama says, carefully walking behind me, cautious not to upset me with an accidental brush or stroke by her clothing or skin.
I can’t tolerate things touching me without my consent or my knowledge or my permission. My sensitivity to touch is highly severe that sometimes I need to wear gloves. A lot of things overwhelm me and my nervous system that if I do want to touch something, such as fluffy things (which are my favorite to feel) or cold and metallic things (which are okay I suppose) I have to mentally prepare myself. Unsusceptible things such as a pat to the back or an accidental brush of clothing disrupt me and my thinking, which I do not like since they takes away my intelligence ideas and replace it with horrible migraines and involuntary blows to the head by my rebellious and traitorous hands. I-
The old grand clock chimes four.
“Look at the time hon, if we don’t leave now we will be late!”
I do not care.
After one tantrum, two tight pulls on my hair, and 3 punches to the wall, we are in the four-wheeled car. My poor mama fuming behind the wheel and me, gazing at the blurry bushes and trees passing by the passenger window. I bet the trees are happy, enjoying the soft sugarless treat they get once every few years instead of the typical flowy typical boring water.
The car stops painfully slowly like it’s submerged in icy salty water, like an evil person stabs a knife in your back when you’re not watching. I feel the acids and liquids and guts stupidly attempt to leave my stomach then jolt backward as my skull hits the back of the car seat.
I throw up.
“Dad drives better than you,” I hack the words out of my throat. It isn’t a pleasant feeling.
“Oh you hush hon, I’m a great driver compared to that beer addict!”
It’s true, Father does like his beer. But I kind of like him drunk. It’s pretty hilarious.
“I swear under the eye of God he only gets drunk when he doesn’t want to drive or run errands for his poor overworked wife. Oh well.” She sighs whilst trying to find her lipstick in the compartment by the shift gear.
“I’ll go check myself in.”
Mama stops her spidery hands and looks me dead in the eye. “No, you won’t.”
“Why not? If I can solve university level algebraic equations, then I can check myself in.”
“Oh, honey sweetie,” she begins, coating her words in fake sugar. “Solving equations and interacting with humans are two drastically different things. Plus,” Mama adds, “We wouldn’t be here if you were capable enough to be independent.”
“No buts Astie. Please don’t start one of your tantrums here.” Mama mumbles while I watch her fumble around for a black round compartment to pat her bruises away with blush.
“You don’t need that.”
Mama already looks pretty without the pore-clogging powders and pastes and serums. My statement grabs her attention and softens her angry botoxed face. It’s funny when she tries to move her eyebrows but fails. It looks like two fuzzy caterpillars glued down on a branch struggling to escape their sticky mess before a predator arrives for dinner.
“Why not darling? These bruises you gave me aren’t going to cover up all by themselves”
“They are actually.”
“They’re pink. The blush is pink. Even the brush is pink. Technically you’re wasting pink powder. If you put that pink powder on your pink bruises it’s going to be a waste since you’re putting pink on pink on pink.”
“Oh Astie,” Mama chuckles and puts her blush away to hold a fist chest level. I do the same and we bump fists since I despise having two arms strangling my fragile figure. “Tongue twister of yours might be a mouthful, but it’s useful.”
I like tongue twisters. It’s like a complicated complex equation for your tongue.
“So you ready for your appointment hon?”
My fingers clench and curl together. I feel my tongue urging itself to say no but my brain twists it to say- “Yes.”
We step over the welcome mat and wait.
I look over at my purple blotches my arms have collected this past week.
I look at the Therapist by the door. Her plastic smile fools me no more than…
I pat my pocket and make sure I pocketed Mama’s concealer but…
I really hope they don’t batter my body again.
Are these raindrops?
Anisah Khan has been writing for the past seven years. At first it started as a hobby that turned into a passion as she competed in the Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition during high school. She discovered writing is her passion as Anisah’s works has been recognized on the Regional and National level. Currently, Anisah is working on her projects, publishing her pieces, and launching her first website while attending the University of Houston majoring in Biology and minoring in Creative Writing.