She always loved the rain. It had the most amazing calming effect on her.  It was better than a day of yoga. Ever since she was little the rain always centered her. It brought her back to reality giving her a sense of perspective. She loved the way it sounded. She would close her eyes and just listen to it as it would pelt against her window or skin. It always felt rejuvenating. She could sit in the rain for hours; feeling the cool gust of wind moving through her short coarse black hair while the drops would slide down her soft caramel skin. She loved the rain. It was like hiding in plain sight. Her tears would mix with God’s and she would feel less alone. Mixing her tears with God’s is such an odd concept. She would have screamed at herself for blaspheming, but she knew that God knew what she was referring to, remembering.
“Why is God crying, Nana?” asked an inquisitive little Tonya as she stared out at the rain from her window seat.

“I don’t know Sweetheart. But I do know how to make him stop. Wanna know the secret? Come over here and I’ll tell you,” says her Nana patting her lap.

Tonya eyes her grandma skeptically trying to decide if she really wanted to leave her spot. If she did her brother might come up and take it. But she was feeling more curious than cautious. So after carefully surveying the three foot walk from her spot to her Nana she decided to risk it. Leaving her perch on the window seat she went to her grandma’s rocking chair and climbing onto her Nana’s lap. “How, Nana?”

Nana begins to tickle her and loving say, “You have to be nice to the ones you love. You must be nice to your brother.”

“Oh, Nana!” screams Tonya through the giggles and tears trying desperately not to pee her pants. “God’s never gonna stop crying.”

 

How strange that it would be raining tonight,” thought Tonya as she stared out her bedroom window at an unsuspecting neighborhood. “Everything seems so peaceful, so calm. Like God is washing away all of our sins,” looking at herself in the glass she smirks. “I know their not really unsuspecting. When the rain comes we all just move our sins indoors, never gone, at least not for good.”

A hand touches the small of her back causing her to stiffen. Her husband Kyle taps his gun against the window making a slight wrapping noise. It was more so she saw it and less to hear. He wanted her to remember who was in charge. Leaning his head down next to her right ear he says, “Are you going to pay attention to me, or am I going to have to use this?”

Tonya shrinks away without saying a word. She can smell the Whiskey on his breathe. “Why Whiskey? He always makes bad decisions on whiskey.” She decides to sit at her vanity so that she can brush her hair. It’s longer now, all the way to her shoulders. He always hated it long. He would much prefer her hair be no longer than a few inches. He use to tell her that it brought out her natural beauty, and she believed him. Of course now she knew better. It just helped make her look more like-

“I’m starting to feel like you don’t even notice me anymore,” screamed Kyle from the window. “Why are you ignoring me? I didn’t do anything wrong. This is all your fault. You did this. You weren’t a good enough wife. You drove me to this. You made me this man. The kind of man that would wave a gun in his own home, at his own wife. And you’re not going to say anything. You’re not going to apologize for how you’re treating me? For what you’ve been driving me to do?”

Putting the brush down, Tonya turned toward him. Looking him dead in the eyes. Once upon a time she would have given her life for this man. He use to the definition of sophistication, genteel almost. He made her feel like the luckiest woman alive. She would ask herself how she found such a beautiful man. His eyes were the same color as the sky on the clearest day. He was built like a professional football player which made sense because he was a physical fitness instructor. He was over six feet tall and towered over everyone, especially her. She barely came up to his chest; plus she was way more robust then she needed to be.

But looking at him now, you would never have guessed any of that. His clothes were wrinkled and dirty, and he smelled like the wrong side of a porta potty. She continued to stare at him making comparisons till he started screaming again.

“What are you looking at you fat bitch! If you don’t start giving me reasons to forgive you. I’m just going to put a bullet in your head and be done with you,” he screamed as he pointed a shaking arm at her.

“Forgive me?” She said softly. She stood up and began slowly approaching him.

“Stop! Stay where you are or I’ll shoot!”

“Then go ahead and shoot already,” she stated calmly. She knew it was her voice but she couldn’t believe those words came out. I’m not ready to die, but then again. Living like this is far worse than anything he could ever do to me. Taking a deep breath she continued to slowly move toward him. “The only crime I ever committed was loving you more than myself. I loved you so much, I didn’t know how to breathe without you. I did everything you ever asked of me. I was more than a good wife. I was a fucking dog. I always came when called and never disturbed you otherwise. I was so afraid that if I did you’d stop loving me. And I would just die. But the truth is, there are far worse things than losing your love.”

Taking his hand into hers, she places the gun to her forehead. “And I would rather die than spend another second lying to myself about us. So if you want an apology. You might as well just kill me. Cause you’re not going to get one.” She looked deeply into his blue eyes one more time then brought her hands down to her side and began listening to the rain. Letting the tiny pelting sounds take her back to when she was six and safe. As she reached her center, she heard the bang of the gun.