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lightning strikes twice (a Broken World story)

It started with a rumbling off in the distance. A few dark clouds gathering as the sun started to disappear behind the horizon. A little unstable air. A little lift.

It started with a few dark clouds off in the distance, soon after they’d moved in.

Then there was a small shimmy throughout the house as a gust of wind took hold. Foretelling the coming pyrotechnics.

There was a small reverberation throughout the neighborhood when they moved in. Fresh blood. Both young and attractive. They invigorated the neighborhood. Made it seem a little more alive. Most of us have raised our kids and seen them depart so getting a couple that is just starting their journey together is quite a nice change.

The lightning started small but soon had me sitting on the little bench on my porch completely transfixed. The lighting looked like dilated blood vessels on a bloodshot eye. I was sitting within the eyeball and with every strike I felt more kinship with my retinas. “Ahhh… now I get it.”

The first few years of marriage are always tough. Once the bloom is off the rose the real work of love begins. We could hear them argue more frequently and his car would go missing from their driveway for days at a time.

We’re not snooping mind you. Just noticing.

Like I was noticing the rain getting harder. Building like an orgasm. I could feel the moisture on my face despite being safely tucked away. At a certain point you can’t escape it.

At a certain point you don’t want to. It feels like the whole world could get washed away and that it would be just fine. But you know deep down it won’t last…

Which is what we all feared for our young couple. I wanted to approach them and tell them everything I’ve learned about love and marriage and making things work until I realized that they would probably get more out of spending a few minutes in the Hallmark cards aisle at the pharmacy.

And then I saw them emerge from their house to watch the rain with me. By now it was torrential. Even the word torrential will make the hairs on the back on my neck stand up. They sat down on their porch and I sat on mine and for a few minutes we shared the best efforts of the cumulonimbus clouds gathered overhead .

And then the rain stepped it up a notch. More rain than I’d ever seen before. Thundering down. A wave. A promise to wipe everything away and start again clean.

And then I saw the couple get up and walk out into it. I heard laughter.

Every now and then a big crack of lighting would illuminate them. Nighttime then daytime then back to night.

And then they began to dance. Spinning absurdly, hands over their heads. Welcoming the storm.

And then they embraced and the lightning played along hitting every cue and I realized the not all of the wetness on my cheek was from the rain.

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