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A Tornado is Coming
I'd seen a green sky before but nothing like that. It wasn't the color of the
summer grass we were lying on or the color of the pine trees dotting the horizon
but the color of an ancient river when the murky bottom had been stirred. The
weak sunlight peaked from behind dark boiling clouds with slanted rays. A
tornado was coming.
It's strange what we remember of our first love. I remember the storm that drove
her into my arms. I remember her periwinkle blouse with the top two buttons
undone. I remember being held captive by the scent of her floral perfume taken
to flight as I chased after her. She wasn't like any other girl I knew; she was
flamboyant, care free and full of life. When the rain started, we ran into a
shallow cave. We discarded our wet clothing and took refuge in our picnic
I brought my lips to hers, kissing her deeply on her sensuous mouth. Her hands
slipped around my neck, pulling me to her. My arms encircled her waist as her
body arched into mine. I felt the fullness of her breasts crush against my chest
as my lips traveled down her throat. She moaned softly as I pushed myself inside
her soft moist fold; her honey colored legs embracing my strong back.
We made love several times against the cacophony of the brewing storm. A tornado
was coming. Our lives passed through my mind frame by frame, as in a silent
film; a wedding in a small, rustic church on a soft and sunny September
afternoon; a honeymoon against a hot pink and saffron sky with plump seagulls
dancing nervously on the coastal sea breeze; our daughter's first cry of life
filling the spring air. Small apartments gave way to modest bungalows and
finally to Angel Kiss Acres where she raised painted stallions. She tamed them
with a soft whispering tone and patient teachings.
They loved her as much as I. She was strong and kept the pain to herself even
when it was unbearable until it insidiously robbed her of life and vitality. On
the day of the diagnosis, the east was a wall of gun metal blue cloth. The sky
no longer beamed and the earth no longer glittered. Our lake turned an ashen
death against a froth of endless whitecaps. The sun soon disappeared and the
rain started. A tornado was coming.
I stand beside her hospital bed now and watch her sleep, a picture of serenity.
The surgeons did the best they could to rid the disease that ravaged her body.
The prognosis they give is foreboding. She is so thin; she could pass through a
harp without striking a note. I study her face like I did that day back in our
cave, lightly outlining her chiseled features with the back of my hand. Her hair
cast over the pillow like a fan of straw; her pale lips drawn to a thin pink
line. Outside the light from the sunken red disc is smeared pink through a
fabric of grey and green. Drops of rain tick the windows and the sky turns lead
gray. A tornado is coming.
The once steady staccato of her hospital monitors is now silent. A salty tear
rolls down my cheek but I quickly wipe it away. I realize fighting is futile and
I give in to the gush of emotion and pain that weakens my knees. I fall into the
green visitor chair. My tears stream like rain; my cries thunder in my ears. A
tornado is coming.
Like petals of apple blossoms in spring, fragments of my personality will
eventually fall away until I will spend hours in her favorite rocking chair
staring at the far wall, clutching some antique photo. Its edges will be curled;
its luminance will be weak but the pixilated image will reveal a slice of her
life that I've always cherished. Pre-dawn sunlight, will spill through large
scattered rain clouds, throwing scarlet highlights into the sky and glints of
white on the wet grass. A new day will dawn, full of hope and life but I will
remain frozen in time; in our cave safe and secure. A tornado is coming.
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