Raincoat fashion is all the rage this year. Since it has rained for the past ten months, you can probably see why. Personally my favorite raincoat of mine is red and glossy that barely makes crinkle noises when I move.
Okay, really it is because it was on sale for 30 bucks at Walmart so it wasn’t very great. Prices have skyrocketed as businesses take advantage of the general consumer. Raincoats range from 20 dollars to thousands. And if you are the Kardashians, even more than that.
At least it’s better than the plastic poncho I was wearing the first month of rain when I thought the weather was a fluke.
I spent more of my money on water resistant shoes and socks. I didn’t mind soggy clothes, but wet socks was where I drew the line.
Before this year, I probably would’ve made fun of one of my coworkers for being a pansy because they wore a raincoat to work like they were “scared of water” or something along those lines.
And now here I was, squishing to work like the rest of them. There were some perks to the rain though.
Appearances were not as important. I mean, I’ve seen half of my fellow female employees in my office without makeup because it rains all the time. Some still wore it, but with soggy hair, it was a waste of time.
No amount of umbrella square footage can keep that frizz away, Pamala.
I had gotten to the office late today since the streets were extra flooded this morning. My traction tires could barely handle it. I rushed to my desk, shed my coat and pretended like I was here all along before my boss could see.
I opened my computer at the office, ignoring the severe storm warning that popped up on my screen. I haven’t taken the weatherman seriously in so long. As I was working on another recent case file, Wes, my cubicle neighbor, called my name.
“Tria, you’ve got to see this.” I peered over the manila colored wall as he shifted his computer towards me.
A few other of my coworkers were peering over theirs as well, some even crowding around Wes’s desk. I wondered what could cause so much commotion.
I turned to see the weatherman wasting his life away with his job.
“Seriously?” I looked at Wes.
“No look.” I squinted at his screen, seeing today’s report. He turned the volume up so I could hear what Mr. Lacey, our local weatherman bum, had to say for today.
“This just in, there is a seventy-five percent chance that we will have eleven minutes of pure sunshine at around noon after almost a year of rain. I hope you still have your summer shorts ready because this is the biggest weather shift we will have this week.”
“No way.” I whispered. “I mean, it’s only seventy-five percent Wes, we will all be disappointed by the time our lunch break ends.”
“Don’t be such a downer Tria. This could be real.”
“I’m more likely to drown in the street floods than any possibility of sunshine coming our way. It's a stunt Wes. They just need ratings so the station won’t get shut down.” I huffed, before hunkering down into my work.
What a joke. I thought as my heart leaped with hope anyway. A day of sun has haunted my dreams for so long. It couldn’t be real right?
Yet, my brain flickered to past memories. Ones where children played outside, old ladies sipped tea on their front porch in the morning light, and beach trips were all but regular.
Those hopes were squashed as another severe storm warning popped onto my screen. Stupid spam.
I kept my focus on my file instead, trying to keep my mind from wandering to the warm feeling of sunshine.
My watch sent a notification that it was time for my lunch break. Instead of going to the office salad bar like I always did, I rushed to my car getting pelted by heavy rain. It was heavier than normal, but I held onto some hope.
“Going to check the sun event out instead of lunch Tria?” Avi, the gatekeeper, asked as I scanned my ID on the pad to let me out of the dingy parking lot reserved for our office.
“No. Forgot my computer charger at home.”
Avi gave me a confused glance as she saw my charger poking out of my laptop carrier in the passenger seat of my car. I shifted in front of it “I’ll see you in a bit.”
“Ya, sure.” She let me through, looking skeptical.
I sped home despite my tires skidding a few times. I pulled into the driveway to my house, taking every moment to get ready for the sunshine. I put on my favorite outfit, heels, and some mascara that would run down my face on any normal day. I curled my hair into perfect spirals and deemed that I was ready. The percentage had gone up for sunshine since I last checked and even some of the neighbors were outside, anxiously waiting for the rain to finally stop. At least for some time.
I tossed my raincoat on a nearby chair, reapplying lipstick and getting my camera out.
I was ready to capture eleven minutes of bliss.
Every moment that led up seemed to go slow as I cherished each second with a smile. The forecast was for a ninety percent chance of sun in two minutes. My smile grew wider as I stepped out onto the wet bricks of my front deck, swiping my bangs out of my face. All the people out with me started to gasp as the rain started to slow, bit by bit. This was it.
My heart beat faster. I rushed into the rain, expecting it to pass any second now.
Until, the two minutes had passed, and the rain had whooshed back at full force. My face fell almost as far as my heart did. Tears sprung to my eyes as a turmoil of emotions surged through me.
Everyone had gone in one by one at the realization that the weatherman was wrong.
That there was no sun.
Now my heart ached even more so now that my hopes had shot up. I knew it was too good to be true. And I had missed lunch.
My curls wilted and fell as I changed back into my rain resistant clothes and wiped off any evidence of runny makeup or that I had been hopeful to begin with. Cynicism was much easier to live with than false hope. It was a contest to which one disappointed a person more.