Light rain poured mildly down in New Orleans. The wind was blowing at thirteen miles per hour, the humidity was at sixty percent, and precipitation was at 43 percent. I was a nerd for the weather. Sure it wasn’t something to go on Instagram for and brag about, like being an astronaut and recording my journey on Mars, but ever since I was a kid, I enjoyed looking out my window and watching what the sky would deliver to me. It brought ease to my life until my husband found a way to make my life a living hell.
“Rose, I want to get a divorce. I wanted to tell you this for about a week now, but I needed to wait until the kids weren’t in the room.” Ira said.
“Ira, we have five children together! Why would you want to get a divorce?”
“I am on a fixed income, and you are a stay-at-home mother. I am not able to provide for five kids when you are sitting on the couch all day doing nothing, and I am a high school teacher!”
“What’s wrong with being a high school teacher?”
“What’s wrong with you not wanting to get a job!”
“Mommy! Is everything ok?” Cindy said.
“No, honey. We are going to have to find a new place to live.”
“But mommy, I like it here!” Cindy complained.
“I like it here too, but your mother refuses to get a job!” Ira yelled.
“Where do you want me to go, Ira! What do you want me to do?”
“Why don’t you read a book and educate yourself!”
“Can you take care of the kids in the meantime?”
“Hell no, you’re taking the kids. I don’t want kids. Have those divorce papers signed by next month, you hear me?” Ira threatened.
“Go to hell. Come on, kids! We are leaving!”
“Mom, where are we going?”
“We are going to go see my friend Lilly. She works at the cafe in the library. She will set us up with some drinks.”
“Where are you going to get the money to pay for drinks?”
“She’s my friend! Why don’t you try making some!” I shot back.
We left the house in the light rain that left droplets on our foreheads. The library was within walking distance of my home, and I knew he wasn’t going to let me have the car. When we approached the library, Lilly met us by the door and hugged me.
“What’s going on? Is everything alright?” Lilly asked.
“I was told I need to educate myself.”
“By who? Your parents?”
“I’m sorry to hear you guys broke up. Why don’t I take the kids to my house, I can feed them and put them to bed, and you can swing by my house whenever you are finished studying.” Lilly offered.
“You would do that?”
“Of course I would! Let me take them off your hands. I will call you if there are any problems.”
“Thank you so much. You’re the best!”
“Anything for you, babe.”
Finally, I was alone. I looked through all the books, but none of them were clicking. I eventually found one I thought would intrigue me, and I sat down near the window. I flipped through a few pages scanning through the pictures when a guy approaches me and sits beside my table.
“What are you reading, darling.” He said.
“Nothing!” I said, hiding the book in my arms.
“Don't feel ashamed! What is it 50 Shades of Grey?”
“Fine then, I am just going to go. By the way, do you know what the weather is like right now?”
My face glowed up as that was the question I was always able to answer.
“It was lightly raining, but now it is heavy, there is 24% precipitation, the wind is blowing at 12 miles per hour, and the humidity is at 92%, and it is 73 degrees in New Orleans!
The man turned to me with his eyes wide and went on his way to grab a book. He slid the book over to me, and the cover read, meteorology, and detecting satellites from a computer.”
“You would be wasting your career if you don’t study this and become a weather forecaster!”
“I always wanted to be a forecaster,” I said.
“Then I am surprised you don’t know who I am!” He laughed.
I inspected him closer, but he didn’t look like anybody I have seen before. Finally, he took off his hat, and I was able to tell who he was.
“Lucas Baker! From Pile News!”
“There you go, lady! I knew you knew who I was.”
“How did you know I was going to be here?”
“I didn’t, but once I saw you looking out that window, I knew you cared about the weather. It was in your heart, darling.”
“So where do I go from here? I don’t have enough money to go to college.”
“I will tell you what, if you read that book in front of you and learn all about detecting the weather in addition to practicing talking to be a forecaster, I will let you work with my team!”
“Thank you so much for the opportunity! I will get to work right away!”
“Here is my number, have a nice night! I wish you the best of luck in your studies.”
ONE MONTH LATER
I enter the school building where Ira works, and I see as he sits there miserably while the kids are independently working.
“Oh my god, look, Mya! It’s the news reporter from Pile News!”
“That woman is not a news reporter! She’s just an unemployed loser who lives with her friend!” Ira said.
“I am afraid you are incorrect. Perhaps you haven’t been watching the news? That’s odd being that you are a history teacher.” I explained.
“No fricking way.”
A kid in the room plays one of my videos out loud to the class, and I can’t help the grin that appears on my face.
“Well, in that case, this lady is my wife!”
The kids in the room look astonished, and they all look over to me and then back at him.
“Draw a big X on the paper where you just wrote wife and dump it in the garbage just where you had dumped me. Here are your goddamn divorce papers. They are signed. I have been trying to give the papers to you for a week now, but I wanted to wait until all the students were in the class first!”
“That’s cold.” He said.
“So is the weather today! It is 46 degrees with 75% precipitation. The wind is blowing at 7 miles per hour, and the humidity is 66%. Keep watch! On Friday, there will be rain and snow showers.”
And with that, I walk out of the school thinking about how a single book was able to change my life around and make me become a person I never before had the courage to be.
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