This Part of Forever
Rain like tear drops falls on the sidewalk
Splashes in the existing puddles
Sprinkles on the dirt to make new ones
You always liked the rain
It seems so appropriate that it would rain
On your anniversary
It's been two years now
By the calendar
By my heart it's been just yesterday
Or a million years
I can't decide which
Perhaps I'll never really know
Or it will never really matter
To anyone but me
Best friends forever
Is what we used to say
You never told me that your forever
And mine might not exactly match
That my forever might drag on
Endlessly, without you.
Now the thunder shakes the ground
The trees are bending in the wind
You didn't like the thunder at all
Always looking for some shelter
From the storm
When thunder rumbled
And lightning ripped the sky
You'd laugh and say what
Grandma used to say
That the thunder was the sound of Jesus
Riding across the Heavens in a cart
With wooden wheels
And the lightening was the arrows of wrath
That he tossed at the unworthy.
Surely not us
We were among the worthy yet
Why did it scare you so much?
Not much frightened you back then
The first to take a dare
Jump the highest fence
Trespass where we daren't go
And flaunting it to the skies
You were the bravest of us
And yet the thunder scared you.
The darkened skies now full of rain
Like giant monsters the black clouds
Squeeze out the falling drops
To dance upon the place where
Once we played
But you liked the rain despite its
Loud and sharp companions
And when they left you ran in circles
In the raindrops
Tongue out catching droplets as they fell
Best friends forever
But you deceived me
Our forever was only
Until you left me all alone.
You always took the lead and I
Was most happy to follow
I had no decisions to make
When we were together
But I couldn't follow you this time
And there is a pain deep inside
To hold the feelings that I experienced
When I found out you lied to me
The rain is stopping
And the sun peeks though
Much lighter clouds
Everyone rejoices in the rainbow
That the rain has left behind
But I, no more, can join with them
Because you lied to me.
It's late now and Jeri Anderson leaves her pen and paper on the desk and goes to the window. Her parents don't know that she is still awake and she'd like it to remain that way. How can she sleep when today is Lucy's anniversary. Others think of her on her birthday but for Jeri it's the anniversary that makes the biggest impression. Part of her is still in the anger phase, or so her therapist says. Good. She thinks the anger takes up the space where worse feelings might appear.
Lucy was her companion, her muse, her source of purpose. Without her Jeri was like a ship foundering at sea in the middle of a dense storm. It was all she could do to keep her balance, to stay afloat, let alone decide where the ship was going or if it even had a name. For two years she had tried and her boat sunk every time. Pulled beneath the waves like a toy in a lake. Drowning, every day, drowning. She wondered how many times she could drown and still wake up in the morning.
She watched the rainstorm for a few minutes more. It made her think of Lucy and how she loved the rain, but not the rest of the storm. She was alone now and all the places she had followed her seemed lost to her. Lucy whose strong personality perfectly complimented Jeri's own. And they both liked it that way. Lucy and Jeri, Yin and Yang, made to be a duo and absolutely nothing could separate them. Except....
She turned from the storm and looked at her bed. Perfectly made up with a yellow daisy bedspread and pillow shams. Then her gaze traveled to the other side of the room where an identical bed sat. Her mother had suggested having friends over for a pajama party. But did she forget that she had always been the shy one? How could she throw a party when she barely knew what to say when she passed her friends in the hall at school?
When it stormed I was the brave one
Where did that feeling go?
The feeling that I could protect you
As you so often did for me
I need your protection now
Not from those who want to cry with me
Or lead me to a better place
Where I can be whole again
But from myself, my heart, my insides
Sinking once more
I don't want to cry and yet
It feels as though I will
Tell me, show me
What to say and do
You always did but then
You lied to me.
Why? I kept up my part
Of the slippery bargain we once made
I never left
I never would
Why did you lie to me?
They were in a doctor's office. Jeri and her parents. Her mother is saying something about Lucy always being the dominant twin. Her dad agrees. They are acting like it is a bad thing. She needed Lucy's lead to know exactly what to say, so she says nothing. The doctor asks her a question but she doesn't hear her. Her mind is elsewhere playing with Lucy. The doctor repeats herself and this time she hears and understands, but doesn't know what to answer.
“How do you feel about losing your sister?”
Jeri wants to smile. How can she know the correct thing to say. She instinctively looks around for
Lucy, who isn't there. She says nothing. The doctor speaks to her parents again. She doesn't hear the question but part of the answers find her ears.
“Lucy pushed Jeri around. It got so she needed her to make all her decisions..”
“It wasn't healthy for Jeri. The way her sister controlled her..”
She has found it. A way to protect Lucy. She pushes her chair back and positions herself so that she can see them all.
“Lucy did NOT push me around,” she screams. “I needed her to show me the way. She always knew just what to do or say. It wasn't unhealthy for me, I liked our arrangement! What was unhealthy
for me was when she got hit by that truck and died. I need her....” she slumped to the floor crying. Her parents and the doctor all comforted her, but her sobs continued until finally she was all cried out and looked at her mother whose eyes were also wet. “I'm sorry Mom, I don't know where that came from.”
The doctor put her hand on her shoulder. “It came from you. You, Jeri, the twin who misses her sister.
And it's okay that you are learning to speak for yourself. Lucy would want you to. You protected her just now the way she always protected you. You did it yourself. You made the decision to say what you did because you love and miss Lucy. But she is no longer here to lead you, so from now on, you are on your own. And you can do it, Jeri. I'm proud of you”
Jeri hugged her parents and they cried some more. Then they left for home.
You're really gone
My friend and pal
I remain lost without you
But I am learning how to cope
With this brand of loneliness
Why did you have to leave so soon.
Before I learned to take care of myself
Before I could make even simple decisions
On my own
Whenever it rains I think of you
You who danced in the drops
And the puddles
You who were my guide and promised forever
I now know you didn't lie to me
But rather spoke a hopeful truth
One that will bind us in heart
Until I am done with this part of my forever and
Join you in yours.