The Sunrise and the Rainfall

Chapter 1: There Lived a Man

The wind toyed with Lydia's auburn hair, whipping the edges of her black dress. Tears cascading down the perfectly oval face blurred her eyeliner, startlingly blue eyes clenched shut in a pathetic attempt to staunch the flow. She rested on her knees, her right hand covering her face; the left stayed the roses on Kory's grave, keeping the merciless winds from picking them up and carrying them away with the rest of the dead leaves whistling around the graveyard.

Overshadowed by a slowly darkening overcast sky, the cold, dead October ground echoed the eighteen year old girl's heart. Another leaf blew by, getting caught in her hair before being torn away to join its brethren in the endless dip and climb, the rise followed by the inevitable fall, as the leaves were pulled down, down, only to be pulled up again as if some sort of cruel joke. Had she noticed it, Lydia's next thought would have been of Kory, how he had been in the prime of life before the endless hurricane of life had torn him away.

"Why did you do this to me?!" she sobbed, falling to all fours, weeping uncontrollably. Oh, God, why… "Answer me!" she shrieked. She so wanted to kick her bare feet against the ground like some little child who couldn't have what she wanted; but no matter how hard she cried, Kory would never come back. He was…

She had long thought herself cried out; she had been here for what must have been hours, weeping, in front of the gravestone as hard as her heart. The wind stole some more tears as they fell to nourish the frozen earth. Wiping her eyes with the back of her hand, Lydia's watery, bloodshot blue eyes fell on the epitaph.

Framed by two crying angels on either side, and adorned with a crown of roses on the top, the words that would forever be the shrine of Kory's memory seemed so stupid, so useless to Lydia she almost wanted to scratch them out with her bare hands, with her all too cheerily painted pink nails. God, how she hated him! How she hated her life!

"Here Lies Kory Lee Josephson,

The greatest son a mother could want,

And the greatest friend one could ever ask for.

July 7 1987 - October 21 2005

May he rest in peace forever and always."

Five lines. That was all. Her closest friend, the one who had held her while she cried, was given five lines in memory. She wanted to scream, and she did. Life had to be the… the… the stupidest thing that had ever happened. Nothing made sense, and it seemed like nothing had to. All that mattered was that Kory was dead.

Her hands grasped the roses harder, causing the green plastic covering to crinkle loudly. She pulled back until she was upright again, still on her dirt-caked knees. Tilting her head back, she looked up at the bleak steel-gray sky, squinting her eyes against the hair being blown across her face. "God," she said, voice eerily calm. "I'm still waiting for an answer."

She continued to stare her defiance even as the heavens opened up and let loose their reply, a torrent of water that joined together with Lydia's tears, running down the rivulets on her face onto the ground, seeping into the dirt, down, down to her Kory…

Oh, how she wanted to be with him, to be held by him one last time, to have kissed him one, last… the tears began anew, flowing freely with the rain. Her thoughts went back to the funeral service this morning… how Mark had been there, looking as stoned as ever, staring stupidly ahead, unaware of what was going on around him. Lydia hated him. How could Kory have ever been friends with someone like that?!

John had come, too, and he had completely confused Lydia. He had watched the casket being lowered looking shocked and sad and at the same time… something… else. Lydia hadn't quite caught on to it at first, but he had been different. He had just been… different. For crying out loud, for such a good friend of Kory's, he hadn't even cried! To be fair, though, he had been the one who comforted Lydia the most, as she sat in the pew of the church where the wake took place, crying. He had stood by her as she wept, leaning against him as he stroked her hair.

Lydia turned towards the gravestone again, lip trembling. John had been the one who was with Kory in his last moments, not her. He had been the one at the hospital bed; he had been the one who watched him when the light left his eyes and he…

Lydia was lying with her face in the dirt when her parents found her there, sobbing, but run out of tears to cry. She hadn't put up a fuss when her mother led her back to the car, or when her father had thrown his coat around her to give her warmth. None of it mattered. She was cold and always would be; no amount of words or good intentions could help her.

She lay across the back seat of the car as her father closed the door and started up the car. Her mother kept shooting worried looks back at her, but Lydia didn't care. She just stared out the window, watching the water-stained landscape through the rivers of rain running down the window. As exhaustion took over, she tried to think back to before, before today, before Kory had gotten sick, before any of this had happened.

Her last thought before she lost consciousness was that she could at least find comfort in her dreams.

(No worries – more to come! I hope you enjoyed my most recent piece; reviews and criticism greatly appreciated. Thank you all, and do keep reading!

The One and Only,

Irish Penguin)