A week ago, I was seriously complaining about the heat. It was hot since 8 am, and it was humid to boot. It was not pretty. I spent the day drinking horchata, eating Vietnamese sandwiches, and hopping from business to business that offered appropriate air conditioning. It was stupid hot.
As I went about the day, I ran into my friends Isaak and Chris. And their beautiful baby, Ayla. [She is so beautiful, I literally gasped.] As I was catching up with them, Isaak mentioned she heard on the news that it was going to rain later that day. I gave her the 'what news were you watching?' face... it felt too hot to rain. And in the middle of August? Get real, people.
I continued to spend the day enjoying air conditioning, lots of water...and the regular routine mentioned above. I counted the hours until the day was over (I started work at 9am, and was very much waiting for 7:30pm). My best friend texted me asking how I was doing regarding Rachelle. I said fine, I'd thought of her some, and the knot in my stomach eased and went away. Why? Was it an anniversary that I'd forgotten? The funeral? I shrugged it off, needing to get back to work.
As my co-worker and I were walking back to the office to wrap up the day, I looked up to the sky and realized it was really dark. Rain sort of dark. I smiled a bit, and shook my head. I guess I was wrong to be so incredulous about Isaak's earlier comment.
We wrapped up our paperwork, and as soon as I stepped outside I asked, "Is it raining?!" I'd suddenly found myself in a state of anticipation about it raining in August. And then, I smelled it. That beautiful smell of wet cement/rain that we all associate with, well, rain. I ended up gleefully stepping outside, and beginning my trek home.
It was sprinkling. I was initially disappointed, but as it started raining harder and harder, I found myself smiling, and pretty soon, laughing! This joy just bubbled from my soul and out of my mouth... when else would it rain this hard? In the middle of the summer?
I walked home thinking of Rachelle. How she'd start running through the rain, how she'd tell me some epic story we could tell as we got home pretty much soaked to the skin with August rain. I thought of how she'd be the one who'd wordlessly reach for my hand, knowing that this was a special moment in the summer, but a moment that was a fluke we'd shared to begin with.
After getting home and cleaning myself up, I wound down for the night by checking Facebook. There it was: Rachelle's birthday. The guilt hit first. I'd missed her birthday.
And yet, after offering myself grace for not remembering, I thought of how amazing it was to be caught in a rainstorm in the summer. It would only happen on Rachelle's birthday, after all.