It Always Rains
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It was a beautiful day for a storm.

It was one of those rare November days where the wind was strong and the rain was cold, when it perpetually felt like everything outside was but a precious few hours away from broiling over into a monsoon. Or a hurricane. Or something like that – I never paid much attention to the weather.

The rain poured. I stayed inside.

The concrete in the parking lot was still bent from the summer heat. I could see it from my window: a sea of frozen waves and whirlpools, captured on a canvas as black as the oil that made it. I wondered if it would ever melt back into shape. I felt like it should, because I had always been told that concrete did that, but part of me felt that it never really happened, that I just forgot to check the warps and whorls before the heat came back and I inevitably rushed outside only to see more bends and curves and cursed my forgetfulness. But how else will I know for sure? A watched pot will boil eventually, but not if the fire isn't lit; if I can’t see the fire, how will I know that it will boil?

The rain pounded against the window and the roof. I lived at the top floor of the dorms, a most undesirable place for anyone else. Far from classes, far from friends, and hard on the legs if the elevators were out of service, which they always were. But I never had a hard time getting up.

Sometimes I slip up, ask someone where their horns are, why they aren’t flying, how they can’t see the faeries in that tree, when the second sun will set today, and they will look at me strangely. I’ve always been able to laugh, brush it off, discourage doctors from prescribing me medicines that I don’t need, but the comments made me an outsider, even in college, a place where others always say that there are no outsiders, that everyone is weird and nobody is alone.

The rain lashed down harder, and I looked up from my book to the window, absently placed it on a shelf that wasn’t there. The book sat there, in thin air, for a moment – I felt it do so, even though I wasn’t watching it – and then it quietly disappeared. I looked back from the rain-streaked window – a beautiful nonsense of colored panels depicting something that was probably either religious or academic – to check if the book was still there. It wasn’t. In its place, hanging in the air as though by invisible threads (though there never were any) was a tiny glass scorpion, exquisitely crafted. It shone in the cloud-weak sunlight, its pincers glittering as it twisted and turned, looking for ground.

I took it from the air – carefully, making sure to hold it by its tail, as its pincers were small and I had heard somewhere that the small-clawed had the most potent venom – and placed it in a drawer. I exhaled.

This is how it has always been. I used to try convincing people that what they could see was not all there was, that there were shelves of some monstrously large library surrounding us all and only I could feel them (sometimes they blocked hallways and I had to squeeze through the gaps where books were to be placed), but I was a child back then, and everyone were much more upfront than they would be today that they could not see what I could. My parents did not see my behavior for anything but creativity, quickly forgetting any mention I made of the Library. But despite everyone's denial, I knew.

The rain was a downpour, a torrential ocean coming down to earth. Sometimes people say that the sky is raining buckets, and this was the only time that I had seen that to be true. There was more water than air out there, and for a brief moment, I saw a fish.

And everyone else did too.

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