I had been brought up with a phobia for rain. My parents had made it clear that if I got wet in the rain, I would die for sure. I had always thought of rain as an enemy. Even when I learnt about the life giving water cycle, I did not see rain as the great boon it was. After learning about the water cycle. I accepted rain as a fact of nature; but not something to enjoy. Then I met Julia. Julia is my tenant: an older lady who had never bothered to marry. She was an outdoor type and as tough as nails. As soon as she came to live in our apartment, she adopted me as her niece and we became good friends. My parents liked the influence she had over me and never questioned whatever I did as long as it was with Julia.
One day, we went for a walk. The sun was shining when we set out but on the way back, it began to drizzle. Reacting as I had been taught all my life. I began to run. Julia caught me in a vice-like grip. “We will enjoy the rain,” she said. I was aghast and told her that we would get sick and so on. She grinned broadly and said. “Want to bet?”
She would not let me run from the rain. “Just feel it and enjoy it,” she said with a laugh.
A few drops landed on me. I began to feel them. One landed on my head and another on my nose and so on. Then the rain became heavier and I looked at Julia longingly. She shook her head and held on to my arm. The rain drops began pelting us. I felt myself getting wetter and wetter. My hair was a mess. The rain drops were running down my blouse and tickling me all over. “Don’t be a softie, enjoy it,” laughed the defiant Julia.
I said, “Heck,” and decided to. It was beautiful. I felt the rain drops fall on my head and roll down to my chest and all over me. Julia started to laugh. It was contagious and I joined her too. Then she broke into song and I joined her.
We sang at the top of our voices as we walked along.
Instead of going straight home we strolled into the park. A lot of people stared at us, but I did not care. Then the rain stopped and we decided to go home. It felt good to be completely wet. When I reached home my male parent looked at me with his eyes wide open. “What are you up to, Elizabeth?” he asked incredulously.
I giggled and gave him the standard reply, “I was with Julia. “
“Both of you are going to catch cold,” he pronounced wisely.
“No way!” we shouted in unison as we made a beeline to the bathroom for a nice hot shower.