This storm reminds me of Jaybee, my first friend, who was there to welcome me to school, with toy bricks
and a mean brother who chased us both and threw her in the pond.
At weekends, once upon a summer, we hung out with our Chinese pals, at a boating lake in the park. Jaybee had achieved her gold medal, and was a great swimmer, just as well, because
she fell in, on the way out of a row boat.
The next weekend, we met our Chinese pals again. Jaybee stayed safe, sat on a rocky wall, and me beside her. I said wouldn’t it be funny if…
and I pushed her, in jest.
In a beat which broke the surface of our friendship, Jaybee fell into the
water. Splash! She was angry and it began to rain. Lightening quick, monstrous guilt thundering down on me, I said let’s go to my house and get dry.
We ran – Jaybee, our Chinese pals and me, pouring through the rain,
shivering, laughing, each almost as wet as Jaybee. When we got to my door, we spilled through it like a flood of young forgiveness,
But Dad told our Chinese pals they
were not allowed in. Those words
rang louder than the splash, louder than my heart beat. Incomprehension roared louder than the storm.