Hurricanes and Colors

Adam Wood


She knocks on his door with the palm of her hand leaving a bloody print. The rain washes it away, but she knocks again. She thinks, Why am I coming back to this guy, this fucker? She thinks, I’ve done bad stuff, but not to him, not like he did to me. She thinks about hurricanes and colors and then the rain hits her even harder and she doesn’t want to stand out in the rain, not anymore, not when inside is so close. She’s sick of standing out in the night colored in black and white and gray and rainy and why hasn’t he answered the goddamn door yet?


The blood from her hand drips onto his porch, but the rain takes care of that. The rain and the black and white colored night hide everything. Now she kicks the door. Her toe aches through her slipper but the noise the kick creates is louder. She’s happy that his dog Christabel isn’t barking and making a scene because the knocks are more than enough to wake him up and bring him into the night with her. She hits the door one more time with her palm and immediately he opens it.


“It’s three in the morning,” he says. “Who are you?”


She pulls her hood back revealing her shoulder length brown hair. He sees her. Sees her in this black and white and rainy doorway in the night. He doesn’t think of hurricanes and colors. He’s not sure what he thinks.


She says, “What took you so goddamn long?”


He says, “It’s three in the morning. I was sleeping.”


“You always sleep.”


He feels himself getting pulled back into an argument with her, something that he escaped and left in his past. “You’re bleeding,” he says.


She looks like she wants to come in, but he isn’t sure if that’s a good idea. At least not until he knows why she’s bleeding. He’s about to ask her, but she pushes him out of her way as if she still lives in his house. Some of her blood gets on his shirt.


She goes to the kitchen. The water from the faucet, more concentrated than the rain, cleanses her hands of blood. As it spirals down the drain, she looks at the wall and sees that the picture she painted a few years ago isn’t there anymore. She wants to know why it’s not there and what the fuck did he do with it, so she yells to him from the kitchen, “What the fuck happened to my painting?”


Still standing with his eyes on the bloody handprint on his door, he yells back, “You took it with you. I told you to take it.” She doesn’t remember that, it’s all lost in the hurricanes and colors, but she’s pretty sure it’s not in her apartment and it’s not at a friend’s place because all of her friends left her a long time ago and if it’s with one of them it’s lost forever.


When she tries to remember what the painting even looked like she thinks of clouds with the sun peaking out from behind them and of the ground with light and kids playing under a tree in the shade. But she’s not even sure if that’s what the painting was of. That was all a long time ago and everything is so jumbled in her head. If he had just kept it there on the fucking wall where it belonged, she wouldn’t have to try to think about what it might have looked like.


As she turns the faucet off, he walks into the kitchen with his arms crossed like a big old big bad ass.


“Why are you here?” he asks.


“Do you even remember what that painting was of?”


He doesn’t have to think about it. “A pond with two guys fishing. One of them had a hat on, the other one didn’t.


You painted the sky purple because you said that dark night skies were too cliché and bright blue morning skies were too boring.” The painting had actually looked nice to him. He sometimes wished that he’d kept it, but he felt that he didn’t deserve to. Not after what he did to her.


He walks to the kitchen window to look out on his backyard. Christabel’s doghouse is barely visible through the night and the rain. “I’m gonna go let Bel in,” he says. “It’s raining pretty hard out there.”


“That dog’ll get me all wet and muddy. She’s been out in worse before.”


That was true, but he’d felt more companionship to Bel lately than he had to anyone else. He turns to go to the back door, but her hand falls on his shoulder and she spins him around. He’s getting angry now. When he got angry is when the bad stuff that he did to her happened. No, not hitting, but sometimes wanting to hit. He takes deep breaths to calm himself down. Since they aren’t together, he can’t fuck other women to get back at her so he’s worried now that he might raise his fist if she keeps this up. It would be a first, but it doesn’t seem impossible right now.


“She has her dog house,” she says. “That’s why you built it, isn’t it?”


“I built it because you didn’t like her in the house.”


She looks at him with anger, but she doesn’t answer. “Why were you such a—a jerk?”


The look on his face doesn’t change. He thinks back to the first time he cheated on her. She complained about everything, what he ate, what he wore, what he said. It was just frustrating. He went to a bar and met a woman who was just as frustrated as he was so they went to a motel and the rest was history. But then the next morning, he found that he was able to put up with all the ranting and raving again, so when it built to a head, he cheated. He remembered telling her and she got pissed just like he thought and she said she would leave. So she did. He was happy. A relationship isn’t a relationship if you have to cheat in order to keep yourself sane. He remembered the look on her face as he told her, the tears in her eyes. She was sitting on the couch with Christabel on her lap as he told her. Bel just looked at both of them with her tail wagging completely unaware that her owner was a cheating fucker and his girlfriend was a snobby bitch. At least that’s what he thought of the two of them. He didn’t pull a veil over himself. He knew that he wasn’t a good person either.


She gets no answer. He just stares lost in their past. What was the point of coming back here? She didn’t know when she left her apartment, she didn’t know when she knocked on his door. Suddenly she longs for that night, the black and white and the rain. She gets no answers from him, but at least there was feeling out in the night, even if it was only the feeling of the rain singing on her skin. Singing where the hurricanes and colors couldn’t touch her.


Turning toward the door, she makes it half-way across the living room when he runs after her. This time he puts his hand on her shoulder. She thinks, Maybe he’ll ask me to stay. But that’s not why she’s here. And that’s not what he says either.


“You’re not leaving till you tell me why you’re bleeding.”


She wonders where he gets the audacity to demand answers from her when he’s the one who cheated on her over and over.


She thinks about when she was sitting in her apartment earlier that night with a bottle of wine and no one to share it with. She poured glass after glass not caring. The sadness came and it went, but tonight it came and she was drinking and even though it happened a long time ago, she couldn’t stop thinking and she tried to but it became harder with every sip. So pointless, the drink. Always it starts making things dull, but at the end it’s her wits that are dull and her feelings that are sharp.


All she thought about as she drove to his place was their past. Then the rain started and she swerved on the road a bit, but she wasn’t sure if it was because of the rain or because of the drink. Next thing she knew, she was knocking on his door with the bloody hands that he now wouldn’t shut up about. What did he care anyway? So what if she was bleeding? She bled a year ago, but that didn’t make her anymore real. He cheated anyway, cause he is a lying cheating fuck and that’s what lying cheating fucks do.


Now she pulls away from him, her recently cleaned hands finding the doorknob. He protests again as she walks outside back into the night with the black and the white. Back into the rain that cleans. She walks to her car and she cries but no one can tell because the rain covers it up, so she turns to look at him one last time before she gets in her car. He yells, “You can’t just leave! What were you doing here?”


But as she starts her car, she thinks that in the morning after the rain, he’ll go into his backyard into the bright blue morning sky that is too boring and he’ll see that it wasn’t her blood covering her hands. He’ll realize when he sees a kitchen knife with blood on it and fingerprints that were washed off in the rain and he’ll know that the blood stain on his shirt wasn’t hers and his only companion now isn’t a companion anymore. Just a dog with a kitchen knife in its heart.



Euphemism Campus Box 5555 Illinois State University Normal, IL 61790