The rain drummed on the roof last night, suddenly torrential, like the sky opened up, like it was summer. I had read on the weather website that the rain was coming, but then when I heard it, it felt different. I can't articulate it but it felt metaphoric, perhaps important. I would have highlighted that section of the book if I had read it. The rain continued steady and true all night and into today. I didn't mind it. I like the rain. I liked that it was more than a drizzle, and that it was either raining, or not. I stood in the rain for a while tonight talking to my friend. "I am getting wet," I kept thinking. "I am getting wet." I just noticed the wetness on me, but I didn't try to change it. I didn't move or mind it. I wanted to talk to R. He is struggling. We cried first together, over different things. We cried in spite of ourselves. Then we laughed at our crying, then we laughed at the rain.
Earlier in the evening, I called out to her as she walked out the door. She stopped and turned toward me, waiting.
I love you. I said, You saved my life.
I love you, darling. You can always call me. I'm not going to Mars.
And then she walked out the door. I wasn't sappy with her. I didn't cry often. It wasn't our relationship, but she heard my deepest secrets. The things I never told anyone, not even you. When someone hurt me, she was the first person I called. She told me to pray. She told me to meditate. When I was annoying the fuck out of her, she told me to read page 417. She told me I walked in God's grace. She told me I had twenty good things about myself and if I couldn't write what they were, then she would. And she did.
My hands went to my face when she left. I cried in spite of myself. She is gone. She walked out the door of the church, just like every night. Her life is blossoming. I want her to be happy in the new place, far away from me, but I am afraid to be without her. I am just a drunk, still learning to trust. I am so sad to see her walk into the rain.
My hands are wet.
The women rally around me.
It is a big deal to lose a sponsor. It is a big deal, honey.
It is okay to cry.
You are going to be okay, Angie.
Oh, honey, cry. It is a big deal.
Call me tomorrow, Angie. Call me.
She is the woman who saved my life by sharing all the dark, hurt parts of her, and then sharing the hope. She is the one who showed me how to recover, the one who guided me in meeting my demons, the one who loved me until I loved myself. She is my first sponsor. She was the first person I met where I wanted what she had--serenity. She said that it was okay to want that part of her. She told me exactly what to do with every minute of my day until I stopped shaking and moaning and crying, until I found serenity. She introduced me to God, and to myself. She listened to the worst I had to offer. She abided and then she said, "I have to tell you, Angie, you are a very nice person. I am privileged to know you."
The rain was not too cold tonight. It is the end of November. The leaves are all fallen. I don't even think we will have to rake again. The sky blushes a soft pink with orange streaks in the mornings without rain. Tomorrow there will be streaks in the sky. It will remind me of a watercolor. Tomorrow she will drive away from this town forever. She will close a chapter of her life, and I will begin a new one myself. My chapter will start:
There is a woman who drives through the rain. She saved my life once.
Despite myself, I am soaked with tears. I knew they would come, but they are steady and torrential at times, but covering my face. The tears are warm, like gratitude, and puddle under me.