personal narrative by Nailah Mathews, age 17

when i woke up that night it was nearly four in the morning and what i saw first was the lightning flashing outside my window thunder shaking the world outside the next thing i did was text Michael and i told him that the storm came in early and that i wanted to be out in that biblical flood and somehow he was awake and somehow he told me that the storm knew my name and the moon knew my name that this night was meant for me and we agreed that it wasn’t right that i was stuck inside but the truth was that i hadn’t been that same day there was an adventure in a flash flood to a crepe shop with astounding pesto aioli and chicken plates a french chef with a wife and daughter who spoke english and german and who callan said was too polite to be from paris he made conversation in german with two blonde women who came in as we were making our way out and i hooked myself to callan’s hip (smudges of chocolate on our breath i screwed up my nose when i could taste the banana under the nutella pushed callan’s plate back to her and offered up some of my chicken for penance) and we walked soaked our shoes straight through to the sock and she called me neil and i called her colin and she didn’t look both ways before we crossed the street so i dragged her by the hook out of oncoming traffic and we laughed like teenagers laugh like maniacs laugh like friends laugh until somehow we made it back to burge where she tried to dry her shoes on the placemat left to find the hickies and the boy they were attached to and i walked up three flights alone and told noa it was a miracle we didn’t need an ark to get back to the dorms and secretly i was happy that she slept through the deluge because i didn’t want to drag a sick girl through the rain besides everyone deserves a nap on a rainy day it’s like a commandment or something i didn’t shower but i slept in my hoodie and under three blankets of rainwater and told Michael that i wanted to be there or have him here so i could put my cold toes on his hairy thighs and i fell asleep all at once that was the night that lyra turned off the light so i didn’t have to and we left the ac on cool so we felt all the warmer bundled up in our blankets and when the storm woke me up all i wanted was to see was that window and the way the lightning called me out to play and how it felt like my bones were singing in my skin and how i couldn’t go outside but my hoodie smelled like the rain and that was enough and i fell back asleep all at once.

2015 Scholastic Writing Awards Gold Key Portfolio

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