A clap of thunder boomed through the sky outside our house, waking me up from my sleep. I reach a hand over the left side of the bed, and I'm not surprised to find my fiancée, Jo, isn't there. I sit up in bed and turn on the light. It's another summer storm, a mild one from the sound of things, but it doesn't matter, Jo will be standing at the dinning room window watching it pass by, just like she does every time a storm goes through. I pull a shirt on and stand up and head towards where I know she will be waiting. I move silently, as much as I wish I understood why she watches the storms the way she does, seeing her standing in front of the wide window, the lightning illuminating her body, her white sweat pants and tank top glowing with each flash, makes me wish the storm would never leave.
The closer I get, I can tell something is wrong, the lighting flashes again and I see a trail of tears run down her face. I step close behind her and wrap my arms around her waist. She doesn't jump in my arms, doesn't say a word, she simply places her hands on top of mine and we both watch the storm pass by our tiny house. The longer I stand there, the more tears I feel fall from her face onto my arm, I just hold her tighter. The longer I stand there, the worst the storm gets, the weather radio sounding out its loud alert sound, a tornado watch for our county, but we just stay in the same place. The storm blowing outside.
A few more minutes pass, the storm still raging outside, she breaks the silence. "I never told you how my father died did I?" she asks, I just lean my head down and rest it on her shoulder, it's a rhetorical question, we both know she, or her family for that matter, never told me how Joshua Evens had died. "It was a night like tonight, a typical Oklahoma thunderstorm. I went to bed with just the rumbling of the thunder in the distance. Between the time I fell asleep and woke up, it got worse, I woke up a few seconds before Momma came and just told me to get up. She pulled me into her arms, carried me out of my room, the thunder was loud, but it sounded the same as always, until we got outside. I remember dad saying something about it being a big one, and that we had to get to the cellar, when I realized we were leaving the house I called for Toby, our dog. It was a blur for me when we got outside, Momma gave me to daddy and they just took off across the yard, the wind and the thunder were terrible, I had never been through anything like it before or since." Then we were back in silence as a huge clap of thunder sounds in the air, lighting flashing in long, finger like streaks across the sky, a bright, blinding white light.
"Once we got to the caller," she just randomly continued telling her story, "it really happened fast, but at the time it seemed like forever. Our cellar was old, build before my family moved there, and dad hadn't ever really done anything to it to update it. But as the tornado went over our farm, the door started shacking, it was a worse sound than the thunder." I feel more tears fall on my arm; she started to shake so I held her a little tighter. "He just stared grunting, he was trying to hold the door closed, but it just shaking. There was a small window and I saw it. I saw it and it was fascinating to me, all the swirling debris and…the way it looked when the lighting flashed, it was unlike anything I has seen before. But my mom was shaking as she held me; I can still feel how fast her heart was beating. Before I knew what was happening, daddy said he could hold it anymore, and just like that he gone. He was sucked up out of cellar, gone, in the blur of wind, thunder, lighting, and screams. I never saw him again."
I just stood there, taking in everything she said, all of the pieces of a puzzle falling into place. Her obsession with storms, why she was always watching them as though they were living being. Why every time someone brought up her dad her face changed into the same expression she wore when she saw a storm roll through. I couldn't imagine living through that. All I knew about her father's death prior to now, was that Jo was five, and it wasn't an easy one. As much as I wanted to know what had happened, I could always see the pain it caused her when someone talked about her father. But now, I felt like I learned more about Jo in the past five minutes than I had in the tow years I had known her. Before I could say anything she started talking again. "They found his body two days after the storm went through, twenty miles away from our house. I later found out he…" her voice broke as more tears fell from her face, "…he was wrapped around a bunch of branches in a tree. It took me a long time to get him flying out the cellar out of my head. I had nightmares for years, each time I storm would come through I would run and keep my head hidden from the windows. But when I got older, I didn't want to hide anymore. I wanted to look at one of those things; I wanted to prove that I could do it. The next time one came through when I was nine, I watched it. I watched it fly over our house, taking the roof and windmill with it, and I was determined to not let anyone felt what I felt, I refused to feel like I did ever again. I guess the rest is history."
As her story drew to a close, so did the storm outside, the thunder was fading, the lightning was barley flashing. But still we stood there, I knew we would stay there until Jo couldn't see one cloud of the storm, and now I knew why. I turned her in my arms and gave her a kiss, one I tried to fill with sympathy and understanding. But the longer we kissed, the storm was barley moving, and for the first time since I had met her, Jo went to bed while a storm was still visible in the sky outside our house.
Hope everyone like it. In the movie, Jo's father's name is not told, so I just made one up. I have no connection to the movie Tiwster in anyway, other than having a copy of it and enjoying it everytime a storm rolls through my little slice of life.