Bolt From the Black

Dearest Rachel –

It was half past three; I checked almost immediately after it happened. My mind was just wrapping up a dream about a flight that was forced to land in the packing lot of our church’s Des Plaines campus when there was this thunderous explosion, as if it was coming directly from our backyard – and then, a deafening silence. The power had gone out.

Weird that these sort of things never seem to happen in the daytime.

I was jarred awake by something that resembled thunder, but didn’t quite sound like it. While it had been raining, and there was a flash of light, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t an actual lighting strike. But it did seem to come from nowhere, like a bolt from the blue – or more accurately, since it was otherwise pitch dark outside, a bolt from the black. For a few moments, I lay there in bed, fully aware that there wasn’t much to be done about the situation, but nevertheless wondering what to do about the situation

Barely ten or fifteen minutes later, I heard the boys milling about, asking each other about what happened. Daniel, I can understand; like you, he would most likely have still been awake when it happened, and he’s so reliant on the internet for his amusement that he might as well go to sleep once it had been essentially cut off. But Logan? Well, that had been a loud bang, after all, I suppose. I couldn’t hear exactly what they were talking about, but it was probably on the order of whether the other had heard everything (since they were both up, that seemed likely), and what to do about things now.

The conversation didn’t last very long, however; whatever they had to say to each other was brief, and by a quarter to four, everything was silent again, save for the intermittent dripping of water from the eaves. Not the sort of soothing sound to fall back asleep to, especially when one is dwelling upon the morning ahead. The bathroom, for instance, is walled and windowless – how can I take a shower in that Stygian darkness? Our food is in the refrigerator, and I daren’t open that, lest I accelerate the warming (and spoilage) process – and to think, I’d just gone shopping for things like milk and all, too.

I wondered what the two of us might’ve done together in a similar situation. Would we both be laying here, absorbed in our separate worries even as we tried, individually, to fall back asleep? Would we talk with each other, acknowledging what had happened, and expressing aloud our mutual concerns like the ones I just mentioned? Would we take advantage of the wee hour of the morning… and each other? That last one seems unlikely; although you did have a thing for mornings, this felt more like night time due to the darkness. Plus, our concerns about ‘what now?’ might well have put a damper on any enthusiasm toward that sort of activity.

Of course, you never know. It was barely half an hour later when everything began to roar to life again, as power was restored, and all those concerns were rendered moot. For what it’s worth, it occurred to me in that moment that this is what we truly pay the electric companies for. Sure, there’s the fact that they do what they can to keep power flowing at all times to us, but it’s these moments, in having to deal with the nastiest of weather even as they’re performing the dangerous task of reconnecting things as rain (remember, water and electricity don’t get along very well!) pours down on them, that they earn their keep. Heck, had it not been for the explosion barely an hour before, either of us could’ve slept through the whole thing, and woken up with the sunlight none the wiser about the power issue.

Or could we have woken up? While it’s true that the rain has let up at this point in the morning, it’s still completely overcast with clouds. There may be no imminent threat of rain, but it’s not the sort of sunshiney morning that causes one to bound out of bed, greeting the Lord with abundant cheer and thanks for the beauty of the day. And while I won’t go so far as to say it’s the sort of day to put one in a miserable mood, it’s definitely one that you might be able to sleep through longer than you should. I know I did; between the overcast and the hour or more of interrupted sleep, I was barely conscious by nine. And to think, that’s normally when I try to get to the ‘office’ by. Not gonna happen today.

Still, I’m going to cut this letter short; I may have another one for you today (and ironically, it’s mostly going to be about things that happened yesterday, before all this overnight chaos), but I also have things to take care of between now and then, so I hope you’ll excuse me.

Until then, keep an eye on me, honey, and wish me luck. I’ve had some, yes, but I dare say I’ll yet need more.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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