That was not thunder. There was no way it could possibly be. It was metal collapsing, glass breaking, the earth caving in on itself. I kept my eyes closed, pictures fluttered gently on the wall, your breath was soft and steady and I could hardly hear it over the rain pouring down outside. I'd never heard it rain like that before. It was biblical.
Light filled the room, a blue static. The roof, the walls, everything shook. I wondered what it would be like when I looked outside. A part of me hoped everything would be gone. All that would be left was you and me, the howling wind and the pouring rain, our feet barely touching underneath the covers. Even after I was fairly certain the world outside had made it through the night, I still couldn't help but feel that everything I knew was being taken from me. Like this was all I had left.
I hid my face in the curve of your neck. Lightening, thunder. I put my hand on your chest, putting down the anchor as the water rose. I could feel your heart beating, its rhythm completely out of synch with its surroundings. You were still there, so calm and perfect and beautiful. I cried when I looked at you, knowing that you were oblivious to this storm, while I shook and prayed to a God I don't believe in for it to go away. I prayed that you'd stay safe, untouched and unharmed, and I prayed that if I was going to drown in everything that it would be over quickly. Your heart kept beating.
If you had woken up you would not have been able to tell that I was crying. My face was pressed against you, you were sweating over something I was not able to see, and I was weeping over something you would not understand. The blend was seamless.
The thunder cracked, and another flashbulb exploded, filling the room. I saw you then so clearly, and suddenly over the thunder and the rain all I could hear was your heartbeat. Through the chaos and the panic, all of the pain and the rage that I felt just lying next to you, I saw this so clearly. All of that hurt and anger, the nights behind a locked bathroom door, crying into my hands over my own blood, waking up next to a stranger in a clinic room, the shame and guilt that I have carried this year, it was all stopped and silenced. Another flashbulb. I sacrificed a life. I let the outside world take away something that can never be returned. But there we were, still together, completely changed but still together. I had been tortured not as a punishment, but as a reminder. To feel the pain and the sadness was a gift that I had misinterpreted the entire time. You were still there. And I, was still alive. My heartbeat began to keep time with yours. And in that moment, I found my salvation.