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“Can you stop standing in the way and actually do something helpful?” Mom scolded Dad as he hurriedly looked for something to help with.
It was a bright summer morning, and the weather forecast said that it would be humid with a clear sky all afternoon.
At least that was what my dad had triple checked.
My sister and I sat on the couch, watching the news as if we couldn't hear anything Mom yelled at Dad through the house, while waiting for lunch before we went to Belcarra for a hike.
We had already gotten our bags ready, including water bottles and snacks.
Dad, trying to be of help, was instead getting in the way while mom scrambled around the kitchen trying to quickly finish cooking so we could get to the trail early, launching judgmental remarks at Dad and giving him death glares.
At that point, I already knew that Lyssa, goddess of rage and fury, had emerged in her.
Whenever my sister and I see Lyssa emerge in the house, always from mom, we’ll pretend to be helping or “prepare” even though we are already prepared. I could feel mom fuming from all the way upstairs. Her temper wasn’t red hot yet, but it became blistering as soon as Dad muttered that umbrellas were unnecessary.
“JUST IN CASE! YOU NEVER KNOW! They said yesterday that we can have a downpour any day this week!” Mom fired sharp, precise bullets at Dad’s weak points.
“But I checked three times...” Dad mumbled. “It's going to be clear sky with a fourteen percent chance of rain, and they’re going to make our bags heavy if we all carry one....”
As a previous victim to multiple Lyssas, I became an empath towards other victims, but terrified to become one. With that in mind, I burst out laughing. My sister, trying to hold in her laughter, quickly covered my mouth so that mom wouldn’t hear and start raging about how we were being useless.
That morning, we were all spared from the monstrous mad mom.
When mom finished, we headed to the car with the food and our bags, and drove off to Belcarra. We blasted music while we ate in the car which annoyed mom a bit, but she was pretty much over it. It wasn’t a very long ride, but when we got there, no one was there; the parking lots were empty even though it was the weekend. It was very unusual, as it is usually packed to the brim with people.
Dad checked the forecast for the fourth time, and it again said clear sky but with a fifteen percent chance of rain instead of fourteen. It then hit us. Classic Dad move. He just leads us onto the trail without even checking if the park is even open.
It was our first time on the Jug Island Trail, so we took a while to figure out the route that goes down to the beach. We looked at the big map by the park entrance that was covered in cobwebs and then put on some sunscreen and some Off and strolled along like any other sane people would . . . when other people are around.
The trail was beautiful with the tall trees arched around the path with vivid green leaves draped across the pastel sky. As we entered farther down the trail, we had to climb over mossy boulders, entangled roots, and logs.
After we had walked deeper into the forest, we didn’t notice that it had gotten darker and colder because the trees formed a canopy of leaves that was like a cloak, shielding us from the somber clouds charging in.
When we reached the beach, we took off our shoes and stepped onto the milky white pebbles that lay before the water. When I stepped into the water, I could feel the cold water sending chills cutting into my ankles while the small waves and the breeze sent me off balance and I wobbled a bit, but I got used to it after a while.
The heavy clouds had then really started storming in, even darker than before.
Mom looked at Dad, and said, “See? I told you, it’s going to rain soon.”
Dad looked away, lost for words and scratched his forehead with a perplexed expression. We then started to head back. Just as we started walking up the trail, thunder clashed down hard, turning into torrential rain.
That was when we realized why no one was at the park when we arrived.
Mom, summoning Lyssa, exploded into an inferno, but those flames were soon doused as we stood drowning in the downpour.
We first sheltered under a big tree, hoping the deluge would end soon. But the rain was so heavy it started to seep through the shelter of the trees. We could hear the droplets of rain hitting the soil and in a matter of time, the entire ground was drenched. We decided to just walk back through the heavy rain as we would get soaked anyway.
Mom yelled at Dad yet again for not looking at the weather forecast properly. “Aish,” mom grunted. “A dia nong!” You old grandpa!
Clearly, everyone else had decided not to go on a hike today except for us.
We walked through the out and back mirrored trail in our wringing-wet rags. We tried to walk back as fast as we could, but the puddled mud pockets and the slippery roots and rocks made it difficult. We had to squeeze water out of our clothes as they were soaked inside and out, including our underwear, socks, and the T-shirts we wore under our jackets.
We slipped a couple of times. The water sloshed in our shoes, and our hair became soaked. We didn’t talk for the rest of the way. Our eyes were glued to the ground watching every step we took, eventually making it to the parking lot. At that point, we all had the same thought: “It’s going to feel revolting sitting in a dry car all soaking wet ….”
On the way back home, we sat in silence. Mom was disappointed and speechless. She knew that she had won the argument, and Dad pulled up his surrendering white flag, like always. My sister felt that it would be a bad time to blast music, so we sat quietly while looking out the windows of the car.
When we got home, we stood by the front door dripping rainwater onto the carpet like we had all jumped into a swimming pool with our clothes on. Then suddenly, we looked at ourselves . . . and burst out laughing.
Especially when we realized Dad had been looking at a different country’s forecast.