After the storm has passed you will no doubt be sat one hand raised to your head, still numb with shock and a bewildered expression on your face. Where on earth did that come from? You were experiencing blue skies and a golden hot sun which blazed brilliantly in the sky. All was calm, no wind, not even a breeze as you enjoyed this beautiful weather. Everyone was happy and seemingly content. You had only minutes earlier checked to see if you could see dark clouds on the horizon, a gathering storm, but there was nothing to be seen in whichever direction you happened to look. Out of nowhere it arrived. Now as you sit amidst the destruction you play back in your mind what happened which appeared to cause the storm to appear with terrifying ferocity. Enjoying the warmth of the golden sunshine you suggested that you would cook a steak since we enjoyed the one you cooked this time last week so much. You enjoy making delicious meals for us. You are good at it and you like to show how you care about us by ensuring we enjoy our food. It was a simple and innocuous suggestion and surely a fair and logical one. We commented about how good that steak was when we sat down to dine last week so it made sense to do it again surely? Yet as soon as you made the suggestion you heard the words which signalled that the storm was about to erupt.
“I don’t like steak. I don’t want steak. You should know this by now. I want lasagne. I told you that earlier on but you never listen to what I have to say do you? Oh no, what I say is not important enough for you to pay attention to. You never do what I want, always what you want to do. I am sick of it. You are so damn selfish and I have had enough.”
None of this made any sense but you were not given any time to consider the veracity or otherwise of what we had said. Already the wind had got up and was whipping around you, pulling at your clothes and sweeping through your hair. The sky darkened as it became filled with ominous black clouds. You felt the first heavy drop of rain on your face, or was it a tear, you somehow cannot seem to remember. This always happens. You feel punch drunk afterwards and your ability to recall the precise detail of what happened seems to have been affected. The deluge began as a torrent of rain lashed down, driven by the powerful gusts of wind that now tore through your environment. Lightning flashed, great jagged forks which rent apart the churning black clouds followed by the terrifyingly loud thunderclaps which made the ground shake. You seem to recall us continuing to shout at you but you cannot remember what was said for the noise of the whirling wind was too great or was that us making such gale force winds. Again, although it was only moments ago you find yourself struggling to remember exactly. Hailstones the size of golf balls began to hammer down on to you, forcing you to curl up into a ball in order to try and shield yourself from the onslaught. You had no time to run to a shelter. You never do. The unpredictable and sudden nature of these storms always meant you were caught in the open, exposed to the full range of elements. The temperature dropped and you remained curled up, shivering with cold or was it fear? Sodden and frightened as the whirlwind continued. You lifted your head and through the sheets of rain you saw the destruction raging through your home as the whirlwind began to smash and destroy. Holes were punched in walls, crockery smashed, books ripped open, curtains torn down as this violent vortex damaged and demolished. You cried out begging the storm to stop but your pleas were like those of a child and could not be heard over the furious storm which raged about you. You curled up tighter, willing it to pass, as the sounds of destruction continued, mixed with the howling wind, the lashing of the rain and your own fearful sobs.
Suddenly it stopped. The noise and the fury was gone. You waited lest it was just the eye of the storm, a brief respite before the raging continued but nothing more came. Slowly you unfurled yourself, water trickling down your face as you felt the soreness on your arms and back from where the hailstones had slammed against you. You sat up and in dismay looked at the carnage around you. Destruction and damage meets you wherever you look. The suddenness by which the storm arrived and departed might cause you to question that it ever happened, yet the broken possessions and damaged furnishings confirm that it was too horribly true. You raise a hand to your mouth to stifle the cry of alarm which is trying to sound. You know better than to invigorate the storm to return when it has just passed. The wind has died down, the rain has stopped and the fearsome dark clouds have rolled away towards the horizon leaving behind blue sky once more. The sun is there yet you feel no warmth from it as you sit amongst the debris from the storm which rampaged around you only a few moments ago. It arrived without warning and did so with great fury, as it always does. Then it was gone. We are nowhere to be seen having left the room and you know better than to seek us out. Instead you rise unsteadily to your feet, the nervousness and anxiety caused by the arrival of such sudden violence having left its mark on you. You begin to try and tidy up the aftermath of the storm as you wonder to yourself how long this break in the clouds will last.