The morning starts as a holiday. Our jobs call and cancel until further notice. Yawning, we drink coffee in the dark of the living-room, immersed in the sound of rain drumming all around us. The night was sleepless and turbulent because of thunderclaps that shook our apartment and triggered car alarms.
It rains in buckets, in rivulets, in streams.
I have never seen so much water in my life.
The streets are unfamiliar—everything vanishing under a churning river—and we watch, with bated breath, an ambitious car venture out of the apartment gates and drift to the middle of the road. We predict he’ll be swept downstream, into the backwaters of backroads.
The car struggles around the intersection and retreats back to the apartment.
We laugh. There is no danger yet.
Flashing lights in the gray swirling clouds.
And still it rains.
We watch the news on my phone—cars completely submerged, kayakers paddling down freeway rapids, the downtown area transformed into a swirling sea from which skyscrapers poke out the top of their heads.
We watch as a woman in a white vehicle steers around a security barrier and into a submerged underpass ocean. A construction worker runs after her car, his mouth open in a silent shout. The light of her cell phone waves frantically as the car sinks slowly into the dark waters.
The car disappears and so does the light.
Eight people drowned that day.