Tuesday, August 2, 2011
It didn’t come
Note. This part of my love for "flash fiction" although is based on a true story. I wrote it yesterday.
It didn’t come
The anticipation was increasing in her by the minute. Almost felt as an arousal. A state of heightened physiological activity that made her heart beat a little faster, the pupils dilated and her body in tension. The newsroom was cold, as usual, only getting warm when the bright lights were on.
She kept moving side to side on her desk, flipping buttons on her remote control from her own station to The Weather Channel. Her computer screen showed the first of many contradictions surrounding the phenomenon that would change her entire mood throughout the day. The National Weather Service was waiting for the storm to turn into a cyclone, but the Hurricane Center said quite the opposite.
This is my time of the year, though the meteorologist.
“A large low pressure system in the Atlantic remains highly likely to build into a tropical cyclone. By this time of the year, the population must have their emergency preparations in place”, claimed the meteorologist on her radio report.
Upon hearing her report, Government officials hurry to prepare the press room and looked for their yellow jackets, in case the rain started. A press conference was scheduled by four.
Outside her window, sunshine floods the street. The trees dance as the wind blows the straight hairs of a dozen girls that walked in line following a nun. Her heart kept beating fast. Her breath, shortened. She was tense.
“An elongated low pressure system continues to extend and move forward this morning. It moved at 15 miles and tracking towards us and that could bring heavy weather to the area in two days. There is a ninety percent chance of becoming a tropical storm in the next 48 hours”, she reports, an hour later.
It is long and will reach us soon, she thinks. Hopes. Wishes. Wants.
The sun burned the skin while hordes of savages pushed their way to arrive first at the nearby supermarket. Prices of bottled water hiked despite the government’s regulation and shopping carts, filled with cans of sausages and soups, and water, lots of water, waited in long lines. Batteries were included, as well. A typical Caribbean frenzy was in high. It was hurricane season, after all.
A “hurricane hunter” aircraft was sent to investigate this disturbance and nothing was certain. The National Weather Service insisted in the emergency. After all, the Island has been spared from a direct hit by a hurricane since 98. But the Hurricane Center was cautious. A warning was not issued.
She keeps looking at the computer, longing.
This is my time of the year, she thinks. My time.
Three hours later the weather officials were unable to provide a clear message. She had to acknowledge the truth and inform the population.
“Although the system has not developed a closed surface circulation yet, it could develop into a tropical cyclone later today or tomorrow. The population must be prepared”, she said when opening her weather segment on the news show at noon.
No cyclone will come, she felt it on her bones….No news to tell… Nothing, she tells herself.
Government officials call the station to confirm. She was the native authority in the matter. “Is it coming or not?”, asks the Secretary. “We cannot speculate. We are behind in the polls”.
There is no need to lie. No exaggerations allowed at this moment.
“Regardless of whether this develops into a tropical cyclone or not, squalls with strong gusty winds and heavy rains will begin to move forward. This system has the potential to produce widespread heavy rainfall and flash flooding”, responds the meteorologist, thinking that the news will die down.
Government officials cancelled the press conference and packed the yellow jackets on the same boxes.
People complained. Not of the havoc of this potential disturbance, but of the money spent shopping for canned food and water. She was blamed for providing misleading information.
It didn’t come.
I was prepared, as usual. It was not a matter of lack of excitement or interest, nor does it has to do with the size of the phenomenon. Nothing happened. I feel guilty for expecting something that is not going to happen. For wishing and longing and wanting it. Am I loosing my groove?
Sometime, sooner or later, something will come.