by KELLY ROY
Josh Locker really dislikes rain. Will a powerful storm push Josh over the edge?
The Strange Rain Cloud
By Kelly Roy
A couple of days ago, newscasters predicted that a tropical rainstorm would hit California and produce more than ten inches of rain over several days. Josh Locker, a native Californian and a young adult, disliked rain, but he knew that it was needed in the state. He enjoyed sunshine since it made him feel physically stronger and mentally sharper.
Looking outside of the window in his apartment, Josh saw a sky full of puffy, dark-grey clouds crammed together, except for a very large cloud that hovered in the sky above his apartment. The very large cloud was puffy and dark-grey, but it wasn't crammed together with the other clouds. The very large cloud looked strange; the sky appeared clear around the cloud's periphery,
Josh, fascinated by the strange-looking rain cloud, continued watching it for several minutes. All of the rain clouds accumulated overnight, but Josh was confident that rain wouldn't fall during his four mile bike ride to work. However, just before he left for work, sprinkles started falling from the sky.
Fearing a downpour, Josh biked to work hurriedly, his heart beating fast. After entering the building, Josh greeted his coworker, Marie, with a smile. Marie smiled back at Josh just before spilling a little coffee on her orange blouse and onto the floor. Sensing that Marie was a bit embarrassed, he helped her clean up the spill.
After helping Marie, Josh sat down at his desk and checked his email and voicemail. After reading an email from his boss, Mr. Henley, Josh started filing folders and typing letters; Mr. Henley didn't like to leave his office so he communicated with his subordinates about their daily assignments by email or by phone. As usual, Josh had a productive day at work, which made his boss happy. In the evening, Josh biked home, enjoyed cooking and eating a delicious chicken lasagna meal, took a shower, listened to music, and went to bed.
On Wednesday morning, Josh awoke to the sounds of hard rainfall. Grudgingly, Josh prepared himself for work. Before leaving his apartment, he looked outside of the window and saw the strange-looking rain cloud again. He was annoyed by the cloud's presence, this time, since it signaled that more rain was ahead.
Josh biked to work hurriedly, his face dripping with sweat and rain water, his heart beating fast. He entered the building and saw Marie smiling, but he walked past her without saying a word. Josh sat down at his desk and checked his email and voicemail. He read the email from his boss, ate a muffin, and gazed at his computer monitor for an hour before starting his work assignments. The sounds of thunder and hard rain interrupted Josh's train of thought, causing him to fall further and further behind on his assignments. Unsurprisingly, Josh was unproductive at the end of the work day; he only finished half of his assignments.
He stared at the unfinished assignments. He couldn't believe that he was so distracted by the sounds of rain. He had one unproductive day so far, but he was concerned about being unproductive two days in a row. According to Mr. Henley's policy, an employee could have one unproductive day every once in a while, but an employee could lose his or her job for being unproductive two days in a row.
He panicked temporarily when he thought about the possibility of being fired. After all, he couldn't control the weather. Josh had never been unproductive two days in a row in the six months that he held the job. He was usually productive. He just had to figure out how to be productive even when rain was falling from the sky. After work, he returned home, ate a delicious hamburger, took a shower, and listened to music. Josh was optimistic about the chances of seeing sunshine on Thursday since it rarely rains three days in a row in California; with that thought in mind, he went to bed.
Unfortunately, when he awoke on Thursday morning, rain was falling from the sky. Before leaving for work, Josh looked outside of the window in his apartment and saw the strange-looking rain cloud again. Only this time, he focused on the clear sky showing around the cloud's periphery; he saw this as a sign that the sun would shine again soon. From then on, he tried to remain positive and focused even when it's raining.
Josh biked to work at a moderate pace, his face dripping with rain water. After Josh arrived to work, he entered the building, took a deep breath, and sat down at his desk. A couple minutes later, Marie walked over to Josh and said, "Hello." Josh apologized to her for being so rude the prior day. Afterward, Josh checked his email and voicemail. After reading Mr. Henley's email, he started scanning information from designated folders and typing letters.
While Josh was working, hard rain started pounding the building, causing him to break his concentration. Instantly, a picture of the strange-looking rain cloud that hung in the sky above his apartment popped into his head. The rain cloud was very large and dark-grey; it seemed to have the ability to block out the sun all by itself, even though a large number of rain clouds were needed to accomplish that feat, in reality.
The strange-looking rain cloud was a menace; Josh couldn't get it out of his mind. However, it also offered Josh an opportunity to overcome his problem with rain. As he sat at his desk, struggling to collect his thoughts, he started remembering the clear sky that appeared around the cloud's periphery. Believing that the clear sky was a sign that sunny days were ahead, Josh smiled and regained his focus. The downpour continued falling from the sky, but he continued working without disruption. At the end of the day, Josh was productive, which made him and his boss happy.