She looks across the black asphalt that is still damp. She feels the stickiness of the summer rain on her bare shoulders, the heat and mist of the evaporating blacktop around her. Her mind travels, she thinks of her mother. And how she left last time, first time, always the same exchange of words.
"I have to go. Stay on the porch! I don't want you out in the road. Bad things can happen if you run out there."
"I know, I won't. I'll just stay on the porch and watch the rain."
And off her mother went.
Now, standing there, it feels like time has slowed down. She glances down the road and notices a small indentation where a small quantity of water has gathered. She bends down through the thick heat and through the reflection of the tainted water, watches the clouds rush by. There is a tree standing blackly upright, its gnarled shape twisting the clouds into different torn formations. There are no green leaves to soften the trees, sharp, poking branches. Its darkness is revealed in the quivering reflection of the water, she sees it in her reflection. She stands up, startled, turns back around and runs back to the porch. She sits there until her mother comes back, cleansed by the rain.