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Melissa Portan MSW, MEd

Writer & Sexologist

Melissa is a 5th generation spiritual guide and healer who specializes in helping others find their own spiritual path. She is also a sex and relationship therapist practicing in NYC.

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Beneath The Storm

Updated: Dec 28, 2020


It all started when she looked over her shoulder. She saw him walking slowly, idly as if tracing her footsteps. He must have been watching her walk, her hips move and her hair sway, because when she turned to look back, he quickly looked away. He made a very small gesture with his lips, almost puckering them as he looked away, and he focused his eyes on the building to his left. Because she was walking on a crowded sidewalk, Milainie, turned her attention back to where she was going. Her stomach tensed up. Knowing that this man was watching her and perhaps following her made her quicken her step. Having seen him many evenings down the same sidewalk, she knew the way he walked, the way he weaved in and out of the crowd, and she knew that he knew that she enjoyed looking at him. With a quick sigh she decided to look back. When she saw he was no longer there, a quick and shallow sadness filled her. Milainie had so expected that he still be there walking behind her that she stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, looking for him amongst the passing faces. People bumped into her and gave her grim stares, but she paid no mind to them. For a few moments she stood there, frozen and disappointed. The only thing that alleviated her longing was the certainty that she would see him again tomorrow. When she finally turned away and began to walk home it began to rain. Fat heavy gray clouds had gathered above the busy city and lightning scattered across the darkened sky. Milainie did not have her umbrella and her clothes began to absorb the water hungrily. The humidity of the summer's day had demanded that she wear her white cotton buttoned shirt. Her floral skirt flailed with the wind of the storm that seemed eager to completely lift it and expose the entirety of her legs and bum. But she rushed down the street, grasping at her flailing skirt, keeping herself modest, and she reached the cover of a store's awning. There were other persons standing beside her, all mumbling about the suddenness of the storm and how unprepared they all were. A sudden resounding roar of thunder hushed the bystanders. She decided that she was going to make the walk home beneath the storm. Waiting for it to finish seemed like a poor idea, especially since the streets were starting to get flooded and the buses were overcrowded. The storm was only getting worst, the winds were picking up and the lightning even more constant and violent.

She stepped out from under the awning and rushed down the sidewalk. She only had about ten blocks to go. Under the constant falling of heavy water drops, Milainie's clothes got heavier. Her white cotton shirt, which had been so comfortable earlier, was now troublesome in so many different ways. It clung to her stomach and breasts and the sleeves stuck to her arms. Her skirt no longer flailed with the wind because it was too heavy with water. She began to notice the eyes of strangers looking at her intently. She realized that her bra, her aqua colored bra was clearly visible through her shirt. She quickened her pace. Then she reached Broadway.

There the multitude of cars were beeping and honking, all trying to traverse the road that had become a stream. When finally the lights turned green for her to cross she ran to the other corner. And she continued to run and run. Her heart beat faster and faster, the rain hit against her body harder and harder, until suddenly lightning struck a tree on the other side of the street. No one was beneath the tree as it split and smoking branches fell to the paved street. It had been the only tree on the street, the only piece of green in a world of solid grey. And she stopped suddenly to watch it fall.

When her heart had finally returned to its normal pace she began to walk again.