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Thunder rumbled off in the distance. The low groan serving as an announcement of the impending chaos.

Sarah Manning cringed at the sound. Something about thunderstorms never sat well with her. Nearly twenty nine years old and still scared off the bloody weather. She rolled her eyes at herself but that didn't stop the chill from shooting up her spine when another crack roared.

The crash sounds of thunder as the mighty clouds rolled through. The whipping of winds, unbounded and brashly attempting to plow through everything in their wake. The ferocity and unpredictability of the lightning as it danced across the sky, occasionally coming down to kiss the earth's surface.

She hated it. Every last second from beginning to end, she hated it. Perhaps, it's also the reason she hated herself so god damn much. Everything she hated about them, she hated about herself. They were twins, soul mates, tantamount.

Destruction: nearly her fucking middle name at this point.

Her entire life, one disaster after another. Constantly leaving chaos in her wake. Shattering people, places, and things, only ever with her own interest in mind. A storm, personified.

Her voice (a low, rough growl), her gait (confident, unpredictable), her presence (loud, overwhelming) – thunder claps in the sky.

She moved through the world like the stormy winds. Always only ever looking out for herself, damn any sort of responsibilities. She crashed around, whirring into whatever person or object stood in her way. Knocked it down or aside and kept moving as fast as she could – no looking back, not ever.

Looking back was for the weak. And she was not weak. She was a storm. A wrecking ball. A complete disaster. She thrived on destruction, chaos, noise. It kept her warm at night and she loathed it all. She liked to punish herself for letting it control her. Punishment typically came in the form of booze, drugs, and douchebag bad boys.

For the boys, she was lightning. She lured them in with her voice (roaring thunder) and her looks (towering thunderheads) and her obvious sex appeal. Once they caught a glimpse of it, they saw beauty in the chaos and destruction and wanted more, more, more. But Sarah liked to tease. She was in charge of the game. She got to decide when they got their more and just how much more. It never lasted as long as they wished.

She could drown her self-loathing in a warm body for a night or two, never any longer. Storms never did stick around for very long. The few exceptions coming when she was feeling especially disgusted with herself, needed that extra ounce of self-destruction.

It was how she ended up with a daughter. Too long in one boy's bed. She got comfortable. Wore out her stormy nature and let her guard down for half a second. Like letting the sun poke through the thunderclouds, bringing the entire damn orchestra crashing down.

It was thundering out when she discovered her pregnancy. She had barked a hollow laugh (sob?) at the sight of the plus sign on the stick in her hand. The rumbling and flashing outside resembled her life. Out of control. Chaos. Unpredictable.

And then she couldn't punish herself with booze or drugs or boys. She had a baby to worry about and protect. The thunder and lightning and wind still came though. She forced herself to stand tall against it all and it nearly knocked her over every damn time. She couldn't let it get to her. The roars and whipping and flashing had her bones aching for the need to punish, to escape it all. She couldn't though and it was a new level of loathing.

She hated the thunder the most. The loudness caused her unease. She needed quiet to protect herself. She needed stillness to keep herself right. But the quiet brought the demons with it too – the self-hatred and call for punishment as all her horrible thoughts about herself came crashing to the surface in the silence. The thunder was the reminder of who she was but the silence was a constant echo of who she was and why she didn't deserve life anymore.

She hated the thunder but she needed it to stay alive. She hated herself but she was the thunder and the lightning and the wind. The storm she stood tall against was herself. She nearly destroyed herself day in and day out. A fight to stay alive, against every last horrible trait she possessed.

The thunder cracked again and lightning began shooting across the rapidly darkening sky. She had to gear up. Fight the storm. Fight herself. She was bigger, better, and stronger than it all. She knew. Embrace the thunder, the reminder, and use it to get even stronger. She deserved life. Hate the thunder, hate the silence, and keep moving forward like the wind.