Loraine hated it when the weather reflected her emotions. It seemed so fake, as if she were a character in a carefully crafted novel. When she cried while it was raining, she’d try to stop and be cheerful. When it was sunny, she felt a strange obligation to be sad, or at least neutral.

The worst, though, was feeling buffeted and confused when it was windy. When she looked outside on Sunday morning and saw the branches blowing every which way, she felt immediately frustrated, which only added another unpleasant layer to her already bewildered state.

She wondered if she should just stay in. She had obligations to fulfill, people to see, things to do, but none of it was so important that it couldn’t be postponed. She could let herself sink into a good book or dance in her room while listening to music, both activities that would take her away from the world and the decisions she had to make. Then the wind wouldn’t count, because she’d be distracting herself from the thoughts that were fluttering from one end of her mind to the other like the leaves in the parking lot underneath her window.

But what if it was windy tomorrow, too? She supposed she couldn’t run away from her feelings forever. She was stronger than that. She might not know what she wanted, but she knew that much at least.

Feeling like a cliché, Loraine left her apartment and locked the door behind her, hoping that her life wasn’t actually a piece of fiction in which a writer forcibly gave her emotions the weather to match.