This is a story I wrote for when I lost my house in the tornado outbreak in April. It's for everyone who went through it or lost something from it. So enjoy!
Some things change over a long period of time. Others change in just a matter of fifteen seconds.
That night was like any other night. I was in my room on my computer surfing the internet. Nothing would come up though because of the wicked storm outside. I sighed and shut off the stupid laptop and hopped off my bed. I walked over to my window and took a peek outside.
Rain was pounding against the glass distorting the image outside. There weren't any cars driving on the road causing a strange unknown silence. The only noise outside was the howling wind that seemed to get stronger by the minute. Hail began falling and began to bounce on the sidewalk outside. I had a bad feeling.
I pulled my head out of the thick curtains and shivered. I was never fond of storms. It was the only thing that ever creeped me out but I never let anyone know. I am the Hero after all. I walked out of my room and made my way to the living room. My mom had come out of her room right behind me. As we got closer to the living room I heard the sound of the warning alarm.
I stepped into the living room where my brother and father were sitting in the two recliners. My brother was curled up into a ball; his eyes were wide as he stared at the screen. My dad's face was calm and he was holding the remote in his hand. He was waiting for the screen to change.
I turned to the TV and squinted at the bright blue background. As my eyes adjusted the following white words scrolled across the screen.
"Tornado warning for the following cities: Bear Town and Chanceton." I shook my head surprised that only two cities were up there. Usually there were more than one but, this scared me because one of those cities was our home.
"I think we should take shelter." My mom said calmly. I had never heard that tone of voice come from her mouth before.
"Yeah, probably, this storm has been causing tornadoes all over the country." My heart began pounding. I had always worried about tornadoes since the day I learned about them but we rarely got them here. My brother stood up and came and stood beside me.
"Al, I'm scared." He said with a worried face. I looked at his violet eyes and sighed. I gave him the biggest most confident smile possible.
"Don't worry Mattie. Everything will be okay." I hoped that he couldn't hear the fear in my voice. He nodded and all of a sudden everything went dark.
The power had gone out and the only sound was our breathing and the brewing storm outside. I felt my dad's arm around me as he led all of us to our parent's room. He opened the bathroom door and shoved us all inside. He closed the door behind him and sat down in the stand-up shower. My mom sat in front of the shower while Mattie and me were to the farthest wall between the toilet and sink. It was small and cramped inside but the only room in the house with no windows.
"Lock the door." I said calmly and my mom reached up and locked it. We sat there in silence just listening to the storm. My brother had wrapped his arms around my waist and I was holding him trying to calm him down. My mother and father were sitting there silently watching us. It seemed like the storm would never end.
Then everything got quiet. My brother looked up and we both looked around the small room.
"Is it over?" Mattie asked and I shook my head.
"I don't think so." I said and my parent's eyes went wide. Suddenly there was a change in air pressure. My ears popped and I felt like the air was trying to squeeze us into a pancake. Then there was a loud noise from outside. It sounded like a giant freight train coming towards us. I felt the house begin to shake around me and my parents threw themselves over top of us. My dad reached out and grabbed a hold of something.
"Cover your heads." He told us and we obeyed. The house began to shake even more and the noise was even louder.
Then it was here.
I heard glass break and it sounded like things ripping apart from each other. The wind sounded like a million girls screaming. I opened my eyes just in time to see the roof above us be ripped away and sucked up. Cold rain began to pour on our bodies as the giant tried to suck us up with it. I saw massive objects flying above and one that strangely looked like a car. Small bits of debris began falling into the small bathroom as well.
Then something hit me in the head and I vaguely heard my brother scream. Would this thing ever end? I closed my eyes and just waited but then it was over.
We all laid there still and quiet shivering from the cold rain. My brother lifted his head and his wet hair fell over his eyes. My dad sat up and looked at all of us while my mom hugged me and my brother. The rain began to slow up and I could see red lights reflecting off the clouds.
"Is anyone there?" I heard a man can call and my dad stood up. My vision then began to blur and I reached up and touched where something hit me in the head. I felt a warm sticky liquid in my hand. Then everything after that was black.
I woke up in a bright lit room. It wasn't a hospital room and my brother was lying right beside me. Why the heck were we at my grandmother's house?
Then I remembered. I sat up and reached up to touch my head. It was a little tender so I guessed it was nothing but a scratch.
"Al?" My brother said quietly and I turned to him.
"Yeah?" I asked as I lied back down beside him. He turned to me and buried his face into my chest.
"It's gone, everything is gone." Then it hit me. My brother began to cry and I couldn't hold back the tears much longer. I buried my face into Mattie's hair and began to cry.
I cried for so long Mattie switched positions with me and tried to comfort me.
"It will be okay Al." He tried telling me but I didn't believe him.
"We don't have a home! How can it be okay? We don't have a home." I screamed and cried even harder. Mattie stayed with me until I calmed down and then he handed me some clothes.
"Get changed, we have a lot of work to do today." I nodded and quickly got changed. I went out to the living room; my grandmother was in the dining room on the phone. I sat down and turned on the TV.
I made the mistake of putting the news channel on. They were talking about the recent storm and the destruction it had caused. The list of places hit was the worst. There were so many deaths in only just three days. I shut off the TV when my brother came in and my grandmother hung up the phone.
"Alright you two, let's go." We followed her out of the house and to the car. She began driving and I just sat and stared out the window. We were in the middle of nowhere and it looked as if the storm didn't even touch here. It looked like it didn't even touch the town when we reached there. My grandmother pulled into a drive-thru window and turned to me.
"What do you guys want to eat?" I just shook my head and Mattie gasped.
"Al, you always eat. Just get the usual Mama." She nodded and began to order. My stomach felt like there was a ball of air floating in it. It churned when I smelled the food when it was passed through the window. My grandmother handed me a flat wrap and I just set it in my lap. Mattie handed me some tots and I nibbled on one. It took everything I had to finish those and my stomach just felt even worse. I drank some of my Mountain Dew trying to get rid of the feeling and sooth my dry mouth.
"We're here." My grandmother said and I looked out the window. There were cars lined up across the road and towards the end of it were police cars. We got out of the car and made our way down the familiar road. Police stopped us but let us through when they saw my grandmother.
We walked past and I froze. I barely recognized the place. The trees were twisted and snapped in half like a toothpick. There was insulation from the roof scattered everywhere. The house looked so different without a roof. The brick walls had separated from themselves from the walls inside the house. The carport was completely gone. The only evidence of it being there was the concrete slab. Some of the walls had fallen in like dominoes. Where one door was there was no wall around it only a door frame standing.
My chest hurt and my body felt numb. There were people around the yard moving debris so it would be possible to get inside the house. Camera men and anchors were talking to my parents. I felt my brother's hand on my shoulder and realized I was shaking.
"Al, are you going to be okay?" I nodded and walked over to our dad's truck. I grabbed a pair of gloves and tossed a pair to my brother.
"We need to help in every way, so let's get to work."
"Well this is a sudden change in mood." He said while grabbing a rake.
"Yeah well I just realized something is all."
I had realized something. I had realized a lot when I examined all the damage. When I found out that we had important things that could be saved, when I had found not everything was lost. When I found out there weren't any deaths around us, when I saw people had it worse than we did.
What I realized was I was lucky. My whole family was lucky. I shouldn't be sad that my house was gone, I should be happy that I and my family were alive. Some irreplaceable things were least but it gives us chance to make new memories. We can always get a new house.
All this had happened for a reason. God knew that we could handle it and that something good will come out of it. Everything that happens is always for a reason. I never asked why it happened to me I just wondered what would come out of this. I now have a new house and new stuff. It's hard sometimes but everything is good now and my life couldn't be any better. I would never ask for that day to be changed.
So always remember when you're going through dark times that dawn is never far behind.
Well there ya go. Always remember don't look in the past just live in the present and look towards the future.