On August twelfth, by many all that was heard was the silence of rising waters. I myself was awoken by an alert saying school was cancelled and my step-dad’s dog howling. These sounds frightened me, so I opened the cage and allowed the dog on my bed, for comfort.
Rolling over, I assumed I could fall back asleep, with the knowledge that there was no school. Soon I was bombarded by an urge to get out of the bed, so I slipped out from under the comforter and plopped my feet onto the dampened floorboards.
Not seconds later, my mom stormed in, smacking the light switch on and inspecting the outer edge of my room, with an arm full of dirty towels and clothes to be donated. We both, simulataneously, saw the water seeping through my walls and began flinging cloth-like items around the floors.
Before leaving, my mom, sister, and I spent at least a solid hour throwing stuff onto our beds and off the ground. When we realized there was nothing left that we could do, each of us grabbed suitcases of clothes and something we felt we should take with us, for whatever’s the reason.
Of all the items I could have grabbed, I took a mini statue that typically just sat in a box, which I honestly didn’t even remember I had. I saw the dark gray with light gray floral coverup peeking out of the box and the tassel on the middle of the casing that held a pure, glass angel. I scurried away with that and threw anything else important to me in a sealed plastic box on the floor.
We all rushed out of the house and tried to leave as quickly as possible.
After humming anything we could into the backseat of our almost seven foot tall vehicle, there was chaos. Although there were only three people and a dog in the car, more noise could not be produced, I’m sure. I was on the phone with my dad telling him we were okay. My mom was on the phone with my step-dad telling him we were coming to his house away from all the rain. My sister was trying to calm the dog and keep him quiet. In the midst of it all though, there were tears. They all cried their eyes out, but I couldn’t. Several times I almost did, but I knew as soon as it was clear that I wasn’t alright, it could only get worse.
In every family there’s the “tough” one, who can handle pressure and doesn’t cry for anything. Speaking from experience, this role is tough in itself. More than anything, I wanted to be home. I craved the feeling of sitting in my empty bed and my furniture on the floor, where it belonged. I wanted to see my dad and my aunt and my other dogs. But I couldn’t permit myself to show it.
What’s usually an hour long trip to my step-dad’s house, turned into two hours and forty five minutes, crammed in a car driving thirty five miles an hour on the interstate.
Halfway there, I felt at the ground for my angel and clenched it in my fist. This, strangely, made me believe that no matter the amount of water that took over my house, that I would be better than okay. It made me believe my room would again be my room. And my home would again be my home.