The teacher walked into the classroom. It was the first period. My classmates grudgingly removed our books from our bags and got ready for our math lesson. I have never been particularly good at math, so I can safely say it is not my favorite subject. Still, it was better than my English, which has earned the dubious honor of being the last in class. I stretch to alleviate a crick in my neck and gaze down onto my books. Just then, the earth begins to shake. Being used to living in an earthquake prone region, I coolly duck under my desk, as often instructed by teachers.
However, s I gaze across the class, I notice that this earthquake was no ordinary one. The ground did not stop shaking for almost a minute. Finally, the earth quieted down. Most of us were out from under our desks within seconds, stooping low to pick up our scattered belongings. My eyes met my classmate’s, a pretty girl with a sweet demeanor and enchanting smile. Grinning, she walks over and hands me my water flask, which has somehow managed to roll over the debris and end up at her feet. Without warning, an announcement that the earthquake had occurred under the sea floor was given.
I could barely hear the word “tsunami” over my classmates chatter, but there was no mistaking when the air raid sirens begin to wail. The teacher ordered us to line up into an orderly fashion and proceed to the tsunami safety zone, some 10 minutes hike up a hill behind our school. I had done this hike before, and am not pleased to be ordered to repeat it. Still , better safe than swimming. We exit the school, which overlooks the town below us, when I notice something wrong. Far out into the horizon, a thin black line has appeared on the water.
Then the realization hits me, the tsunami is coming, and coming fast. Without even pausing, I run downhill towards my house. My classmates yell after me but I ignore any and all warning. My grandmother and my cousin lives near the sea. What chance does a 65 year old lady and a 2 year old child have against Mother Nature herself? L, 16 and somewhat fit, can make better time than them. Pattering feet indicates another person is running beside me. My blood turns cold as I looked into Junior Erie’s eyes, the same eyes I looked into minutes earlier. She lives just a few houses away from me.
Like me, her parent’s are working in Tokyo, leaving err here to take care of her younger siblings. Without even thinking, without even asking, we encourage each other to run faster. Cars whiz by as panicked drivers sought to escape the impending doom. I do not even bother to try to flag one down because I know they will not stop, and I do not want another person risking their life for my family. Despite being out of breath when I reach my house, I yelled “BAOBABS!! “. My grandmother comes running out of the house, carrying my cousin and some important documents. I grab my cousin and hold my grandmother’s hand.
Together, e race Deck funnel Glancing to my sloe, I’m release to see Reel Ana nerd two young brothers running for it. Running uphill is a challenge even for someone with my physical condition. Within minutes my grandmother is winded. I am in hardly better shape. I reach out to grab my grandmother’s arm, coaxing, nay, forcing her to move. A rumbling sound floats sinisterly through the air, and I realize our two story high sea wall is all but demolished. Ire is in an even more difficult position than me. Her brothers are younger and not capable of running far. Still, she doesn’t let them go.
She continues to pull them further and further uphill. There are no passing cars left to get a lift, we’re on our own. The waters start seeping around our shoes. Sensing this, my grandmother looks at me long and hard in the eyes, and tells me a two words that will haunt me to my dying day. “Status, run” “But baobabs, I can’t leave you!! ” “Take good care of your cousin” then she pats me on the head and pushes me. I run for the hills. Looking back one last time, I see she is already waist deep in water. She continues to hold her gaze at me until she is swept off her feet and sinks uneaten the raging waters.
A yell, loud enough to draw my attention over the sloshing sound of water shifts my gaze far right. Erie’s brothers are climbing a service ladder on the side of a six storey building. Ire makes up the rear. Her shoes and socks are wet, but otherwise okay. She is ordering her brothers to continue climbing, but they are tired after their uphill race. The waters are rising rapidly beneath her, and I am in no position to be a hero myself, barely keeping in front of the wave as it. I continuously check over my shoulder. The wave appeared to be slowing own and Ire is almost out of harm’s way.
Just as I stoop over to catch my breath, Erie’s legs are hit by a floating van and crushed against the side of the building. She screams, but holds on. Then incredibly, continues to climb with mangled, blood spattered legs. Using the strength of arms and will alone, she pulls herself another three storey to safety. The waves finally recede after a few hours. My parent’s add contacted me during the time, and I had sobbed uncontrollably, explaining to them why I had to let grandmother go. They appeared to be understanding, but I wont even forgive myself.