The Spark that Changed My Life

March 16, 2011
By , Brighton, MI
I couldn’t imagine why our parents were calling us downstairs on Christmas morning; normally that was Diego’s job. Maybe Dad found out that Jason, Diego, and I hadn’t had time to get mom a present. But still, that wouldn’t be that important. I glanced over at the clock. I mean it is only four o’clock in the morning. I couldn’t consider another possibility, because then the distant wailing of sirens shattered my thoughts.

“Everybody out of the house!” yelled our parents, and that was when the smell of smoke finally reached my nose. I bolted out of my bed and whipped my door open. Whoa! Taking a step back, letting the heat wash over me. I stood staring into the place that I called home, but I couldn’t see anything. Then the shock settled in.

The smoke covered my eyes like a blindfold. Get Diego and get out was all that came to my mind. So I crawled blindly into what I thought was Diego’s room. I yelled out to him.

Then I heard his little four-year-old voice coming from one corner, “I-I-I’m over h-h-here.” Crawling in desperation to save his life and mine, I reached out and felt his little chubby hand. Scooping him up in my arms, the smoke blinding me, yelling out to my other brother, Jason, I was scared to death. I got out of the house gasping for air. Everybody was there, Mom, Dad, Jason, Diego, and even Lucy, our dog. Now taking a step back I saw nothing, but wild red and orange flames glowing in the night.

The firefighters arrived only a few seconds later. I was frozen in my spot like somebody had glued my feet together. “Honey, come over here,” said the sugary sweet sound of my mom’s voice. But I just stood there in shock. I couldn’t hear anything around me anymore. Why us? Why?
“No! How could this happen! This is the worst thing ever! Ugh!” I was yelling out my emotions that seemed to have been all tied up in a ball inside of me. My dad then came and grabbed me out of the way. The motion was cold, hard and sort of like a stern get-over-here-right-now-young-lady tug.
“Everything is going to be okay sweetie,” my mom tried to reassure me. But nothing was going to help. Our Christmas was ruined! I wasn’t going to get my new iPhone or hot pink North Face jacket. Jason would never get his laptop or new Xbox; Diego wouldn’t get his DS. The next few hours were a blur. The firefighters told us that nothing could be recovered from the fire.
We had to go to my mean aunt’s house, who didn’t ever allow any electronics… Not that we had any electronics anymore. She wasn’t married and didn’t have any kids. She was the lady-with-twelve-cats-and-nothing-else-to-do type of person.
Once we arrived at Aunt Linda’s house I finally snapped into reality. Aunt Linda showed us where are rooms were; I had to share with Jason and Diego. We just went and sat on the bed not talking, while staring up at the pale, white crinkled ceiling and the bare blue walls. What else was there to do? But then our parents called us into the kitchen.
My parents stood side by side, they were really truly looking sorry for us. They reached out to hold each other’s hands, staring at us as we approached them.
“Sierra, Jason, Diego we know that this is all very sudden and that it is horrible. But we are just going to have to make the best of it. Look at it this way, we get to come and stay with Aunt Linda, who is part of our family, which we never get to see.” Mom and dad said in chorus.
“This IS horrible! How can you guys be so optimistic! We have nothing anymore! NOTHING!” I screamed. I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. Running to my room the tears started to streak down my face like bullets. Sobbing I crawled onto the one bed in the light blue room.

“Honey, may I come in?” said a voice that I didn’t recognize right away. I opened my eyes. Everything was all fuzzy and blurred. I must have fallen asleep. Wow, what time was it?
“No,” I finally mumbled, still half asleep.
Whoever it was opened the door anyways, and came over to sit on the bed next to me. It was Aunt Linda. She seemed to have a look of care and sympathy on her face.
“Sweets, come out into the living room, we are all starting a game of Uno,” she smiled at me. I didn’t get a chance to say no because before I knew it she was off the bed and gracefully walking towards the door. She looked just like an angel, delicate and sweet faced, walking towards the door.
My body then got off of the bed too and took me into the living room. Then my mind must’ve finally caught up and I could think again. My family sat around the table, watching me with their bright blue eyes.
My dog was happily lying on the floor next to my fourteen-year-old brother. Everybody looked so happy. Then I felt a chubby, sticky little hand slip into mine. Looking down, I saw my brother’s cute, toothless smile and sapphire blue eyes staring back at me.
“Play Uno with us sissy,” I couldn’t say no to such a cute face. So, I walked with him and took my spot at the table. At first everybody started out quiet and cautious. But then as the game progressed everybody was happy and teasing. We played different games for the rest of the day until it was time to make dinner. We all helped pitch in. Putting the pizza in the oven, setting the table with paper plates and plastic forks, and filling cups with water.
Once the “royal” meal was ready, all six of us crammed around the small four person table. It wasn’t much but I was just happy that we were a family again, happy that no one was injured in the fire. I knew that we didn’t have much anymore but we did have the most important thing; family.

Five years later. . . .
I still remember that day. It is fresh in my mind just like it happened yesterday. It was four in the morning on Christmas day, our parents yelled to us to come down stairs. I was lying in my bed thinking of the possibilities of why. Then, I heard the distant wailing of sirens. That was when the smell of smoke finally reached my nose. I bolted out of my bed and went to get Diego. If I‘d waited one second longer I would have lost my life and my brother’s.

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