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I squinted through the bright sunlight, and got a good view of my pitcher. I got into stance and waited for the ball to be thrown. Suddenly the ball was hurdled in my direction, a little faster than I needed it to be, but I was ready. My position stiffened as I braced for the impact, the ball inched closer, but very quickly. When the time felt right, I swung the bat with all my might and the ball soared off of it and into the brightly lit horizon. I held my hand to my eyes, to block the sunlight and I saw the ball touch down about 10 meters away from where I was standing. I proudly stated.
“I’m getting good, I think I’ll make the girls baseball team for sure when school starts.”
Kyle looked at me and frowned; “Don’t get too confident, you might jinx yourself.”
I scoffed, “I guess… Anyway are you thirsty, I am. Come on, let’s go get a drink.” Kyle simply followed me.
Bu as we were walking up the steps to my house, I noticed the sky was a strange dark green color. I turned to Kyle with a puzzled look “That’s weird, what do you think it means?”
He just shook his head, as if to shake off my question and said “It’s nothing, probably just a storm, its felt like rain all day.” I disagreed, “Not really it’s actually been really hot and dry.”
He said “Aren’t you thirsty?”
I looked in his eyes for a minute, wondering why he changed the subject like that, but decided he probably didn’t want any of my dramatic reactions to anything that’s out of the ordinary today. So I just looked away, to the sky, and shrugged and walked back inside.
Kyle sat on a barstool and said “I’ll take lemonade with two ice cubes please.
I laughed and said “You practically live here, get it yourself.” He smiled and humorously asked “Now is that anyway to treat a customer?
I glared at him trying to look mad, but my expression broke when he copied me. I laughed again.
After we got something to drink, I suggested going out to play a different sport, like basketball or something, Kyle said that sounded great, also we went outside.
When I turned the corner of my house I looked up to the sky and said, “That cannot be normal, Kyle! Can we please just turn on the news or call my parents or something?” After some pleading he finally agreed to call my parents who were out of town for the weekend, on a mini vacation up in Baltimore at a hotel. We called them and they told us to turn on the news, so we did. I saw the information bar at the bottom of the screen and it started to say “The county of Greenville has been issued….”
But I stopped reading and was distracted by my parents talking to each other over the phone in my ear.
When the news came on, the screen filled with a graphic that said “Severe Weather Updates”. I looked at Kyle and frighteningly said “Wait... What does that mean?” but he was glued to the TV and he hushed me “Shh!” the weather lady came on and said “We’re receiving reports from multiple sightings of tornados all over the state of Maryland. Residents of Delaware are asked to evacuate immediately. If this is not possible, please, get under ground, in some kind of basement, or in an interior room and brace for impact.” While she said this I gasped and was suddenly filled with extreme fear. The meteorologist kept talking but I zoned her out, I’d heard all I needed to hear.
My mother asked what was wrong in a worried tone. As I told her what I’d just heard, I looked at Kyle and he looked at me. His expression was scared, nervous, and shocked, but shocked more than anything. We never got tornados here.
My mother was crying over the phone and I heard my dad tell her to give him the phone. He said dryly “Bethanie, listen to me. Leave the news on and follow whatever instructions they give as they update, okay?” I agreed.
“Since we don’t have a basement, get into either the closet or the bathtub and get cushions, mattresses, and pillows to protect you, please be careful” he paused “Is Kyle there with you?” I said yes...
“Put him on." So I did. Kyle said “Hello?”
"Son, call your parents and let them know what’s going on in case they don’t already. See what they want you to do. But if you can, please don’t leave Beth by herself, or at least take her with you. We’re going to check this situation out ourselves.” Kyle nodded and said “Yes, sir. Bye.”
I looked at Kyle and he looked at me for a while. Out of nowhere I started crying. He hesitated, as I fell to the ground, but soon got down with me and hugged me, then took me by the shoulders and stared me in the eyes.
He said, “Hey, we don’t have time for crying okay? I’m sorry, but we need to get prepared, just in case.” I just looked at him, I felt so vulnerable, with tears in my eyes I stood up. I wiped them away, and I felt an urge of courage. Kyle stood up as well and said with a look of worry “Are you o—“. I interrupted “I’m fine. Now, what should I do?”
Seriousness crossed his face again and he said “Well then, get anything you need. And I mean need not want, like bottles of water, extra clothes, or anything with special meaning to you. We’ll wrap it up and keep it with us. And if we have any space left you can take things extras.”
I nodded but asked “What about your stuff, don’t you want to get it?” He shook his head, “I don’t care, plus we don’t have much time.” I just looked at him, and turned to run and get the things we would need. I got gallons of water, 3 pairs of clothes, and some of my parents photo books—their wedding album for one—and thought of anything else we might need. I grabbed stuff that only I would need, like my contacts case and solution, a hairband which I put on my wrist, and swapped my flip flops with sneakers.
I went back out to Kyle in the living room who was staring outside at the sky. I showed him what I got, and asked “Is there anything else we need?” He simply said “Get some non-perishable foods.” I went to the pantry and got crackers, cereal, canned sausages, and other stuff that would be okay for a while. I brought it back to him and he said to get some kind of suitcase to hold everything in one place. I got an old one, and we had a little space left so I got some things I wanted that Kyle considered as extras. I’d never seen him so serious before.
That whole process took about 10-15 minutes. We were running over a few details, when a loud siren went off, it was the tornado warning. I frantically looked at Kyle and he said we needed to hurry. I racked my brain for things we had to do and I almost yelled “Your parents!”
“Crap”, he ran to the phone and dialed in a number, after a break he said “Nothing. No answer.” I sighed “Well… what do we do?” He said “There’s nothing else we can do.” Just wait it out I guess.” We quickly decided on the closet under the stairs as the safest place to be, it was pretty big for a closet and there were no exterior walls even close to it. After we threw everything in to the hall that was in the closet I grabbed some couch cushions as Kyle grabbed five mattresses. One went on the floor; two went on either side of us, one in the back, and one over us. It was a tight fit, but we figured it was for the best. We put the suitcase in first, and decided to wait until we actually saw a tornado to pile in the crammed space. The couch cushions were by the closet so when we saw a tornado we could just grab them, pile all in, and shut the doors.
Kind of tired we sat on the bare couch. I just stared in the space ahead of me as I felt Kyle’s concerned stare. I stated “I can’t believe this is happening.” Kyle agreed “Yeah, I know.” He inhaled sharply as though looking for a bit of info to soothe my apparent and obvious fears. “Maybe nothing will even happen, maybe there won’t even be a tornado.” I rolled my eyes “Yeah, maybe. Didn’t you hear the news? There were multiple sightings of tornados that had already touched down. And that was 30 minutes ago; we’re almost bound to get one!” I let my scared imagination run free, as I thought of my worst nightmares. Kyle was speechless.
Just then a second siren went off. I said “That can’t be good.” And Kyle got up from the couch. He said "let’s start looking out the windows to check okay?” I agreed. We kept checking, every minute, all the windows on the first floor. After 10 minutes I was so scared I thought I was a heart attack waiting to happen. Finally we sat back down, saying maybe we did miss it.
That’s when we heard a roll of thunder, as we looked out the front window I spotted a funnel could and yelped “Oh my god, look Kyle!” He yelled “Come on, let’s go!” as the sound of increasing winds became unbearable. We both clutched our ears and we started towards the closet. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the funnel cloud get closer to the ground, but I kept moving. We got the cushions and crammed into the closet. We shut the closet doors and sat in the closest thing to silence there would be when a tornado is touching down.