The Fire Inside of Me

April 25, 2012
By , Chadds Ford, PA
Appearing in second place your whole life gets old. I am two years older than Dustin so I should be stronger, taller, smarter, and more athletic, right? Dustin is sixteen years old and the captain of the soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams. He is an outstanding six feet three inches tall and in many honors and AP classes. Here I am John, eighteen years old, not on any sports teams, five feet six inches, and struggling to keep my grades up.

I get home from school and flop onto my bed. Later I find Dustin packing up a suit case full of all the things for our trip.
“Are you nervous to go all the way to Florida without mom and dad?” Dustin asks.
“A little bit” I replied. Dustin and I went down stairs to say good bye to our parents. After a lot of hugging I finally drove to the airport. As our plane is landing we hear a voice come on the intercom.
“Welcome to Orlando, Florida. It is currently one o’clock p.m. and about 86 degrees. Have a wonderful stay and thanks for flying with us.”
Dustin and my Uncle Thomas watched, talk about, and played sports all the time; they also spent hours at the gym a day. I was alienated from all of the activities. When we had family dinners, the time was spent discussing academics; every time I had something to say I felt over shadowed by the comments Dustin would make.
Our flight time was approaching so we packed up all of our belongings. After a short good bye we got on the plane and flew home, hardly speaking the entire flight. As we landed we heard a voice over the intercom.
“Welcome to Forest City, Oklahoma. It is currently five o’clock p.m. and about 40 degrees. Have a wonderful stay and thanks for flying with us.” Dustin and I get in the car and start driving home and as we get closer the air is filled with a thick veil of smoke. We turn left and make our way down the street to see our home engorged in flames.

“W—what is going on?” These words are the only thing I can manage to spill out of my mouth. Before asking where my mom is, I hear a faint scream and know it is her. I run towards the burning building and hear Dustin shout something back, but I cannot make it out and I am too far away. I immediately drop to the ground and begin crawling to the sound of my mom’s voice. I know I am getting closer and can make out what she is saying.
“Help!” she manages to choke out.
“Stay where you are mom I’m coming” I scream. Just then I see her through all the smoke and reach out my hand. I hold her shirt over her nose in hopes of helping her to breathe. I realize how weak she is; she could become unconscious at any moment. I try to pick up my speed but it is no use; I am getting weaker by the second but then I see the door to get out. I use every bit of strength left in me and crawl through the burning house. I finally reach the door and fall out onto the porch. Almost no oxygen is left in me so I quickly grab a hold of my mom and move slowly to the other side of the street.

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