Crashing Down

May 16, 2012
It happened way too quickly. One moment we are learning about the Black Death, which killed a third of Europe's population. The next moment, we are hidden under a heaping mass of rubble that killed a third of our school's population.


It was a regular day at school. First period was World History. I was sitting in the seat to the left of my friend Elena.

"What was the main cause of the black death?" she quizzed me. I wasn't focused on the question. My mind was fixated to the right corner where the Wallls and ceiling met. Something wasn't right.

"Olivia?!" Elena practically shouted.I gave her a quick sideways glance to dismiss her pleas, and immediately locked my eyes on the corner again. There was a crack in the Walll that seemed about a foot long. Then, the crack seemed to jump to the ceiling and spiderweb out from the base. Our classroom was on the first floor, so there was constant pressure on the ceiling above us. Just as I started panicking, I sensed a figure behind me. Slightly turning my body, I saw it was my World History teacher, Mr. Luck. I glanced at him for a second, and then pointed at the ceiling.

"Look," I managed to whisper, "what's that?" Mr. Luck followed my outstretched arm with his eyes and saw what I was seeing.

"Olivia," he started, "I know you like to worry, but that's nothing." He said it in a tone that made my question seem ridiculous. Embarrassed, I blushed and put my head down.

"Fleas," I say, turning my head to Elena, "the cause are those tiny little fleas."


Later that period during a lecture, things just seemed to get worse. What was once a tiny crack in the corner spiraled into a gaping crevice that spanned half the wall. Funny thing is, no one seemed very concerned. All of a sudden, the floor started to convulse.

"Earthquake," Mr. Luck said, "We're in California, this happens all the time. Don't worry." He gave me a look of comfort, but I knew this wasn't an earthquake. Earthquakes make the entire ground shake, but the only thing that seemed to be shaking was the school. Before anyone had time to process what was happening, there was an ear-piercing crackle of ceiling tile and a deafening zap of breaking lights. Many sizes of debris started to shower on top of us, sending the school into a panicked frenzy. Some tried to run, but they met their fate and got crushed by ceiling tile, furniture, and even other people. I tried to escape, but it was too late. I was being buried alive in my own school.

"Help...somebody help me...please." I whispered, using all of my energy. My voice was stressed and raspy. I could have sworn something ruptured my lungs. I tried to move my fragile arms and legs, but i couldn't. Slowly, my body went numb, starting with my fingertips and toes and spreading throughout my entire body. I heard the faint sounds of police sirens ringing around me. Then, all at once, everything went silent.


Fuzzy images surrounded me. There was a faint beeping noise. It sounded like a heart monitor. The room had a sterile scent. Slowly, the fuzzy images got clearer. I then realized where I was. I was in a hospital bed, and my parents were there, too. Words were aimlessly floating around the room.

"Will she ever be able to Wallk again?" I heard a voice say. Since when was I unable to Wall! Slowly, took my hand, which had numerous cords attached to it, and slid it down the sheets. I put it under the sheets and felt my left leg. It was still there. Confused, I moved my hand over to my right leg. Where my right kneecap was supposed to lay was just a gap. I turned white.

"Umm," I mumbled, "Where's my leg?" Every one of the people in the room -- doctors and all -- were shocked that I was awake and speaking. The doctors rushed over to me and started checking every inch of my body

"Well, sweetie, we have some explaining to do." my mother said, squeezing my father's hand. I just wanted to know exactly what happened.

"As you probably know, your school collapsed on you." I nodded. "When they pulled you out of the rubble, you were pretty deep in the pile. You were unconscious. The blood circulation in your leg was gone." my mother said as she trailed off into a crying fit. Putting an arm around my mother, my father picked up. "They had to amputate it. And your friend Elena...your friend Elena died." I was in a state of shock I couldn't believe that my best friend had died. I was positive I would pass out again. I started to cry.

"Will my life ever be the same again?" I managed to say through my sobs. My parents were silent. I already knew the answer. I was hoping this was all a dream, but this was reality, and reality hurts.

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