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It started as just another day, get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, walk to school, and go to math class. We are in the middle of learning our new lesson for the day and Mrs. Brimmer has already called “Tara, please answer the question?” or “Miss Grant, do you agree with that answer?” in her super annoying voice. We have corrected yesterday’s paper and I’ve passed with a whopping 100%, big shocker. It’s the same thing every day. Then, while have the class is lectured to sleep, the TV in the corner pops on.
The news lady screams into her microphone, “Breaking news! It has just been confirmed that a hurricane has started forming in the Great Lakes. Everyone, hurry and leave town!” Then the TV goes black.
It takes a minute for it to sink, mostly because everyone still groggy from their mid-morning naps. Then, like a train wreck, everyone in the classroom started to scream and freak out, including our teacher, Mrs. Bimmer. I’m in too much shock and disbelief to spaz out like the others. I hurricane in Minnesota, never heard of, impossible, what in the world! Hurricanes are found along the coast, not in the middle of the country.
Then, Principal Brown’s voice came over the intercom, “Um…good morning students…um…I suppose you’ve already heard about the, um, hurricane? Yes, the hurricane. Um…because nothing like this has ever happened before in history, um, we will be dismissing all of you at 9:00. If you need to call your, um, folks, you may use your cell phones just this once. That is all.” Silence. “Oh, and students, school will be canceled until farther notice.” Cheers explode throughout the classrooms and halls.
After Mrs. Brimmer finally got everyone settled down, she explained to us the dismissal for a blizzard, which I don’t quite understand. First of all, this isn’t a blizzard; this is a hurricane, completely different. Second, she doesn’t need to explain the dismissal routine because every student in the school district has it memorized because there are like twenty blizzard a year, even in late March.
8:30. I called my mother and father to inform them of the news. Of course they had already found out because parents know everything. Mom told me to pick up my brother and sister from preschool. Dad told me to lock the door and that there were no friends allowed what so ever. No phone usage because what if they tried to get a hold of me and the line was busy. I had heard the routine a hundred times, or as many times as we’ve had a blizzard.
8:45. “Students!” Mrs. Poppy, the secretary, clicked on the intercom, “Students, may I please have your attention?” Everyone’s head turn and stared at the speaker, although there was nothing to look at. “Students, you will now be free to go to your other teachers and retrieve your homework, then go to your lockers and collect anything possibly needed for the, um…,” voices in the background, discussing what to call such a situation, “…um, break? Yes, I think we will call this a break for right now. Okay, students. You know what to do.” And she was correct; we did know what to do.
8:50. I meet my best friend, Lola, at our lockers. She has decided that she is just going to “chill” this “break” (her words, not mine), meaning she has decided that no homework for her. Usual. Meanwhile, I was one of the first students to collect my homework, mostly because others, like Lola, don’t care, or are just too freaked out about this crisis that they don’t have a clue what to do.
“Gonna do all that homework tonight, nerd?” Lola states, jokingly.
“Gonna fail and drop out of school to work in Wal-Mart until someone discovers your FABULOUS singing and acting talent?” I ask just in the same way. This is just one of the ways Lola and I get along so well. Plus, we kind of have the same opinions of life. Like how ridiculous the girls in our grade get when Tate Motten walks passed them even though we both know that we do the same thing. Or when we laugh at people and how they freak out about the new fashion statements, even though we try to imitate them in our own crazy ways.
Anyway, I take my responsibilities extremely seriously, unlike other student in my grade. So far I just had math, English, and science. And with this “break” happening I will have plenty of time to practice my drums, flute, and piano. Yeah, I guess when to list it all out like that I am quite the nerd. Straight A’s. I suppose it makes my parent happy to have such perfect childern. Anyway, I never do anything wrong. I don’t fight with my siblings, a lot, and I always do as I’m told, most the time. A kid has got to be a kid.
“Bye,” I tell Lola, “I have to go and pick up Ethan and Emma from preschool.”
“Ugh! You’re always doing thing for the twins. Don’t you ever wish you didn’t have to, Tara?”
“Well, I suppose. I got to go.” And with that statement I hurried out the doors.
“Come on Emma. There are flowers at home. We need to get back to the house by 9:30 before mom and dad send out the cops for missing children, again,” I pulled Emma and Ethan by the wrist to show them just how important it is the we hurry and walked three more blocks in the next five minutes.
“Ouch!” they both called out to me, “Not so hard!”
Ugh. Little kids are always complaining. I was time to compromise. “If you hurry up, I’ll get to a cookie when we get home.” I added a sweet smile just to seem friendlier then I really was right now.
That triggered their legs to running and pretty soon they were pulling me!
We walked through the door just as the phone started to ring. I grabbed the hand held and answer with a panting “Hello?” It was Mom.
“Oh, honey! I’m so glad you made home safely. You did get home safely, right?”
“Yes, Mom, we did,” I said as I opened the cupboard where the cookies were.
“Okay. We’ll be home in a half an hour. Good-bye.”
I turned around to grab a cookie for myself, but they were gone. I heard giggling and munching coming from the floor. I walked around the island in the kitchen and saw Emma and Ethan chomping down on those cookies like it was their last supper. I certainly wasn’t going to try to take it away from them.
Instead, I walked over to the living room and clicked on the TV. Every single news channel had a screaming reporter trying to prepare everyone for what was to come by acting out what might happen during the catastrophe. Meanwhile, I flipped through the channels. Music videos, not in the mood. Dramatic soap operas, boring! Sitcoms from the last century, who are half those people? A funny movie, there’s nothing good on.
At that very moment, Ethan and Emma walk in, “We want to watch Monkey Messes! It’s our favorite show!”
“Please be quiet you two. I am trying to watch the news.”
“The news is boring and only adults watch the news,” taunted Ethan.
“Yeah,” Emma was Ethan’s back up today. “Monkey Messes is funny.”
“Would you two like to watch TV in Mommy and Daddy’s room? There’s a big bed in there!”
And like a bolt of lightning they were gone. Finally.
I turn up the volume loud enough that I can still hear in the kitchen. I check my e-mail. Forward, forward, forward, Mom, Mom, Dad, Mom, Lola, Lola, and Student Council President informing everyone of the hurricane. That is some interesting stuff right there. I look at the clock. Twenty till ten. I check the refrigerator, the cupboards, and the freezer (groceries are important in a blizzard, so they’re important in a hurricane) and text Mom a list. After all of that, I return to my chair, with a bowl of popcorn and a Dr. Pepper.
The news reporter has just finished her story of the loose monkey named Banjo from the zoo. Apparently he drove the zoo van down the interstate. He is very talented in my mind. Then, the reporter goes absolutely insane.
“I would like every single one of my viewers to know that I am leaving! I am fleeing to the West! Wyoming or Montana. I don’t know. I’ve never been in this situation. I don’t know what to do. I highly suggest that everyone do the same thing too. Good-bye now.” And with that she was off the screen forever. Which was really a big lost. She wasn’t a great reporter anyway.
I went to the window to check the weather. It didn’t look any different than usual. Sunny and clear skies as far as the eye can see. I turned around and walked down to the basement. I’m supposed to do all my homework down there, but sometimes I sneak up into my bedroom.
Our basement has hard wood floors in the main room. A nice couch that is quite comfortable for watching TV. I decided to watch a movie instead. I already knew there was nothing on. In the corner was my desk. It’s a black desk with two drawers and many shelves. I was able to decorate how I wanted, but I thought it looked nice just the way it was. There is a bathroom across the room and a beautiful spare bedroom against the west wall. Mom decorated it all by herself. Next to the bedroom, there is the workout room. We have an elliptical and a stationary bike. There are a few weights in there. The west and south walls have brick stretching up to the ceiling and the north wall looks like cupboards. There’s also a radio to listen to for music and news, a refrigerator that hold mostly water, sports drinks, and a small TV. The exercise room also doubles as our tornado safety place.
I walk over to the couch and tossed backpack. It falls short and land with a sudden thud. Whoops! I plop myself on the cushy couch and hit play. I’ve decided to watch my favorite movie of all time, which is The Blind Side. I just love movies based on true life. I love the movie Titanic, but that one is really long. I hear the door creak open, Mom and Dad are home.
“Tara? Ethan? Emma? Help with the groceries!” Mom calls as she hauls in the first of many loads. She always buys way too much.
I hear little footsteps and I know that the twins are on the movie, racing down the hallway towards Mom.
“I’ll be up in a sec,” I call. As I hit pause, I glance out the window. Cloudy, dark, and gloomy. What happened to the sunshine? I walk over to the sliding glass door and stick my hand out. Humid. I guess that does mean that there’s a hurricane on the way.
I dash up the stairs to inform Mom and Dad, but their already on their way with all the groceries. “Run! Get into the safety room! QUICK!” They shout at me as I turn. I see Ethan and Emma being drugged behind them. I grab my back hit the power button on the TV and enter the room. I hold the door open as the rush in after me. First we turn on the TV. Then we pull out the mattresses and the Murphy bed from the wall. Whoever said you couldn’t sleep comfortably in a crisis?
Dad returns back upstairs to retrieve family pictures and important documents. Mean while, Mom and I stock the fridge and the cupboards.
It’s the next day after our storm. Mom didn’t sleep a wink, as usual. I asked about the damage and she said it wasn’t too bad and that the storm has passed. School will be canceled the rest of the weak do to clean up because, well…
“YOU MEAN TO TELL THAT IT WAS JUST A REALLY, REALLY BAD THUNDERSTORM!!!” I screamed. This is insane. All because some dude can’t tell the difference between Florida and Minnesota! On a scale of one to ten, this was an eleven!