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As I watched the rain fall heavily from the sky, I began to replay the storm in my head. It was a typical, pleasant day in Nebraska. April 16, 2016. It was a sunny, cloudless day, just plain and boring. I just got home from soccer practice and I was sitting on the balcony doing my homework, when suddenly all the TV’s turned on.
“Warning, a tornado has touched down in Schuyler, Nebraska!”, the weathermen said trying to keep calm. As I start to turn around to look outside, the tornado sirens began to blare. I immediately ran down stairs. But something was missing, my parents were gone. I looked everywhere but there was no sign of them. I grabbed my phone and called them but neither would mom or dad answer. I ran outside to look for them and the car was gone and the garage door was wide open. I ran back inside begining to panic. I didn’t know what to do. So I ran outside, not thinking at all. I ran as fast as I could to the woods just a couple minutes away. I began to cry. I cried like I have never cried before. The tears streamed down my face like the rain fell heavily from the sky. Why would my parents ever leave me behind? Did I do something to ever make them want to leave me?
I come back to reality and began asking myself those same questions. The same questions still go through my head after fourteen years. I got that memory out of my head, and turned on the news.
“New technology! Francis Vanvouver has recently invented a time portal to visit the past.”, the newsmen exclaimed. I immediately brought the memory and thought that could maybe I could visit my past. To see why my parents abandoned me. I got the address of Francis’s office and went to my bedroom to get ready. I put on my mom’s old black leather boots, my dad’s leather jacket and my little sister’s “good luck” bracelet. I went into the bathroom and braided my long, brown hair. I looked up into the mirror seeing my dad’s sky blue eyes upon my face. I give myself a weak smile and walk out the door. I grabbed the car keys and left.
As I began to go downtown, I look at the blue sky with the skyscrapers reaching as far I could see. I look down at the road and see the traffic and realise it could be a while sitting on the street. I waste no time and turn the opposite way. I drive by my old house and the house looking untouched in so many years made me emotional. I continue my drive and drive past the woods where I cried last. Finally, I arrive at a very very tall building. I walk in and look for Vanvouver’s office. Finally, I arrive at his door. I knock nervously. A tall man with black hair and blue eyes opens the door.
“Mr.Vanvouver?” I shakely say.
“Yes, Hello. Come on in? And how can I help you?” I just stare at him, not knowing what to say. I finally come up with something to say.
“Uh, hello. My name is Zarie. I’m here to ask if you could help me investigate why my parents abandoned me using your, time machine.” I felt so silly saying that. We lived in a time period that saying time machine was very unusual to say.
“I would honestly love to say yes. But it would be against the law if I did. The government asked if they could use it to investigate important history. And I’m not saying your situation is not important, but they’re paying me a great load of money for it.” I looked down at my shoes as he ended his sentence. Why did I ever believe I would find out what happened?
“But, I was also abandoned when I was a child. So I completely understand. You know what? I will help you. Come to my office after 8:00 today, and we’ll begin.” I slowly begin to look back up at him. Is this really about to happen?
After 8:00, I walked over to Francis office and there he is.
“Follow me. The machine isn’t here. It’s downstairs. We have to keep it locked up for obvious reasons. Remember, you can not speak about this ever. You can not, I mean absolutely cannot ever say anything to anyone about this. My machine would be taken away from me and all that hard work would be gone.” I shake my head in reassurance. As we walk downstairs, I begin to think about my last memory of my family. I wipe away that faint memory and walk. When we enter the room, the machine looked nothing like I imagined it would have looked like. I imagined a round time portal. But it was just a chair with tape.
“Sit down.” he said. As I sat down I became even more nervous. He put on the tape looking thing on my head and he told me relax. He turns on the machine and I sort of flinch.
“We’re going to begin. You’re going to be able to see your family, but they won’t be able to see you. Remember, just stay relaxed.” He pushed the bottom and I shut my eyes seeing rain falling heavily from the sky. And I turn around seeing myself doing my homework outside.
I look at myself and started thinking bad thoughts of myself. How could I not notice my parents walking out the door. Leaving me behind. I remember I left my parents downstairs so I quickly ran downstairs to see if they were still there. And I see them sitting there. All the hatred I ever had, simply disappeared. Just like that. I go over to my mom, and I run my hand gracefully threw her beautiful blond hair. I remembered her tucking me in bed every night and feeling her soft hair brush against me as we had our last night together. Then I walk over to my dad. He was reading the morning paper that he didn’t have a chance to read that morning, with a cup of coffee in his hand.
“Honey, the girls were trying to convince me into having ice cream after dinner. I think at least Melanie deserves to have it.”, my dad said to my mom. I completely forgot about Melanie. I walk into her room and see her on her IPAD doing, “homework”, as she told my dad. I smile and walk back out to the kitchen. I glance at my mom and back to my dad. Waiting for them to just leave me behind. Waiting for the moment I have always craved to find the answer. I look at the stove clock and read 4:57 in the afternoon. I remember the news coming on about at 5:00 so I run up to my bedroom real quick to see what I was doing. I was still sitting doing homework. 4:59. I ran back downstairs and my parents were still there. 5:00, 5:03, and nothing happened. I sat down waiting for the t.v.’s to turn on. Then suddenly, all the tv’s did turn on and my parents sat there in confusion for a couple of seconds. Right after the reporter left, my parents stood up and went for little sister.
“Zarie! Come on! We have to get out of here! Let’s go!”, my mom yelled at me. But why did I never go down. I look up the stairs waiting for myself to appear but it never seemed to happen. But worst of all, why did my mom never go up to get me. She walked out the door and left and I ran outside to try to stop them but then I remembered can’t interact with them in any way. I ran back inside and notice that I still was not downstairs. I hurry up the stairs, but I tripped due to the tears starting to appear, filling up in my eyes. I sat back up and just began crying. Why did I not go downstairs? Was I this stupid and stubborn not to see what was happening? I walk into my bedroom and see myself crying on the floor. I don’t remember crying at any point. Is this why I never appeared on the stairs? Because I was crying? I began to stand up and I could see that I was scared. Very scared. When I actually was in this situation, I didn’t know what I felt. I grabbed my phone and went down stairs, and I followed myself down. My face turned from frightened to confused. I was confused on what was happening. I was confused why my parents weren’t in the kitchen, I was confused why their car wasn’t in the driveway. All I could feel was confusion. I noticed that I hesitated to even call my parents. Did I want them to leave me behind, did I ask for this? I ignore myself for a moment, and walk over to the kitchen counter. There was a note that was on it.
“ Zarie, I know we left before you came downstairs, but your sister was having another seizure due to the storm. But grandma’s coming to get you. Don’t worry and go into the basement and wait for grandma. We’ll see you very soon. Love, Mom.” I couldn’t believe it. How did I not see dad carrying Melanie into the car. I run over to myself and shake the paper in front of my face but nothing happened. My mom and dad never left me, ever. I go outside following myself and I finally arrive at the woods. And I sat next to myself. Looking at hard I cried. I close my eyes.
I finally open my eyes and see Mr. Vanvouver sitting next to me. I look up at the ceiling and my eyes start getting foggy. I hated my parents for almost 14 years and had no intent on finding them or figuring out where they lived. Why would I do this to myself? Furthermore, why would I ever do this to my parents. I slowly sit up, and look up at him.
“Did you figure out what happened? Did you find your answer?”, Vanvouver asked. I look back at the floor and nod my head. “Is there a problem?” he asked.
“Well, no, not really. But at the same time, there is a problem. My parents never left me. Well, they did leave me, but for a good reason, I guess. My little sister suffered from Absence seizures. When she heard all of the tv’s turned and the tornado sirens going off, she started to hyperventilate. So when my parents went to get her, she lost conscious. And they had to take her to the hospital immediately. My mom wrote me a letter explaining that my grandma was going to pick me up from the house, but I ran off and never returned to the house, ever. And I would like to find out where they live and how they are. If there was any possible way for you to help me, or just direct me in which direction, it would really be appreciated.”
“I could help you locate where they are. Let’s go upstairs and go on the computer.” When we got upstairs, he sat down in his chair and looked at me and back at his computer. “What’s your mother’s name?”
“Natalie.” He did some typing and finally gave me a look.
“Well, Natalie, your mom, lives in Arkansas with your father, David, your father.” I began to smile.
“Thank you so much.” I stand up and walk out of his office. I go down the street and get in my car, and drive to my house. I arrive and I pack all of clothes, pick up my book, and walk out.
“Hello, can I get a ticket to the next flight to Arkansas.” And that’s the last time I ever saw my old hometown.