How did this happen? My nostrils fill with the stench of unwanted fire. The orange flames light the dark room. I freeze, my mind racing, my hands shaking, my eyes watering. How do I stop it? I can feel my heart pounding in my chest. I can hear it in my ears.
But still I stand frozen, feeling the heat on my face.
Earlier that day…
“Remember, keep the doors locked, don’t answer the door or the phone,” cautioned my mom as she always does.
“Alright,” I respond in a urgent voice eager for them to leave.
“Be good,” called my dad from the garage.
“I will Dad,” I call out. Finally with a proud and concerned look my mom left.
I closed the door that leads to our garage and a hum signaled the garage door going down. My dog laid down on his soft white cushiony bed. “Finally I’m home alone,” I thought as I headed toward the computer not knowing what else to do. After all it is my first time home alone.
After a couple hours of sitting on the couch or the computer my stomach grumbled telling me it was time to eat. I briefly panicked when the low hum of the heater rang through the house. Wondering if it was the garage door I approach the mud room door and swung it open, but as suspected the garage is empty. I shiver realizing my bare feet are cold against the oak hardwood floor. Calmly I walked around the corner toward the cabinet. On the way I grabbed a spoon from the drawer that holds the silverware. Then as I open the oak door that accesses the cabinet the scrambling of the dog on wood flooring fills the house as he runs toward the front door.
Suddenly a high pitched sing-song ring filled the house. Mom’s words echoed in my head “don’t answer the door.” My breathing quickened. I leaned against the wall by the cabinet door and slid down it as if I was going to do a wall sit but I continued down to the floor and waited for what seemed like hours. “Calm down,” I told myself. Meanwhile my dog was constantly barking at the door. I knew he wouldn’t stop until I opened the door to prove the person was gone. So as soon as I thought it was “safe” I stood, my legs wobbly at first, and peeked around the corner. My heart was in my throat. “What if he sees me,” I mumbled nervously.Then with a low machine like hum I saw a FedEx truck pull away from the neighbors driveway through the window.
I sighed but the relief quickly turned into excitement when the thought hit that a package was at the front door. I tiptoed toward the front door making sure there was no person by the front door. Then I peeked out the window and opened the door. It sighed and creaked as it opened. The sun was low in the sky creating long tall shadows on the ground. I ran to the brown box sitting on the porch chair. I swiftly picked it up surprised at how light it was and took two quick steps across the threshold of the door. Then I noticed the dog outside sniffing a bush, “he must’ve snuck out behind me” I thought and opened the big door. I called out to him “Jackson come” and he came prancing back down the sidewalk.
After all the commotion I realized I was hungry. Almost simultaneously my stomach gurgled. That’s when it hit me. I have to cook!
Immediately my breath shortened and my eyes widened. “But I can’t cook,” I whined in my head. All I knew how to cook was quesadillas and pancakes. “Quesadillas,” I shouted startling my dog. I looked at Jackson and laughed. His ears were flat on his head and he was looking at me very sad as if I just ruined his life. He then turned away as if he was saying “We’re over,” to me.
Eventually I got all the ingredients and materials for my quesada. I hesitated to turn the knob for the stove, as ideas of burning houses and fire filled my mind. But eventually I turned the knob and flames flickered below the pan, spitting out of the disk. Before putting down the first quesadilla shell onto the sizzling hot pan I sprayed the non-stick oil on the pan and watched it sizzle. It made a continuous popping sound that filled the kitchen.
Finally I assembled my quesadilla on the burning hot pan in a sandwich like formation. It consisted of mexican cheese and leftover chicken from the night before. I turned my back to get a plate from the brown oak cabinet across the room. But before I opened the cabinet a rush of bright light shined in my eyes reflecting off the metal handles that cling to the cabinets. As I turned light as bright as the sun quickly filled my vision. I ran to the sink with my eyes wide and my heart beating fast, thinking “oh my (insert a bad word here) God”. I tried to steady my hand as I swung the cup of water around my body to head toward the stove. Water spilled onto the floor but it goes without notice.
The heat on my face and orange and yellow flame filling my vision. Holding a cup of water in my hand I realize that I can’t pour water into the pan, it will make a mess and could ruin the gas burner. “Think think think,” I scream at myself inside my head. Then suddenly I realize that the burner is still spewing flame and I crank it off. The fire weakens but it still burns. I place the cup of water down frantically and water splashes over the rim of the cup onto the counter. Then an idea flashes into my mind “suffocate it,” I slam open the cabinet closest to the metallic gray fridge. A display of shiny silver pots and black pans fill my vision. Finally I grab the closest lid and carefully maneuver it to fully cover the pan. This deprives it of the oxygen it needs and with a small hiss, the fire ceases. My heart slows after I sit down on the wooden stool that is positioned by the counter.
My gaze slowly scans the room. Cheese is scattered on the floor. Ingredients over the counter. I let the mess fill my eyes before I let out a long sigh. I slowly began to clean. As I clean I think in my head “I successfully kept the house from burning down.” Out loud I say to myself “Good job me!”
“It wasn’t that bad,” I realize as I look around the kitchen after I was half done cleaning. “I’m just grateful my brother wasn’t home,” I say in a sarcastic voice. Then a world flashes into my head, a world where Parker was home. This world is burning because Parker would have just laughed and stared at the fire and me frantically running about the kitchen. Then he would have tattled to my parents on me even if I did manage to put the fire out. It just makes you realize the other things that could’ve gone wrong.
After I finish cleaning the mess from the horrid disaster. I realize that I can take care of myself, even if I did almost burn the house down, I still was successful at taking care of myself the other 75% of the day. I strut over to the couch with a new found confidence. I think out loud, “I could probably survive all by myself for an entire week!”
Before long Jackson rushes to the garage door like so many times before. My parents are finally home. My adventure has ended.
A week later…
“I’m home alone again,” I think. But this time not a hint of worry finds its way to me. I’m full with confidence as I strut around the house. “Easy peasy,” I think...
Until I start to cook.