The next day I sat at the dining room table alone. The wall clock said it was only 7:00am but I didn’t sleep all night, again. About two hours later, an exhausted Alice came down the stairs. She yawned as she sat in the chair opposite me. “What’s for breakfast?” She asked. “Breakfast is a bowl of dry cereal.” I replied. Ali sighed and got a bowl out of the cupboard.
I was still feeling a little weird from the night before, even though Ali seemed completely over it. I waited until she had poured her cereal to say, “I’m sorry about last night.” I looked down at my bowl and waited for a response. Ali just snorted. “It’s alright, I was just startled.” She laughed, obviously replaying it in her head.
Ali was officially too weak to wander for a day at a time. I knew she had to rest, so I thought I would let her, since we wouldn’t get anywhere if we did go back out. We just had to hope someone would find us soon. Ali and I spent the day sitting around. Well, Ali was lying down on the sofa and I would sit on the armchair. For the first time, I actually got to know Alice Mclean. She had one brother, and knew how to play the guitar very well. Her favourite colour was blue.
The only thing was I started noticing other things. Things she wasn’t telling me but didn’t have to. Like that her eyes were the darkest of blues and she had freckles sprinkled over just her nose. That she did extravagant gestures as she told stories, and snorted every time she laughed. I think we spent four days at that house, just talking through the day.
As the days went by, I noticed how her laugh started to fade. How her porcelain skin had a greyish tint to it, and how whenever I changed her bandages she barely even noticed. By the fourth night, she couldn’t go upstairs to bed, so I let her lay on the couch. I ended up staying downstairs too. All I could do was watch her sleep, through days and nights, and make sure she was alive.
On the fifth morning, I was staring out the window, when I saw something getting closer. I squinted until I saw that it was a large van, crashing through the now knee deep waters. My jaw dropped and I sprinted through the front door and onto the front porch, jumping up and down and waving my arms about and screaming for them to stop.
They skidded to a stop and I sighed with relief to see they were in fact a rescue team. “Are you alright?” One of the men asked as he ran up the steps towards me. “I’m fine, please help my friend!” I said, running into the living room. The man picked up Ali and she didn’t even wake up. I stepped out of the way and let him carry her into the back of the van.
I noticed that the van wasn’t actually an ambulance it was just plain white. One of the other men motioned for me and I got into the back of the van with Ali and the paramedic. I guess the actual ambulances had been washed away because it seemed they had just used whatever van they could and put medical supplies in it. I sat on one side of Ali, who was now lying down on the stretcher with an oxygen mask on.
As the van started driving again, Ali’s eyes fluttered open. Her eyes darted from me to the paramedic. “It’s alright we’re going to the hospital now.” I comforted her and she grabbed my hand. We were in the van for at least an hour, and when we stopped the two men in the front opened the back doors and pulled Ali out on her stretcher. I jumped out and looked around.
We were at a hospital, but not one that I had ever been to. Water pooled around my feet and I followed Ali in. When we got inside, I saw nurses and doctors milling around, but no people. I was the only person there that wasn’t hurt. “We have to take her into the O.R right away.” Said the paramedic and the two men nodded as they started wheeling her towards another hallway.
Ali grabbed my hand again, tightly. Her mask was left in the van and she looked at me like she didn’t want to go. “You’ll be fine, and I’ll be there when you wake up.” I reassured her. “Do you promise?” She asked. “I promise.” Ali sighed and let go of my hand. But then she grabbed me by the collar of my t-shirt and pulled me down and kissed me. I staggered back and even the two men looked shocked. They wheeled her off anyways, leaving me standing in the hallway alone. Like an idiot.
I found my way to the cafeteria that was pretty much empty and sat down. Ali would do that. She would just take my first kiss for the fun of it, just because I couldn’t say anything. Well, I’ll give you a piece of my mind when you wake up Alice Mclean I thought, you just wait. I remembered that Ali was going into surgery, and that I would regret being so annoyed with her. So I just put that aside and waited in the cafeteria until a nurse walked up to me and sat down next to me.
“Hi honey, are you alright?” She asked. “I’m okay.” I replied. “May I ask you a few questions?” She asked politely. I nodded. She asked how old I was, who I was here with, where I lived, and what family members I’m missing. “Well, Samuel Casey as soon as your friend is better; we will get you to a safer place.” She smiled and rubbed my back which made me quiver because it reminded me of my Mom.
I was glad she came over though, since she filled me in with some information. The reason that no one else that wasn’t fatally injured was there was because this was the designated emergency hospital. Anyone with injuries that could make it out of the valley would be taken out. She said that Ali and I would be taken to a children’s centre outside of the valley when Ali got better, because that’s where parent’s looking for their kids were referred.
Instead of sitting at a table all day, I walked around the hospital, half-hoping I would see my family and at the same time really not wanting them to be there. I stopped when I saw a small TV that was set on the news. No one else was watching, and I thought that I probably shouldn’t be watching either, but I had to. They showed pictures and videos of the flood, of families being affected and even at the beach where I was. It was strange to think I somehow survived something like that.
Then the clips changed. The reporter was talking about the flood not being the worst part. The Northern part of the valley experienced large mudslides as the rain continued. The man said. He listed off neighborhoods that were affected the most. My mouth hung open as my neighborhood was listed. Images and videos were shown; houses were being torn apart by currents of thick mud.
I started feeling nauseous. Here I was, thinking that the flood waters may not have reached my neighborhood, they had gotten something worse. When in reality the chances of my family being alive had just dropped by a huge percentage.
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