By: Katherine Taylor
It was about 12:30 when I was sitting on my bed, one Wednesday morning, typing my stories of brave nights saving beautiful princesses and whatnot, when I heard a knock on my door. My mother poked her head into my room, “Kat, do you want to go to your brother's game?”. She always asked that whenever my brother had a baseball game, which was almost every day. I shook my head no, then she nodded, shutting my door to leave me with my computer. I sat, staring at the screen, stumped. I sighed, then jumped as my phone rang loudly beside me. I laughed in spite of myself, then glanced at Bella's caller ID flashing on my phone. Bella is my best friend, ever since we first met. Like a sister, she could flick me or even slap me, and I guess I wouldn't mind. I’ve known her for so long, It doesn't phase me. I answered the phone, cringing a bit as she yelled into the phone, “Kat! Lets go swimming at the creek.” Her voice shifted into her silly monster voice she used to make me laugh. I rolled m eyes, laughing, “Okay. Jeez. Just let me get ready.” I was pulling on my jacket as we spoke, leaving the computer on my bed. “Hold on, I'll be there in a minute. See ya.” Hanging up the phone, I sprinted to where my mom was getting ready. “Mom. I'm gonna' go and swim with Bella in the creek. Is that okay?” I smiled in the nod of her head, quickly getting on my shoes and running out of the front door. “Shotgun!” I called as my brother moaned in defeat. I hopped in the front, buckling my seat belt and bouncing my leg in anticipation. Finally my mother got into the car, starting the engine with a sickly sputter. My mom's car was really old, and it sometimes had some problems, but it definitely got us where we needed to go, nonetheless. I grumbled, forgetting my phone and my glasses, then a nudged the thought away, figuring I probably didn't need them. I watched the road swing by in a blur, not really noticing the small nervousness in the pit of my stomach, and not really knowing why it was there.
As we pulled into the small grass area, where every parent parked so they didn't have to walk so far, I spotted Bella immediately. Once our car was at a complete stop, I stepped out of the car, walking over to her. “Let go!” I pointed in the direction of the creek, putting on foot on a rock and one fist on my hip. “Come, Robin! To the bat-mobile!” I had a hard time saying the words with a strait face, and she laughed. We took off, after consulting with our mothers and promising that we would check in with Bella's phone. We noticed a couple boy's, then I noted that they were my brother's friends, since, unfortunately, they recognized me to be his older sister. We moved back along the creek bank, after arguing with them that... Well, I really can't remember what we were arguing about. Haha. Anyways, Bella and I came to the railroad tracks, that both of us were afraid to walk on. Well, at least I was afraid. The gaps in between the wood seemed too wide, as if I were afraid I'd miss a step and slide right between them. But, after seeing them, I realized they were only a couple inches wide. I laughed at myself for being so paranoid, then we proceeded to jump off of the tracks, into the water. I wasn't afraid of the train because a while ago, a train came while we were down there. We weren't on the tracks, we were in the water, but a couple minutes before the train was in sight, a rumbling and shaking of the ground preceded the train's arrival. Now that we had figured out the events that lead up to the arrival of the train, we knew when we should and shouldn't be on the track's, according to the evidence. I covered my ears as blaring sirens deafened me for a moment, then I shook my head, regaining my hearing and thinking nothing of the noise I had just heard.
I was just about to jump off again, then I heard the incisive ringing of Bella's phone. She answered with “Yello?” I snickered at her. “So rude!” I whispered to her, only joking. My heart sank as I saw her face, pale as a ghost. She looked as if her eyes were about to pop out of their sockets. “Bella. What's wrong?” I waved my hand in front of her face. She focused her eyes on me, grabbing my shoulders. “Kat. Your house is on fire.” She said, her voice quiet for once. I looked at her, then a small, nervous laughed escaped my dry throat. “Seriously, Bella.” I rolled my eyes, putting my hands on my hips. “Kat. I'm not joking. My mom just called me and told me. Come on!” She yelled, pulling my hand in the direction of where my mom and my step-dad used to be sitting. As we ran, blood was pounding in my ears, or maybe that was my heart. I kept running, though my ribs burnt like crazy. I pushed the pain away, focusing on the problem I faced. As we reached the place where my family should have been sitting, I looked around at the chairs that had been pushed over, sprawled out everywhere. My heart sank, knowing now that Bella was telling the truth. “Kat.” I heard Bella whisper. “What?” I walked over to her, looking at her, a surreal feeling washing over me. I felt as if I were in a movie. Acting a part, not really being the girl that I was playing. “I wasn't supposed to tell you. Act like you don't know.” She persisted. I nodded in agreement, knowing that I could act as if I didn't know. I didn't want to know.
Rocco (Bella's mom), drove us to my Aunt Brandi's house. That was when I knew that Bella was telling the truth. I always go to my Aunts house when something is wrong. I stepped out of the car, so in a daze that I didn't even realize my own mother was hugging me. I hugged back, prepared, but still so un-prepared for what she was about to say next. “Katherine. Andrew.” She said mine and my brother's name softly. “Our house was on fire.” She looked directly at me, which made my heart sink, and a wave of guilt washed over me. I don't know why, but it did. “It started in your room..” She said to me, her eyes searching my face. I nodded, surprisingly, I didn't cry. I nodded, then as time passed, she took us to the house, to see the damage. I walked inside, accompanied by a firefighter. Many people were crowded around my house, but there were many people crowded around my room. I looked at the un-reconizable piles of ash and twisted metal that used to be my bed. My whole room looked as if it had just been the testing room for an exploding black paint can. My walls and floor were covered in black smoke scars, with grey hand prints, where the firefighters had tried to step over the hot ashes and metal, holding themselves steady with the wall. The stench of who knows what filled my nose, making me grimace. I tried breathing through my mouth as we walked along. I was asked a few questions about how many things I had plugged in, or what did I have laying on my bed. My breath caught in my throat. The computer. I had completely forgotten about it. Now I knew what the nervousness had been about. I shook my head, walking and standing beside my mom.
After the heart wrenching sight of my own home and room demolished, I still have not cried. I just could not will myself to do so. Our home is being rebuilt and will eventually be good as new. We are moving back in soon, and our lives will go on as planned. But there will always be that truth that there is always that chance that one of us could have been in there. I would have been in there if it had not been for Bella. My brother could have even been there if it had not been for his game schedule. Luckily, Fate had a different plan for all of us. And I'm glad it did.
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