They say you can get used to anything. They lie. Don’t let anyone ever fool you into believing that because once you do you stop fighting the fall. And when you stop fighting you might as well have given up. And if you’ve given up then you might as well go dig your own grave, climb in, and pull the dirt over you and be done with this life.
Friday, July 25, 2014
“Children!Children!!Listen to me.I want you to all
sit at your desks, put your heads down and be quiet.The busses will be arriving soon.”
boy in the front raised his hand.“But
Miss Preston, I don’t ride a bus.My
grandmother or auntie picks me and my sister up.”
teacher nodded though we could all see that something was wrong.There were giant sweat stains under her arms
like the air condition had been off, but it was blowing full blast and so cold
I wished that teacher would let me get my jacket out of my cubby hole.
will be just fine.Office staff will
call you when your parents – or your ride – arrives to pick you up.”
wasn’t that very long later that a voice on the intercom said, “Bus 1055 has
arrived.Please check your rosters and
have all children that ride this bus ready for pick up.”My hand shot up; that was my bus.
grabbed my stuff from the cubby hole that had my name on it and then they
walked us down to the bus circle.It was
weird to see 1055 to be the only one there.I heard all of the adults talking quietly and could tell something bad
was happening but I didn’t know what.When
I got on the bus it was very scary to see that all the big kids were there
until I saw my brother and I went running back to him and almost got in
lady …” growled the mean, fat woman that had been the bus driver that day.
ok.She’s my sister,” Tim had said
before pulling me into the seat with him and a girl that I can just barely
remember being his girlfriend.I don’t
remember her much and she isn’t a part of the story anymore but I mention her
because my brother treated her nice, not like men do today, and he was just a
kid too.He was fifteen.
Geri?” I asked.
“Shhh.Keep your voice down Sissa.She’s already at home.The bus from the middle school is already
home.Look, I know it’s going to be weird
but I need you to sit on the floor here.”
“Ew.It’s dirty down there.And your feet stink.”
jerked me around and that was the first time that I got really scared.Tim had never been rough with me and he
didn’t look like he wanted to be rough with me then either, like it hurt him to
do it.“You can’t cause problems
Sissa.Just do what I say.And when we get off the bus you hold my hand
and we are going to run home as fast as we can.You got that?”All I could do was
look at my big brother and nod.
that’s what we did.Mom met us at the
door crying.Geri was crying too and I
didn’t understand why a big thirteen year old girl would be crying.Then I saw Daisy and her husband there and it
got really freaky.
Daddy?I want Daddy!”
turned around and said, “Knock it off Sissa.”
came over and snapped, “Take it easy Tim, she doesn’t understand.I’ll take her up to her room and get her
“Packed?Where are we going?And where’s Daddy?!”
took my hand and pulled me up to the room that was mine alone after Daisy moved
out and Geri got her old room.“Daddy is
picking up Uncle Rick and his family.”
promise?He’s not sick or anything?”
would you think that?” she asked as she dumped my dirty clothes bag out and
started putting my clean clothes in it.
Momma looks just like when Uncle Wesley died.She’s all white and crying and stuff.”
just … look Sissa, you’re too little to really understand and I know you hate
it when we say that to you but this time it is true.Something bad, really bad, happened in the
world today.A big bomb went off in this
place called the United Nations building.”
heard of the United Nations.It’s in New
said, “It is … was I mean.Now it’s not
anymore and all around where the building used to be there is this bad stuff
called radiation.And the people that
did it are … are scaring people and telling them they are going to do it in
other places too.Daddy and Uncle Rick
are going to take us to the farm. We are going to stay there a while and be
safe until things can get back to normal.”
really didn’t have a clue.All I cared
about was that Daddy would be home and the family would be together and we were
going to the farm and then we’d be with more family.
did move to the farm and we lived there until I turned ten; long enough for
life to change forever.I learned lots
of things from my grandmother, mother, and aunts.How to make do, make over, or do
without.How to hoe.How to stand on a stool and help make
whatever we were able to grow … and keep, because the government was always
around taking a bunch of it away to keep the people in the cities from coming
out into the country and taking it themselves.Long enough for Daisy’s husband to get drafted and never come home.Long enough for my brother, cousins, and
other male relatives to get involved in something called a militia and get the
whole family in big trouble.
was an election year, the last one there’s been since.Just in case they still don’t have them by
the time you are old enough to read this an election year is when people are
supposed to be able to vote for who they want to be the boss of certain
things.Only there were a lot more
people in the cities than there were in the country so it was their people who won
the elections and those newly elected people had promised the people in the
city that had voted for them more food and more other stuff and when they
couldn’t deliver on their promises fast enough they blamed the people in the
country for being ignorant and selfish.That’s when things blew up in my life all over again.
think they are all dead.I think they
would have tried to find me if they weren’t.Or maybe they did try and they think I am the one that is dead.One of these days I would like to know for
sure.If they think I am dead I’m pretty
sure that I’ll let them keep thinking it.My family were nice people, I don’t think they could deal with what
really happened to me.I think it would
hurt them too bad and I don’t want to have to live with that on top of