I was standing in my kitchen getting ready to make dinner for myself. That’s when the house started rocking. Things started falling and breaking. It was an earthquake. I ran outside to see other people doing the same thing. This was one of the first earthquakes we had had in years.
Luckily all my kids were staying with their dad. It was the weekend, and that was the agreement ever since we got divorced.
Then I remembered something from the last time we had an earthquake. I ran back inside. I went to hide in my basement since it was the lowest part of my house.
Before I could crouch down and prepare, I heard a knock at my door. I quickly ran back upstairs and answered the door.
A female officer in a dark blue uniform was standing outside my house. She had a gun in her pocket and bright red lipstick smothered over her lips.
“Hello, I am Officer Laura. As you may have noticed we are having a slight earthquake.” She talked with what sounded like a New Yorker accent. “I am here to make sure you don’t have any small children with you that could be endangered.”
She looked at me with a grin, but she looked like she was in a hurry. I didn’t answer for a while because I was just thinking. She nudged me a little and then smiled again. “Oh, sorry. No, my kids aren’t here right now.”
“What do you mean by right now? Were they kidnapped? Snatched? Taken?” She said this super fast.
“Goodness! No! They just went to live with my ex-husband for the weekend.” Pause. “Which they always do,” I added.
“Alright. Now that we got that settled, how would you like to be my assistant for the day?” She smiled bigger this time. I could see her red lipstick smudged on the top of her teeth.
“Um... assistant? Aren’t we in some kind of earthquake? Shouldn’t I be hiding safely?” I said nervously.
“Nonsense! It’s safe out here! Plus, you have me! I am a qualified police officer.” It took some persuading, but I finally agreed to go along with her. She said it was for a good cause.
We walked by all kinds of houses. We had to ask all of them if they had small children. Most of them replied no. When they replied yes, we had to give them instructions on what to do in order to protect their child.
I got bored with that quickly. A couple of times I tried to make a run for it. Laura spotted me though and dragged me back. She took my hand and pulled me through the messed up streets. She sat down on a small bench and told me to come to sit.
“I’m sorry. I know this can be boring. I guess I’m just tryin’ to do my part for the community. I don’t want anyone getting hurt.” I saw a single tear trickle down her cheek.
“It’s okay! Don’t cry! I want to help too. Honestly, it’s been fun. I mean, what’s more fun than saving your community?”
She chuckled. Then her eyes looked serious. “It’s just, I haven’t had a friend in years. I guess that’s part of the reason I took this police officer job. I thought everyone would want to be friends with me. I guess I was wrong though. Now everyone thinks I’m all tough. No one ever talks to me.” She looked down at her lap and started to cry.
I had never seen someone open up to a complete stranger before. I didn’t want to make things worse for her so I went with my gut.
“I don’t have many friends either. I’m so busy trying to make things right with my ex-husband and doing things for my kids that I never really had time,” I paused trying to hold in my tears. “But if you would like to be my friend, I would love that!”
“You want to be my friend? This is the best day of my life!” We both smiled at each other and then almost like there was a force pulling us together we hugged.
As the earthquake started slowly stopping we walked back towards my house. I invited her in and she gladly came inside. “I think this place could use a makeover!” She said excitedly.
“Then we might just have to do something about that!” I said. We both walked down the hall to where I kept all my supplies. In there we found some paint and lights for decorating. We both looked at each other and grabbed both.
Laura did the paint while I draped lights over every wall in the house. The house looked nicer than it ever had.
We were having so much fun that we both didn’t want it to end. I invited her to stay for the weekend. She agreed, and we started decorating my room together.
I pulled an air mattress in for her to sleep on. And I brought her some of my daughters old pillows and blankets.
That night we both told each other about our lives. We talked about my job as a carpenter. We talked about all the dangers of a police officer. But after about an hour we both fell asleep instantly.
It was Monday morning and Laura and I had both slept in late. We heard an impatient knock at the door and went to answer it.
Laura was still in her police officer’s uniform so we decided it would be better if I answered it.
Before I could open it, the door swung open. It was James (My ex-husband) with my two kids. “What happened here?” He asked. I assumed he was talking about the earthquake but he wasn’t. He was talking about the paint and lights.
“Oh, nothing,” I replied. He stared at me and lightly pushed the girl into the house and walked out the door.
Laura walked out and waved to the girls. “Mommy, who’s this?”
“Just a friend,” I said smiling.