Boom. My hands flew up to my ears as the second loud noise this week made the trees and ground shake. Right before the noise, there was a very bright light that flashed for the shortest second. Like I said, that was the second time it had happened this week. Mother won't tell me what's going on. Every time I ask her, she says I am too young. I don't understand! I am double digits now, 10 years old! My uncle Donny said that was old and I practically am a young lady now, but mother and father still think I'm their baby. They can't protect me forever! That's why I am proving them wrong right now. I left the house after my mother fed me lunch, she said that I needed to play outside, so that's exactly what I did. Not in the literal meaning that she had intended though, I'm running away. I have been for an hour now. I had to be very sneaky while I was leaving the house. Of course I was questioned on why I had a backpack filled with stuff, food to be exact, but I got my mother to believe that it was toys that I was going to make-believe with in the woods behind our house.
Instead of playing though, I kept walking, and I'm getting very tired now. I set my food down, sit down on a rotting log, and grab one of the five sandwiches that I packed. I'm not sure how long I am going to be running away. Just long enough to prove to my mother that she has no need to worry about me, I am independent. I can barely see my house now, I heard my mother a while ago, calling my name, it was very hard not to turn around and run into her arms. I would be apologizing forever, so I covered my ears and kept walking.
Grabbing my bag and zipping it up, I start walking again.
I see it! The playground that my mother takes me to all the time. We haven't been in a while though because it's "not safe," according to my father. I have been walking forever, I am so grateful to find this. As I cross the road, I see snow that still hasn't melted from the other day. It makes me angry to think of the snow because when we heard the big boom on Tuesday, mother immediately took me inside, and when it started snowing hours later, she wouldn't let me out. It was also very weird, because it is the middle of our summer months, we never have snow in the summer. Even the weather man was wrong!
Once I make it to the playground, I set down my bag and run to the swings, they're my favorite. Today, I get to have the whole playground to myself because no one else is here. No one else has been here for a while, it seems.
After sitting at the playground for a while, a car that looks exactly like my mothers and a police car pulls into the parking lot. The lights are flashing on the police car and I know I am in trouble. So I rush to get my bag and start running.
"Rhea! Stop!" I do what the voice says, because I know the voice. I've known it since I was born. I turn around and see my mother's face, she looks very worried and I don't blame her.
"You don't need to worry Mother! I'm okay, I can be out on my own!" I yell. She doesn't believe me though because she rushes over and before I know it, her hand is holding my skinny arm very tightly. The police officer doesn't say anything, but he nods to my mom and gets back into his car. As he pulls away my mother sits me down and looks me straight in the eye.
"Why did you run away?" she asks. "What were you going to do? Where--I don't understand!" she says, exasperated. Sweat droplets have formed on her head from the heat.
"I'm 10 now, I can go out on my own!" I say, lifting my nose in the air and puffing my chest out. She looks away and her eyes start to get damp. At the same time, in the silence, the air picks up and the craziest thing happens. It starts snowing! I stick out my tongue and start spinning. I get down on the ground to make a snow angel but my mother starts yelling.
"Get in the car! Rhea! Are you even listening to me?" Soon enough, I'm picked up by muscular arms, too muscular to be my mother. It was my father, he must have been in the car. I'm tossed into the backseat as the windows and doors are locked. The car revs into gear and we're driving down the road before I can even complain. Through my tears, I hear small parts of my mother and father's whispered conversation.
"--too young!--never understand," my mother is harshly saying to my father.
"--needs to know! She--it's not snow!" This part of the conversation stops my tears.
"It is snow! What else would it be?" I say. My father and mother exchange a look and then finally look back at me. My mother talks first.
The loud booms continued to threaten our town every week. Soon enough, they were happening every day. My family and I moved down to our basement. It was not fun because I couldn't play outside. We had to eat cans of food, it was very gross. There was talk of running out of food. I was most worried about the snow, the ash. The bombs being dropped on our city that were getting closer and closer every day. We weren't evacuating, it was kind of like we were hiding because I swear I heard someone in our house the other day but my mother made sure we stayed very quiet. I don't know what we're waiting for and I didn't know when we were going to leave.
It was almost like were were never going to leave. Ever.