The clamor of the noisy city was drowned out by his words that kept echoing in her head. “They’re dead…” and she wasn’t even sure what the rest was. “They’re dead…” How could that be? Why, everything was just fine when she left for school that morning. And now this? Something about an explosion…leaking gas. It was all so jumbled up in her head.
Chandra’s parents had immigrated her just 3 weeks before, and now she had no where to go. No family, no real friends. Well, there was the lady who ran the drug store where Chandra had discovered the deliciousness of malts. She found her kitten under the back step, meowing loudly. Chandra didn’t know how the kitten had survived, but there she was…furry and scared, and hungry no doubt!
Grabbing an old sleeping back from the storage room, Chandra left for the drug store and the only person she knew she could trust. And with each step, the pounding in her ears was almost more than she could bear. “They’re dead”. She wanted to scream. To throw up her hands and make the world stop turning. To stop the flow of traffic in the streets, and have everyone know her grief. But she was powerless and she knew it.
What would become of her now? She could take a ship back to Europe, and live with her Grandpapa in Switzerland. At 15, Chandra didn’t have much to her name. Not nearly what she would need to make a journey like that.
Chandra moved in slow motion, as if the air was pushing back on her.
As she walked she felt something wet on her cheek. No, the tears hadn’t started yet. Still too much shock for that. Chandra reached to wipe and…meow, meow…her kitten! Chandra struggled to focus now. Her kitten was licking her face. The deep fog began to lift, and Chandra sprang to her feet. Her kitten was hungry! She had overslept again, and now her kitten was waking her up to say “bring me some milk”!
Chandra threw on her robe and flew downstairs to see her mama just setting the last of breakfast on the table. Papa pulled up to the end with his glasses slightly askew. “Good morning sweetheart, you slept late this Saturday morning!”
“Oh Papa!” and burying her head in his chest, she wrapped her arms around him in a giant bear hug. “Good morning papa!”
– Chester Hull