The aftermath


The aftermath

He woke up and found himself in the streets and called his mum: “Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!” but no one answered. He had sands on his face and the place he woke up did not look like anything he knew. Everything was destroyed. The houses were completely broken. He tried to stand up but his head was turning and he fell back on the floor. He called again: “mummy! Mummy! Where are you?” again no one answered. The five year old boy who was on the floor tried to lick his lips because they were dry but when he did that, dust entered his mouth. He started coughing and pushed it away from his mouth and gave a look at his hands to know what exactly was on his face. As he realized it, he got scared and pushed it with more vigour and it entered in his eyes. He started yelling because he could not see and it was hurting him. He yelled again only this time, it was louder: “mummy! Mummy! Mummy! Where are you?” Since nobody was coming and his eyes were itching, tears came out and took the sands and dust off his eyes. He looked around to see if he could recognize anyone but there was no one except houses that were completely destroyed.

He heard a woman who was crying but he was not able to locate where it came from. He tried to stand up again but even his head was turning, he managed to stay up then he followed with difficulty the sound of the voice. It led him to a house that collapsed on the floor. The voice appeared to come from below the ground. He looked below to see if he could see the woman whose voice he was hearing but it was dark. He looked around him and it suddenly hit him that the night had begun to fall and that he was alone in the street that resembled remotely to the streets where his house used to be. Only now, everything was broken. He seemed to recognize the voice that was crying or he just needed it in order to reassure himself that he was not alone in this situation. He said: “Aunt Lucie! Is that you?” She did not answer. She kept on crying. He asked her: “Aunt Lucie! Do you know where is mum? Do you know where mum is? Aunt Lucie. But Aunt Lucie voice was disappearing more and more. He yelled louder and louder as her voice was slowly vanishing: “Aunt Lucie! Aunt Lucie! Aunt Lucie! Why don’t you answer?” And since he stopped hearing her voice, tears came in his eyes and he yelled again: “Mummy! Where are you? Why did you leave me alone?”

The night was becoming darker and darker and he was frightened. He saw dogs running and he got scared because he thought that they were coming after him but they were actually running in fear. They looked like they were even more scared than he was. Behind the dogs, he saw 3 men who running with a body in their hands with blood and he asked them: “Sorry to disturb you, have you seen my mum? Where is mum?” They looked at him and they did not know what to tell him. They obviously saw that he was scared but they were in a rush to go at the hospital. One of them said: “I am sorry kid! I don’t know. Look around!” And they continued their way. He followed them because he did not want to stay alone in that street and it reassured him to see a human life. The men were holding what looked like a woman who was their mum. She appeared to be alive but in great danger. Her arm was broken, blood was all over her face and they were telling her to hold on to life because they were running to the hospital. One of them was saying if you see a cab, pay whatever it is that he asked in order for us to reach the hospital as quickly as possible.

The little boy who was running behind them asked: “do you know why everything has collapsed?” “There was an earthquake son, there was an earthquake” one of them answered. The little boy was surprised by that new word and asked: “what is an earthquake?” The men were a little bite irritated to have to answer his questions and one of them asked him: “why are you following us? Don’t you see that we have to carry this woman to the hospital; we have no time to answer your questions. Go back to your mum little boy and stop following us.”  The boy stopped running after them. The other man said while they were running: “come my child, come. Don’t be scared. We are a bite nervous because our mum is in danger of dying. The earthquake almost killed her. That is why we can not answer your questions. Alright? You can come with us and after we drop our mum at the hospital we will go look for your mum after ok? But please don’t ask any question?” He said that with tears in his eyes. The man who asked the boy to stay away from them said: “are you crazy?” The other answered: John! Be careful. He is probably alone. His parents are probably……” He does not know where to go. I am not sure he is even realizing it.”

The boy was listening to the conversation and could not really understand with details what they were saying but he felt like they did not want him to hear what they were saying because they were talking about him. Then all of sudden, they earth shook again and trembled and the two men got scared. Their mum fell on the floor and her neck hit some rocks. The little boy did not understand what was going on. The fear of the men about the movements of the earth did not seem to affect him. He was actually very curious and observed it with some sort of fascination. One of the men said: “Where can we hide?” and John said: “the rest of the houses left on the streets are falling down. If we go there we would be trapped. We have no choice than to stay here.” “yeah but if we stay here, something might fall on our head and finished mum” the first one replied.” “By going there, we will be dead for sure. There is no safe place. This is why I say let’s stay here.” Said John and they did. The boy was listening to them. He knew there was a danger but could not figure out what it was and by the time he processed what was happening, the after shock was over and they continued their way.

They arrived at the hospital and it was broken in two. There were few nurses outside and one doctor who seemed completely discourage. When the two men saw them, they run to them and said: “please do something for our mum.” The doctor saw their distress and asked them to put her on the ground. He checked her pulse, her eyes and her neck and he breathed a little bite and looked at them and said that it was over. John said: “what do you mean it is over?” How come? She was alive few minutes ago.” “Her neck is broken; her neck was broken before you arrived here. She is dead he answered. They were frustrated. John said: “damn it! She broke her neck when she felt of our hands. I am sure of that. Damn it! It had to take everything” The other was crying and John was extremely angry and went back to the doctor and said: “are you sure” can you check again.” The doctor knew that checking again was for no good reason but he did it anyway to appease John’s anger. He looked at him and said: “It is over. Bring her home. You are lucky that you can burry her. Many will not have that chance.”

John got angry and yelled and started scratching his face as if he wanted to kill himself for dropping her and he said: “why didn’t I hold her tighter?” He looked like he wanted to kill someone. More than anything, he wanted to kill himself. He could not take of his head that he was responsible of his mum death. His brother was crying on the other side with his mum in his hands. He called John and said that they needed to take her back home. John yelled at him: “which home? There is no home. Everything has been destroyed. Tell me Lucas, where is home? Where is home? Dad is dead; our 3 sisters are dead and now mum? We dropped her. Where is home? Answer me Lucas since you seemed to know very well what to do? Where is hoooooooome?” Lucas looked at him and said with tears in his eyes: “let’s go where our home used to be. Let’s just go back there. At least we know that they are there.” Tears of the anger, frustration, guilt, hatred for life, and disgust about what was happening to him came out and John started crying and was saying: “not everything. Not like this. So this is how it is, one day, everything is fine and the other day, everything is over without any preparation, without any warning, just like that. We did not even have time to say anything and it is over. It is already over. What are we going to do Lucas? What are we going to do? The one person that was left, we dropped her Lucas. We dropped mum Lucas. We did it.” Lucas looked at him and just held his shoulder while he was crying and said: “I know! I know!”

The doctor saw that nobody was giving any attention to the kid and he went to him and said: “was that your grand-ma?” the kid: “no, I just followed them because I did not know where my mum was and they promised me that they will look for her?” He looked at the kid and when his eyes came across the ones of the kids, he moved his head away. He could not look at him in his eyes because he feared that the kid would see what he was thinking which was that his parents were already dead. John who was almost on his way to go saw the kid and stood there for a moment with tears. He did not know what to tell him. He took the doctor away from the kid and told him that the kid had followed them probably because all his family was dead and he did not even know about it. He explained him where the house they found him was. He asked the doctor if he could go to that house with the kid and explained him what had happened to his parents. The doctor told him that he would do it. They turned around and they looked at the kid. Lucas and John went close to him and told him that they were going to leave him with the doctor. They explained him that he was a good man and that he should be strong. They told him that they had to go burry their mum and they could not take him with them. The kid said that he was sorry and they said thank you. They turned around, took their mum and they left.

The doctor took the kid hands and told him to stay next to him whatever happened. They were up during the whole night. People were coming and there was very little that he could do with the limited instruments he had but the little he could do, he did it with great dedication. In the morning, people were lying on the floor with their bandages that were done very rudimentary. The doctor and the nurses were exhausted. The kid was up and hungry. He had helped the nurses and doctor during the whole night. The doctor went inside the remains of the hospital to find a juice and gave it to him. The kid had not said a word since the night before. The doctor asked him if he would like to go at his house. The kid said yes and they went.

When they arrived at the place John had indicated, the doctor asked him if he recognized the place. The kid said with a cold voice, it used to be my house. The doctor asked him if he had seen his parents since the day before or if he could remember anything that had happened. The kid said:” I woke up in the streets and there was no one around. The house was completely broken.” The doctor did not know how to explain it and the kid asked if his parents were inside the remains and dead as the mum of Lucas and John was. The doctor said: “I think so..” and there was a silence. He went close to the house that was totally immersed in the ground and he came back to the doctor and asked where people go when they are dead. The doctor: “they go to God. He calls everyone whenever he wants. As soon as they finished what they were meant to do here, he asked them to comeback because he can used them for others tasks. Your parents finished what they had to do very quickly because they were very smart and strong. Now, I am sure they are already doing something else. They had started another mission already. As for you, God left you here because you have something to do and we will find out together.” Where am I going to stay now?” said the kid. The doctor replied: “with me?” “do I have to burry my parents like John and Lucas because I am not strong enough?” Said the child. The doctor with a sad smile almost teary: “You are strong my son. You are the strongest kid and we will burry your parents together. Don’t worry about it. I will help you.” The kid: “I have to find a place to live.” The doctor: “off course but before you find it; you can stay with me if you want. Do you know if you have any family in the city or elsewhere?” The kid: “I only knew the house of my aunt Lucie. My mum used to tell me that it was the only family that she got but yesterday, I heard her voice within the remains of her house and then it stopped. Is that mean that she is also dead?” The doctor:” I think so. I believe she is dead.” The kid: “she also had finished what she came here to do.” The doctor: “yeah, that’s what happened.” The kid: “many people finished what they had to do yesterday. God called all of them.” The doctor: “yeah!” The kid: “where is my family now?” The doctor: “Like everybody, there are in the skies and I am here. I can be your family and we will honour your parents and burry all of them and pray for them whenever you want. Will that be ok with you?” The kid: “yeah” the doctor who could not stand seeing the kid suffering like he was said: “let’s go eat and we will come back here later.” The kid: “if I finished my mission quickly, am I going to join them?” the doctor: “of course” The kid: “I will make sure I finish as fast as possible so that I can join them.” The doctor: “you are the smartest and you will finish quickly and you will join them. I am going to make sure of that.”

As they were leaving, it sank in the kid that he was never going to see his parents and his aunt Lucie. He started to cry. There was no more being adult and trying to think about what to do when people are dead as he saw Lucas and John did the night before. There was just the pain of loosing his parents. The words the doctor put were good but it could not hide the fact that he was never going to see his parents. He cried and the doctor held his hands and he could not help crying as well. The kid had lost a family but he had found someone he could cry with. He had to do something on earth before leaving. That is why God chose to leave him in his island with the doctor.

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