I hate class! I thought we would be learning history or geography. Nope. My mom is making me learn to sew. Sewing takes forever and you have to be so careful that your stitches aren’t to big. My stitches were too big. My mom pulled them out and made me redo them six times. Who would have thought making a handkerchief could be so hard. I don’t know why I need to know how to sew anyway. My mom says it’s a good skill to have. She said once I learn to sew I can make lots of things. Then she pointed to the quilt I sleep under and said that it was handmade by her mother. She pointed to the clothes I’m wearing and said she made my shirt. She pointed to Brooks favorite doll and said Lily made it. It’s not that I don’t think lots of things can be made from sewing, I just don’t see why I have to know how to do it. My mom didn’t agree with me.
My mom was out of bed before everyone else this morning. She made breakfast for us like she used to. We even ate as a family. Then she announced that we would be having class today. Any other time I would have been disappointed, but not today. If mom was going to teach class today she must be feeling better. It would be nice to have a routine again. My entire life had been routine, even stuff like E.D.D’s were routine for our family. Routine meant normalcy. This past week had been anything but normal.
Brooke won’t stop asking when we can go back home. I don’t think her three year old mind can understand that our home may not even be there anymore. I am still trying to understand what happened. No one seems to know. All the talk on the two way radio only proves that everyone is as clueless as we are. So far we know of three other families that survived. We knew all of them before. They were families like ours that planned for the day something bad would happen. Although my dad hadn’t said when we would be leaving the shelter I knew we would be here for at least a month. No more than a year because there was only a year supply of food in the shelter. I know because David and I had stocked a year supply of food down here a few months ago. I miss David. It would be so different if David were here. As it is my mom seems to be in a world by herself where she wanders around mumbling to herself and crying. Last night there was a noise at the door and she ran over calling out to David. She tried to open the door. My dad pulled her back before she could unseal it. They fought. The shelter is so small everyone, but Brooke who was sleeping, heard their fight. We all pretended we didn’t. My dad told my mom David was dead. By trying to open the door she was endangering the rest of us. He told her she needed to accept that David was gone. She had four other kids to think about that all needed her to be strong right now. She hasn’t gotten out of bed today. Day Zero
It was early morning when the collapse happened. The sun hadn’t come up yet. I should have been sleeping in my bed in the room I shared with my older brother David. Instead, my mom had barged into our room and blown the fog horn. Everyone in our house knew what the fog horn meant. Emergency Disaster Drill. E.D.D. My parents ran E.D.D’s at least twice a month and timed how long it took us to get from the house into the underground shelter they had designed and built after David was born. David was 17 years old. An E.D.D. could happen anytime, day or night. It was to test how prepared we were for a disaster. What disaster I didn’t know but my parents made sure our family would be survivors. David was convinced our parents were crazy. He was just waiting until his 18th birthday when he could leave. David was still in bed when I grabbed my emergency pack and ran out the bedroom door. My dad was waiting by the door