Homecoming or Coming Home
When I stepped into the room the hardwood floor let out a loud groan. When I closed the door behind me, my eardrums rang from the silence. The thin, psychedelic curtains were blown into the room with the hot, sticky breeze. Even now, the room was still not air conditioned. The windows sit over the mattress, precariously sat on top of four milk crates. The quilt hangs clumsily off the corners of the bed. There was no sheets placed on the mattress. The throw pillows crowded the floor beside the bed. The dresser sat in the corner, the records and candles from when I was a teenager crowding the top of it. A small metal table in another corner was being used as a desk. My small glass terrarium still sat on the end, holding an array of bright green succulents. My old high-school papers were scattered on top, pens sat in a glass jar. My moms, old, pink salt lamps seemed to be the only thing that gave light to the room other than the two windows. The metal shelves next to the desk had books. There were so many on the shelves that it seemed like it might collapse if any more were added. I never knew that I owned that many books! There was a small plastic orb, which had some sort of steam rising from it. That must have been the diffuser that Mom had mentioned last week on the phone. As I took one last look around my room, making sure it was the same as when I had entered, I turned stepping out of the room; and closed the door behind me.
I sank down onto the floor, my back heaving as I took deep breaths in and out. It was too much for me to handle right now. I had to get out of there before I had another breakdown. Standing up shakily, I slowly wobbled over to the staircase, sliding down the railing like I did with my sister when we were younger.
Seeing my old room reminded me of my teenage years. Looking at the bed, I could see all of the times that me and my big brother Jackson jumped on it only to have our mother come yell at us to get off. Seeing my desk, I could picture all of the phone calls with my boyfriend while working on homework. Looking into the closet made me remember my sister, digging through the hangers to find the perfect dress for homecoming.
I remember that night so clearly. I remember hugging my sister goodbye as she ran out the door with her date. I remember sitting on the couch watching hallmark movies waiting for her to come back home and tell me all about her dance. I had been waiting for my turn to go to homecoming forever. I would have the chance to go next year when I went to highschool. I remember the phone ringing and my dad running out the door; almost forgetting his car keys. I remember my brother coming into the kitchen looking for Dad. I told him where dad went. Jackson looked out into the driveway looking for Dads truck, but it wasn’t there. Jackson picked up his phone and dialed Dads number.
“Hey Dad! Where are-”
It sounded as if our father had cut him off. I could hear the sirens over the phone, blaring through the speaker.
“What!? What do you mean? What happened?”
Jackson sounded scared. He ran into the kitchen digging into the drawer for his keys.
************ Jackson screamed, “Sorry Dad, where are you now?”
My dad took a minute to respond.
“Okay. Me and Steph will be there soon.” He hung up the phone quickly and grabbed jackets off of the coat rack.
“Come on Steph! Come put on your coat now. Hurry up!”
“I’m coming! Geez!” As soon as my coat was on, m brother grabbed my wrist and dragged me out to the car. He turned the car on and we sped out of the driveway. He had both of his hands gripped tightly on the wheel. I had never seen my brother drive like this. I was so used to him holding the wheel with one hand and resting the other on the cup holder.
“Where are we going?”
“Why are we going there?”
“Shhh Steph, i;m driving.” I had never seen my brother act this way. I didn’t understand what he was so afraid of.
“Jeez Jack! What did Jenny forget something?” I asked, hoping to elicit a laugh from him. My sister was always forgetting thing. I saw a tear run down my brother face. He reached one hand off the steering wheel and And put his hand on mine. he told me not to worry too much that everything would be okay.
“ Jackson, what’s happening?” I asked confused at what he was saying this for. I saw another tears run down my Brothers face.
“ Steph, I need you to stay calm as I tell you this, but your sister and her homecoming date just got into a car accident on the road by the school.” tears roll down my face as sobs racked my body.
“what do you mean Jenny got into a car accident? She is the safest driver I know!”
“ I know Steph, I know. I’m just as upset as you, but we need to stay calm and be there for Jenny.” I looked over at my brother and saw how upset he looked. I knew I knew he and Jenny want the closest, but I could still tell he cared so much about her.
“ Jackson,” I asked quietly, “ do you think Jen is going to be okay?”
“ I sure hope so, I really do.” Jackson said; easing my nerves a tiny bit. I was still terrified of what was going to happen to my sister but that didn’t stop me from trying to think positively.
“ Jackson look! There they are!” I shouted, “ Hurry up!” He sped up and pulled into a parking spot at the school. We jumped out of the car and ran over to where our dad was standing.
“Dad! Whats going on?”
“Shes…” My dad stuttered out.
“Looks shes getting in the ambulance!” I took off in a run towards the emergencey vehicles. I screamed her name as I ducked under the police tape. Hands grabbed at me but I was too fast. I wouldnt let them take her away.
“Steph! Stop!” My brother yelled at me. I didnt care. I kept running and running until i reached the doors. I pounded my hands on the doors, and they swung open. I saw my sister inside. I leapt up into the back of the ambulance and scrambled to my sisters side.
“Jenny? JENNY? Jenny can you hear me?” I shouted at her, hoping for a response. There wasnyt one. The paramedics had me sit back as the ambulance drove off. As I looked out the back window I saw my dads truck behind us. We pulled into the hospital a few minutes later. We all rushed into the hospital and crowdwd into the small, emergency room bay.
“Wheres Jennifer? Where is she?” I heard my dad shout in the hallway. I poked my head out the door,
“Dad! In here!” My dad and brother came flying down the hall and made the small room seem even smaller. I had never seen my dad cry. Ever. The doctor rushed into the room, took one look at my sister, and said she needed emergency surgery. Tears were falling down my face as I clutched my sisiters hand.
“Shhh… Its okay Steph. Let it out.” My brother pulled me away from her as they pulled her away for surgery. Ten minutes later, they came out with a bag of her stuff.
“Jackson, take her home. Call your aunt too. Tell her whats going on. Jackson nodded silently, taking my hand and leading me out of the waiting room back to the car. We drove home in silence, and when we finally got home, Jackson took the bg from me and tossed it in a corner somewhere.
“Jack! That has her stuff in there! Be careful.” I shouted. He just looked at me and told me we had to call Aunt Suzanne.
Sitting down on the stairs, I thought about where the bag could be. Would it be in the hall closet? I got back up and went to the door of the closet. I opened it up and started digging for the brown bag. There was a sticky note on the door saying how Dad had moved some stuff to the garage. That would be the next place I looked. I was finally at the back of the closet and there was still no bag. I huffed, frustrated that it wasn’t there.
I left the hall closet and went to the garage. I dug through all the bags and boxes. I went back to the kitchen to grab a stepladder so I could reach the top shelf. I started looking on the top shelves looking for any sign of a prom dress. There wasn’t any on the first wall, but there was a ton of exercise equipment and other little knick-knacks. I was moving on to the second wall. Pushing all the boxes to the sides I reached for the bags in the back. As I felt my hand close down around something, the garage door started to open. I leaped off the step ladder, bag in hand, and hit the floor. When I hit the floor the entire bag spilled over me. There was this big purple cloth thing that dumped out first. I felt some small metal things on top, so I rolled over trying to get out. As I looked down at what came out of the bag I realized it. It was Jenny’s bag!