Covered In Debris
“Here!” The hand of a red, curly haired girl shot into the air instantaneously.“Elana?”
A faint voice rises from the back of the room to answer quickly and quietly,
A shy, hidden girl looks up enough to assure the teacher that she is present. Once the class had began, it started off like any other day in algebra.
“Ok class, now to understand how to...”
A wave of instant shock emerged through the students as they rushed to find supplies to take cover. With no direction in mind, the students were scattered throughout the building, piled up in corners waiting frantically for what was yet to come. As Elana runs to safety to the girls locker room, she feels a build-up of pressure in her ears, along with the sound of a freight train. When it seemed like the freight train was moving closer and closer to the gym, Elana soon became light headed…
Elana wakes up to shout in the distance, although she is not able to make a clear picture of where she is. She looks around shocked by the destruction surrounding her, which seems to have happened in a matter of minutes. Again, she hears a voice, this time closer than before. Elana brushes away the debris as she tries to understand exactly where the voice is coming from. As the cloud of ash fades away by her sudden coughs, a moving figures appears to be just a few feet away from her.
“ Elana Shyface, is that you?”
“Oh, I mean Elana Shyman, is that you?”
“Yeah, it’s me.”
“Well come on, I can’t find everybody underneath this debris alone!”
As Rosemary tugs Elana’s arm, they both find themselves in another dark room filled with what seemed like more survivors covered in debris. Rosemary cuffs her hands around her mouth and shouts out, “Hello? Anybody there?” She hears a quiet voice from across the room but is not able to see anything.
“Hehhhee… over here.”
“Did you hear that? Elana did you hear that? There is someone here, it isn’t just us!” Adrenaline filled Rosemary, she couldn’t tell if it was the fear or if it was just excitement from finding another survivor. Elana was happy that Rosemary had found her, but she wasn’t about to go shouting for others. Elana wasn’t the strongest either, she didn’t spend time at football games or go to school dances, she preferred to stay home and watch as many crime solving shows as possible. So instead of moving all the blocks of concrete around her, she decides to search for evidence to see if anyone else is in the room. Elana wonders into the next room to start looking and stumbles upon what seems like a journal. As she is searching through the journal, Rosemary runs into the room with someone.
“Elana, I got someone!” Elana doesn’t look up from what she is doing, so Rosemary decides to try again, “Elana, this isn’t the time to be reading. Then again that’s all you ever do.”
Elana feels hurt from what Rosemary has to say, but doesn't think much of it. After all, she’s used to it by now. Elana Shyman, Really? As if it couldn’t get any worse. I should’ve known better after all, she is the class clown.
“Hold on! I found something that could maybe help us.”
“What could possibly be more helpful than just looking around for the survivors ourselves Elana? I dont know about you but I don’t want to stay in this school for more than the 4 years that my parents signed me up for!”
“Just look Rosemary! Its the janitors Journal.”
“Well what would reading Mr. Duke’s deepest and darkest secrets help us in any way right now, huh?”
“Well it just so happens that Mr. Duke’s deepest darkest secrets are where everything and every key in this school is. We can find the key to get food and water from the teacher storage room! We can also check in private rooms for things to help us break out of this school. Rosemary, this can help us go home!”
“ELANA I LOVE YOU!”
Rosemary quickly runs over to Elana and gives her the longest hug. Quickly catching her balance, Elana gives Rosemary a hug back. Proud of what she has done, she quickly searches through the journal to see if there was any special secrets in the room that they were in.
Elana first noticed what seemed like a light switch, that would be helpful, she thought. As she turned it on, she realized that she was in the boys locker room. When Rosemary noticed this, her face was full of utter confusion. Elana had never seen Rosemary so confused in her life! Maybe shes finally thinking for once, Elana thought to herself. With this thought, she soon chuckled which took Rosemary out of her confusion.
“What?” Rosemary said as she snapped her head towards Elana.
“Nothing, just a little nervous laughter. Why don’t you try opening the door, after all you are the one who has the muscles in this group.”
Rosemary didn’t think twice about breaking down that door. She liked destruction sometimes, it was an easy way for her to de-stress. It took Rosemary only 2 kicks to knock off the door handle. Once, the door handle was out of the way, the door automatically seemed to open by itself. At this point Elana was very much interested in what was about to happen, and Rosemary was the total opposite in this situation.
A boy came walking out of the door. It was the same boy that Rosemary seemed to have found in the dark room, and just to Elana’s luck, it was the same boy that had made fun of her through her middle school years until now. She would never forget that name.
“Johnny Ruth,” Rosemary shouted, “how in the world did you get yourself back into this locker room? Didn’t I just see you?”
Johnny laughs before answering Rosemary’s questions.
“Yes you did see me, and when you went off to see what Elana found, I decided to look around and see where my buddies were. I heard voices come from behind the door that you just broke open. The door handle did work by the way, thats how I got in.”
Feeling stupid, Rosemary walked past Johnny to see if there were any survivors he found. She stopped walking when she was only 5 feet into the locker room. Scared out of her mind, she decided to call Elana to see if the journal she found would help the situation in any way. Elana pushed by Johnny, quickly avoiding any eye contact, she thought this would be the best way to go. As Elana walked into the room, she noticed that Rosemary found something, a flashlight.
“Where did you find that?” Elana questioned Rosemary
“It was sitting in this office. I think it’s the gym teacher’s office.”
“You actually found something, props to you.”
“Excuse me? What do you mean I ‘actually found something’? For your information I was the one that found Johnny and you under all that debris!”
”You found two survivors by screaming . . . good job! We could have found this same stuff on our own Rosemary, we’re not little kids. I was the one that found the journal in the first place! Without the journal we wouldn’t be here right now. I knew I shouldn’t have trusted you the second you called me Shyface. Do you have any idea how much it hurts to know that people only think of me as a shy bookworm? If I decided to label, then I guess you are nothing but a class clown.”
“That’s fine Elana, you can think whatever you want of me, but nothing is going to change the fact that you were the one that joined me. You knew it was a choice that you had to make about coming with me or not. If I didn’t call out for any survivors, you wouldn’t have found that journal. You may seem really smart, but let’s also face the fact that I’m finding things without a ‘how-to guide’ in my hand. I’m doing all of this by myself just like it was supposed to be. Everybody knows how smart you are. I may seem like a class clown, but thats not all I am. I really thought that you would be different Elana. I was really hoping that you would be this really nice girl that doesn’t use her intelligence to put herself above everyone.”
“That’s a stupid stereotype Rosemary!”
“It can be a stereotype, but I was really hoping that you could prove me wrong on this one.”
Elana started to cry at this point, she couldn’t hold it in. Her perspective on Rosemary quickly changed before her eyes.
“You don’t get it Rosemary! All I have is intelligence. You don’t get that I’m always the one that stays home while the whole school is off at the huge party, but me. That’s all I ever do.”
“Elana, what you don’t know is that I never go to those parties either. You have to understand that parties are a stupid luxury that most teenagers think should be a part of the high school experience, and I really don’t get why you would want to spend your time at them either. Give yourself some credit Elana and know that you can do anything that you put your mind to. Your whole life is going to change the minute you do that!” Rosemary stopped for a minute to wipe away her tears. “I really hope I’m not the only one that sees amazing things in you Elana, its about time you see them too.”
Elana couldn’t believe how much of a horrible person she had been to Rosemary. A sudden feeling of guilt struck Elana as she saw Rosemary walk away wiping her tears. Rosemary actually cared about Elana, and she was nothing but awful to her. The only words she could seem to come up with were
With a sudden pause, Rosemary turned around. With a crooked smile, she gestured a wave towards Johnny to come help her. Elana didn’t understand what the crooked smile meant but she didn’t care. She decided to change her life right there and then, starting by following Rosemary’s lead. No more following the rules she murmured, and then started walking into the locker room’s darkness without a care in mind.
They had been walking for what seemed like hours when they stumbled upon the cafeteria.
There has to be someone in here, Rosemary said to herself. There wasn’t much they could do except shout for others, until they remembered that the designated tornado shelter area was in the kitchen so hopefully someone made it in there. Jonny, Rosemary and Elana were not sure of what they would see, but they didn’t have time to prepare themselves. Rosemary goes to push on the kitchen door when Elana pulls her back,
“Wait, let me do it.” Rosemary gets confused and responds,
“Elana are you sure?”
“Yes, it’s the least I could do.”
Elana isn’t sure that she will be able to knock down the door, but decides to try anyway. Surprisingly, she is able to knock down the door. The door swings open to a group of students huddled together in the corner near the stove. The group of people contained many of the jocks and cheerleaders, who most likely came in from the football field to take shelter.
“SHYFACE!” One of the cheerleaders shouted. Elana’s emotions changed within seconds.
“Yeah whatever. Are you with anyone? Because if not we are screwed.”
“I’ll have you know, I was the one who just knocked the door down in order for you to get out. So if you want someone else to help you, I’d be happy to lock this back up and let you wait here for a few more hours until someone comes to get you.” Elana starts closing the door when she is interrupted,
Elana stops to see who spoke up. Of course it was the one girl who teased her along with Johnny in middle school, Britney Johnson. Elana was furious that she was now helping both Britney and Johnny, but she didn’t have time for resentment.
“We don’t know how secure the school is after the tornado, so get up and let’s go.”
The group of students were still shocked that the girl who kept her mouth shut through everything, had just spoke up for herself and put them in their place.
“What are you waiting for? Let’s go!”
Everyone scurried out the door still in shock of what had just taken place.
While walking towards the front of the school, Elana looked back on the eventful day she just had. She was able to help during a time in need, find a new friend that thought more of her than just a bookworm, and breaking out of her shell to stand up for herself.
“I don’t know about you guys, but am I the only one thinking of how we are suppose to get out the front doors?”
The question was in everyone’s mind but Rosemary was the only one who was able to put it into words.
“If we all just work together we can get this stuff out of the way, come on everybody.”
Elana was the first to attempt to move the debris, within seconds everyone joined in to help. After a few minutes, they were able to lift all the debris away. As they prepared themselves for what they were about to come upon next, they exchanged glances wondering who would open the door first. Elana pushed past a few people and ended up in the front of the group.
“If no one else will then I’ll open the door.”
The door slowly creaked open as everyone scurried out without waiting another second. Once they all made it out of the door, it was nothing like they expected... it was nothing at all.
“Well, what’s next?”