This house was old. One of those old houses that you could here every step you took
because the floors would just never stop creaking.
It’s been about three months after Katrina hit our town. I remember waking up to my
house completely gone and miles and miles of debri from houses. I just got up and gathered what
I could find and walked for miles.
I’ve heard people looking for survivors of the storm, but I still haven’t heard from my
mother. I hate to say it, but she was already dead to me so it wouldn’t really make a difference if
she didn’t make it.
I’ve been sitting at what I suppose was a kitchen table for what felt like hours. Just
thinking, remembering, debating. I don’t know what to do or where to go. There’s nothing left
for me, or really for anyone in this town. Living in this house seemed like years have gone by.
Cold and lonely nights might be the biggest nightmare I have ever endured.
I've been debating leaving for a while now. There was nothing left for me here. But
leaving meant forgetting everything I've ever known.
I got up and began to walk towards the kitchen that only had a few items of mine, the
only things that I had cherished enough to take from when the storm hit. I began to pack
everything into a bag to see if maybe something wild give me second thoughts on leaving. The
first thing I saw was my old phone that had gotten completely damaged from the storm. The last
text I ever got on it was from the news channel. I haven't really thought on the actual event that
day until now.
“Come on, Mila. The Storm is getting worse. We have to move to higher ground.”
My mom was concerned about this “so called storm” that was coming towards us. I know
she’s just panicking like she always does. This storm called “Katrina” has been the talk of the
town of New Orleans.
The rain was coming down pretty hard, so everyone has to evacuate their homes. My
mother expects me to be okay with leaving all of my things behind, but obviously I am a teenager
and I don’t want to leave a single item.
“ Alright mom, give me a second alright?”
“ I’m leaving now with or without you, the storm is coming so let me know what happens
when it takes you under.” Unfortunately, she wasn’t kidding. She would leave me in a heartbeat
if it wasn’t for her the judge making her still take care of me ever since my father died two years
I just rolled my eyes and continued to gather up the things that were most valuable to me.
After I was done packing everything, I noticed that my mom had already left, she didn’t
even tell me where to go. I was relieved that I didn’t have to deal with her during the storm but I
still would like to know where I should be going during the storm.
8:06 AM Text Message: Channel 5 News
TAKE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY KATRINA NOW ARRIVED IN NEW ORLEANS
I put my phone back into my pocket and just decided to go to my room at the highest
point of my house. I noticed the wind picking up drastically and trees starting to fall right before
my very eyes. I started to panic and I head into my bathroom and into the bathtub to get in a
smaller enclosement to protect myself.
I began to see water getting into my room. Hot tears began to run down my cheeks. I
thought this was it for me because I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Suddenly a tree
came crashing down in my room and I don’t remember anything else after that. I just remember
waking up to nothing
I shook my head trying to scramble out of my thoughts.
"You're okay, you're safe." I mumbled to myself. Talking to myself lately has been the
only coping skill I have.
I shoved the old phone into a bag and kept scrambling through the items in the kitchen.
The things that brought back nothing important, I just threw to the side. About a minute later I
came across a necklace. It made me jump back remembering who gave me it. Pain shot up and
down my body and I began trembling to the ground. Tears welled up in my eyes and I began to
"You. You hurt me."
“Hey babe.” Shawn said while kissing me. I stood stif into the kiss and didn’t
“What’s wrong?” He asked knowing something was going on.
“ I can’t do this anymore. Us. I can’t handle all of the drama and the constant fighting.
It’s not healthy Shawn.” I began to walk away from him until I felt a strong hand grip my arm. I
turned to see his face filled with anger.
“You’re hurting me.” I said to him with fear in my eyes.
“I’m hurting you?! You are literally killing me. How dare you think you can come here
and try to end this.” He almost laughs at his statement.
“ I can’t do this any ”
I was stopped mid sentence when a hand was flown at my face. I placed my hand on my
face and started to feel hot tears rush down my cheeks.
"Shawn what the" Once again I was stopped but this time by a knee going into my
stomach. I was on the floor in pain. It hurt so bad that I couldn't even make out a noise to
Shawn was standing before me with anger in his eyes.
Tears still in my eyes I began to stand up. That wasn't the only time Shawn hurt me.
Technically we're still together but after the storm I haven't seen him since. Maybe it was a good
thing the storm came if it meant never seeing him.
I noticed that after looking at everything, every item made me realize I didn't need them. I
didn't need the past haunting me my whole life.
I got up and started to walk out of the house. The house that has been my shelter for
months. I walked couple miles to a nearby bus stop.
The bus pulled up and I slowly walked up to the bus. I handed the bus driver a quarter
and he stopped me as I tried to take a seat.
“Sweetie, I’m sorry, but I can’t accept this Canadian quarter.” I looked at him in
confusion and took the quarter back.
"But I don't have a " I looked down at the quarter and laughed.
" Um, I'm sorry. I'll catch another bus."
I ran out and sat on the bus bench. Examining the quarter I realized that my father and I used to
collect quarters from different countries.
"Daddy! I got another one!" I ran over to my father and he scooped me in his arms.
"Hey good job sweetie! But I have to go now okay? I can't miss my flight." I frowned knowing
that he was going on another business trip.
"Hey now, it's okay. I'll be back and we can find more." He kneeled down next to me . "Now
this was my first quarter so I want you to keep it with you while I'm away okay? Can you take
care of it for me?"
I nodded quickly and took the quarter.
" You pinky swear you'll come back?" I held out my pinky towards my best friend.
" I promise." He linked my pinky and we both kissed the ends of our hands swearing to each
He never kept that promise.
But I remember my dad always telling me to never overthink things. I can't always hold onto
the past. I have a future. My future just isn't in New Orleans.