Emma knew what it was to endure hardship. It was not easy for her single mother to meet the needs of all three children, but all this was about to change.
The violent storm brought with it chilly winds and heart wrenching thunderous applause. Emma and her three younger siblings were very vigilant at their posts. Toma’s duty was to ensure that pots were placed in strategic areas on the floor, to collect the rainwater which was dancing its way through the numerous holes in the roof. Elka was on cloth duty. Her responsibility was to use pieces of cloth to block the other areas where water was seeping through. Emma and Omar helped their mother fasten the door and windows tightly, to prevent them from being blown away. It was a thrilling experience for the children. Mother was worried, but she knew how to play the facade all so well. She could not expose the uneasiness which created great turbulence within her.
Hours passed by and the family of five grew wearier by the minute. How they wished that a miracle would come their way.
” How lovely it would be to reside in a stronger house, be able to eat whatever you wanted and have a father figure around, “ sighed Omar.
He scanned everyone else’s face for some sign of concurrence. The smirks on their faces made him realize that they shared his opinion. It appeared that the storm was not going to cease anytime soon. This meant that the family would get very little sleep. Soon, the storm lost its intensity.
Crash! Everyone was startled. They looked at each other in horror. Mother signaled to the children to be very quiet. Heavy footsteps were heard in the wooden porch. The family grew even more afraid. The footsteps were nearing the door. Thud! It sounded as if a heavy tree had fallen on the porch. Mother tiptoed towards the door to look through one of the holes. She cautiously removed one of the pieces of cloth, which Elka had placed there. She peeked outside and saw nothing unusual. In a very soft tone, she cautioned her children to remain still and be very quiet. The family heard nothing for close to an hour.
Emma being ‘Miss Fearless’, persuaded her mother to open the door. They opened it very slowly and warily. The other children in a state of trepidation,huddled together for comfort.
Before them stood a very gruesome sight : a man drenched in blood, wrapped in a parachute and unconscious. Without thinking of other details, Emma and her mother dragged him inside and began to tend to his wounds. The storm had raged havoc in their community, so getting him to the hospital was not an option at the moment. All the training which mother had undertaken with the local Red cross was finally coming in handy. The family did all it could to make him as comfortable as possible. Mother planned on going in search of the paramedics once morning had broken. Emma and Mother cared for the stranger throughout the night. The other children could no longer overcome the sleep which had been wrestling with them all night.