Struck Me

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Chapter Four

"Oliver," I turn around in my bed to find my mom standing in the doorway.
"I'm sorry to wake you, I just wanted to say I'm sorry for getting mad at you yesterday. You know I'm just trying to look our for you. I can explain why I got so angry later on tonight; you deserve to know." She tells me
"Okay, mom, and I know you're just trying your best," I say smiling at her with my eyes still closed.
"Well I am going to head to work already. I'll see you when I get home."
"Okay."
She proceeds to close the door, then opens it again. "I love you."
"Love you too, mom."
I turn over in my bed and go back to sleep almost immediately to the patter of rain on my roof.
I finally wake up to the sight of lightning flashing through my window and check my phone. It's already 8:00. I have to be at school in 30 minutes. I turn over to wake up Justin to let him know we overslept but he's gone. Why wouldn't he wake me up?"
I pick up my phone to call him; I still have no texts or calls from Heather.
"Hello?" Justin says over the phone.
"Where did you go?"
"Oh, I left like super early this morning. I forgot I had some homework to do."
"Oh okay. I just woke up."
"Well you're gonna be late. I'm already on my way to school. My mom drove me because it's raining pretty hard outside."
"Shit. Okay, well I'll see you later," I say before I hang up.
I rush to the restroom to shower and get dressed. I am curious as to what my mom is going to tell me later on. I know it has to be about Heather. I hope she explains why she hates her so much, or has some sort of explanation as to why she's missing or hasn't texted me.
"Did my mom tell you not to talk to me?" I text Heather again before heading back to my room.
It's 8:20 now and I really need to start heading to school or I am going to be late. I grab my backpack from my desk and nearly jump three feet in front of me from the loud boom of thunder that nearly shook the whole house. I really don't want to walk to school in the rain. I should call my mom and ask her if I can stay home until the rain calms down. I grab my phone and begin to dial her number.
I hear another roar of thunder and go over to my window to see just how gloomy it looks outside. I notice the large tree outside of my house is split in two, and one half of the tree is on the ground near my mom's car. Why is my mom's car still here? I thought she left like an hour ago. I notice something is under the tree but I can't make out what it is.
I opened the window in an attempt to get a better look and that's when I saw it.
My mother was laying face down underneath the gigantic tree trunk on the cold, wet cement. Before I knew it, I was running down the stairs and out the front door without my shoes or even a jacket on. I welcome myself into the darkness outside that has hurt my mother so badly. The rain hurt my shoulders every time it hit me, while also making my vision a blur.
My mom laid motionless. The smell of the burn, crisp tree consumed her. Smoke began leaving the tree that continued to lay on top of her and in that moment I had no idea what to do. I was frozen.
"HELP!!!" I screamed into the rain. Was anyone able to hear me? The rain overpowered my screams, I don't think I was even able to hear myself. I ran into the almost flooded street and yelled louder this time.
"SOMEONE PLEASE HELP!!!" I stood in the middle of the street and examined the houses next to mine to see if anyone could possibly hear me.
Luckily, my neighbors heard me and she and her husband rushed to my assistance. They noticed my mother first.
"Oh my goodness!" My neighbor Leah screamed. Leah and her husband Mark were around my mother's age.
"It's okay. She's going to be okay," Mark says in a panic while beginning to remove the tree off of my mother's unconscious body.
I continued to stand in the street watching. I should be helping but my feet can not move. I could feel the warmth of my tears streaming down my face; it was the only thing that was able to keep me warm.
Leah and her husband slowly picked my mom up and placed her in her car.
"I'm going to take your mom to the hospital, okay, Oliver? She's going to be okay." Mark says to me. I am unsure if he is even talking to me. My mind is only focusing on the sound of rain hitting everything surrounding me.
"My wife will take you to school, okay?" He says to me. I wanted to say something to him but I couldn't even make a sound, not even when I cried. Once they place my mom in her car, I watched Mark drive off and Leah approached me in the street and wrapped her jacket around me, as well as her arms. I wanted to give into her hug but the only thing I was able to do was stand there and she stayed with me hugging me in the middle of this thunderstorm.
"She's going to be okay," she says while moving her hand along my back.
How could she even know that? How long was my mom under that stupid fucking tree?
-
I don't remember getting into my neighbor's car, and I don't remember arriving at school. Why did she even bring me to school? I am not able to even function a sentence.
"Oliver," Leah says to me while we're parked in her car outside of my school.
"Oliver, if you don't want to go to school today, that's okay. You can stay at our house this morning and I can cook you breakfast."
"I want to see my mom," I replied; or at least I thought I replied. I responded to her in my head but I don't think she was able to hear me.
"Has Mark given you any updated about my mom?" She still hasn't responded. I don't think she can hear me, despite how hard I am trying to talk to her.
She sighs. "I'll give you a minute to think about it, but I'm sure your mom would understand if you didn't go to school today."
I look down at my clothes and they are submerged with water. I can't feel how wet and cold the clothes have made my body, but it is apparent from theater droplets and goosebumps that lay side by side on my arms.
"No, I want to go. I need to find Justin," I tell her. I am not sure if she heard me but I got out of the car before she could say anything. How am I even going to speak to Justin? Why did I even get out of the car? I don't have my backpack, phone, or any fucking shoes on! I turned around to get back into Leah's car but she was gone.


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