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The Eclectic Pen - The Extraordinary Thursday

By: Alena B. (alena)  
Date Submitted: 1/19/2007
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs » True Crime
Words: 1,185

  Ten years have passed now since that night’s events unfolded, yet they are burned in my mind like they happened yesterday.
It was a normal Thursday evening; I had just finished getting my daughter, Asia, ready to go. She was dressed in a beautiful white ruffled dress with little pink flowers scattered down the front. Sam was finishing buckling his belt as I put the finishing touches on my hair and makeup.
Sam started the old car to warm it up; it was freezing outside. After about ten minutes we rushed from the warmth of the house into the frigid, night air. Goosebumps popped up all over my naked legs. I knew I should have worn jeans, I thought to myself.
We drove an old yellow Subaru that spitted and sputtered as we drove down the dark, empty, Wyoming country road. We had thirty miles to go to reach our destination. Bible study was something we did every Thursday night. It was something to get us out of the house and to keep us in company with friends. We were going through a rough time then. Our relationship was weakening, and I think both of us were questioning who we were and what our roles in life were all about. In some way, we went to Bible study to try to find a purpose, a reason for being.
We arrived at our destination, after a quiet, thirty-minute ride. The house where we attended Bible study was filled with singing, and we were met at the door with smiling faces and a warm handshake. We prayed to God, read the Bible, and sang songs praising Jesus. We ate delicious cake with wonderful chocolate frosting. Sam and I didn’t talk to each other much, but then, we really never did. There were a lot of other people to visit with. Asia, barely walking, was the center of attention. She was passed from one person to the next as if she were a main course at dinner. She was such an adorable little girl.
Time passed quickly, as it always did on those nights, and before long, it was already11:00 pm. Everyone else had already left, but we straggled behind not wanting to leave this warm, comfortable, loving place.
Sam started the car once again, and we sadly said our good-byes. It was time for the long trip home. As we buckled up and started driving down the road, my eyes were heavy with sleep. Neither Sam nor I spoke as we drove that ridiculously long drive home. Deer were plentiful, and we had to keep our wits about us. I turned the radio up to try to refresh my mind and muffle the awkward silence between us. We drove on.
We were almost home, a few more miles to go, down the big hill, around the corner, and we would finally be there. Then suddenly, something caught my eye.
“What was that?” I asked Sam.
He turned his head to look, "I don’t know, but we better turn around.”
We made a U-turn in the middle of the road and our eyes could not believe what we were seeing. Right before us was a double-wide trailer and on its front porch was a fire. It was a huge, wooden porch, one that wrapped itself all the way around from the entryway to rear of the house. The fire had begun at the front door and was quickly spreading, engulfing most of the porch.
Where was everyone? I thought. “Oh my God Sam, we’ve got to do something!” I screamed.
We jumped out of the still-running car and ran over to the trailer. On the porch near the rear of the house was a red, five gallon gas can. Fear raced through my head as I started barking out orders:
“Sam, you go to the back of the house and wake the people up, and I’ll go over to the house next door and call the fire department.”
The blaze raged.
I pounded on the door, but I heard nothing. I pounded harder and harder. Finally, a very upset man rubbing his tired eyes answered the door with a “What do you want?”
I screeched, “The house next door is on fire and I need to call the fire department!”
My heart sank when I heard a woman’s voice from behind him say, “Oh my God, that’s where my mom and brother live!”
I grabbed the phone and just looked at the numbers. Everyone’s been taught how to dial 911 since kindergarten, but I was frozen, lost in my mind's confusion. Finally, I dialed the numbers. A voice on the other end asked, “What’s your emergency?”
I yelled, “There’s a fire down Road 9 near the Drive-In. Hurry!” The woman was still talking as I hung up the phone.
I ran outside. The smoke from the fire burned my eyes. Sam had found a shovel and was furiously trying to smother the blaze before it reached the gas can. He was succeeding. I jumped in the old Subaru to move it out of the way of the fire trucks and the ambulances. As soon as I jumped back out, I heard their sirens getting closer.
I ran next to my husband. “Did you wake the people up inside?” I asked. “Yes,” is all he replied as he shoveled.
The fire trucks pulled in and screeched to a sudden halt. The firemen scrambled out of their trucks and got out their hoses. My husband and I were silently pushed over to the side to be nothing more than observers.
The fire was out in minutes. People seemed to appear out-of- nowhere. The yard was full of confusion, and people seemed to appear out-of-nowhere. From out of the trailer appeared an older woman, helping her disabled, blind son. As he was led out of the water-drenched house, my heart fell, and everyone grew silent. Sam and I looked deep into each other's eyes and tears began to fall. We held each other tightly, like we did in the days when we had first met, and we didn’t let go.
We got back into the car where our young daughter lay peacefully sleeping, not aware of the miracle we had just been apart of. We didn’t sleep that night; we couldn’t stop talking about how we were meant to be at that certain place at that certain time, how neither one of us would ever be the same. That ordinary Thursday ended up being not so ordinary at all; in fact, it turned out to be truly extraordinary!

The Eclectic Pen » All Stories by Alena B. (alena)

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Comments 1 to 5 of 5
Carol B. (Pookezgrama) - 1/21/2007 12:25 PM ET
I loved your story. It's just this kind of happening that can change our hearts and minds to the blessings we already have. And your writing kept my interest. Good job.
Barbara F. (blueheronmom) - 1/21/2007 4:09 PM ET
I could sense the surroundings as I read your story. You are a good writer. I am always amazed by the true stories that teach us something.
Amanda G. - 1/23/2007 1:55 PM ET
Tiffany (imtiffany33) - 7/7/2010 3:27 PM ET
I loved your story, I truly felt the emotion both between you and your husband and that of the emotion surrounding the events of the fire. Incredible story and more so, incredible bravery for what you did.
Diane P. (KentuckyReader) - - 5/11/2012 11:15 AM ET
Very moving and heart-felt. You did a wonderful job. May Jesus bless you and your family.
Comments 1 to 5 of 5