“Beep! Beep! Beep!” My alarm goes off as I trudge out of bed.
“Jenna, time to get ready for school,” I tell my sister, but when I look into her bed, she isn’t there. “Huh,” I say, “she must already be awake.” But as I walk throughout my house, I can’t find anybody. The car is still there, I think to myself. They’ve got to be around here somewhere. As I search the house, though, I can’t even find my parents. I try not to panic as I get ready for school, but my mind won’t leave them. Where could they be? Am I forgetting something?
When the clock says 8:00, I have to go to school. After one last house check for my family, I walk to school. I get there and the crossing guard isn’t there. The other students in the elementary school who wait outside aren’t there, either. I start to really freak out. For about 20 minutes, I wait outside the school. When I realize that nobody is coming to let the students - I mean me - into the school, I just walk in.
“Hello?” I call down the link. “Anybody there? I’m just gonna…” Now speaking more to myself, I turn on the lights and try to calm myself down. “They’re all here somewhere. They couldn’t have all just fallen off the face of the earth. That only happens in, like, The Twilight Zone, or something.” When I get to my classroom, the lights are off and the room empty of people. I take a deep breath. “Okay, Lara, you’re okay.”
But I can’t help myself. Within minutes, I’m bawling. “Please, somebody,” I gasp, “anybody, help me!” I search the town, but just like my own, all of the houses are empty. Eventually, I crawl back into my own home.
I have been alone for six years now. Often, I cannot sleep and cannot laugh. People in our world take for granted the love and kindness they receive. If I could go back to THE BEFORE, when everybody I love and hate were still here, I’d take more time to thank the ones I love and learn to appreciate the ones I hate. I would thank the world for THE BEFORE and pray for THE AFTER to wait just one more day.