by Marlene Jahnke, 12 years old
The following is a fictional account of a day in the life of a Nepalese teen-ager. The day is the one when earthquake struck. – Editor
Nisha lives a normal life. She has everything she has ever wanted — a family, an education, and she lives in a cosy house; but what happens when suddenly your world is turned upside down, quite literally. An earthquake hits her small village, Kathmandu, and suddenly her normal life is torn to pieces.
I wake up feeling the warm sun hit my face as I slowly peek through my purple curtains. Today is my first day back at school. I am so excited. It seems like years since I’ve seen my friends, although we’ve been chatting over the phone, as my parents do not allow me to meet up with them.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I’m turning 16 tomorrow. I can’t wait to find out what my family has purchased me. I quickly take a shower and throw on my favourite black jeans, a random t-shirt and boots, and head downstairs for breakfast.
I rush through the doors of my high school grinning from ear to ear. Before I know it my blond-haired friend comes bounding at me. I’ve known Katie since kindergarten; her family moved here as tourists and decided Nepal was their new home. Ever since then we have been like two peas in a pod. In fact, we love each other like family. Katie and I quietly stroll off to our classrooms.
It’s particularly quiet tonight. As I eat dinner with my parents it’s quite awkward. My Dad begins to open his mouth but then shuts it again, as if he’s trying to tell me something. My Mum starts acting weirdly.
“What’s going on” I question.
“W . . . ell . . .” my Mother stretches.
“W . . . ell?” I inquire, in a rather impatient tone.
“For your birthday, we were thinking of getting you a dog,” my parents reply.
“WHAT!” I scream.
“Quiet, Nisha, you’ll wake up Paula.”
“Sorry, I’m just sooo excited. When am I getting it?”
“YAY!” I jump up and hug them both.
“I love you all.” We stand there for quite a while.
Paula comes running down the stairs with tear-streaked cheeks.
“What is it, baby?” Mama shrieks as she runs to pick her up.
AND THAT’S WHEN IT HAPPENS . . .
The whole house starts rumbling, crackling and rupturing right before my eyes. I am frozen; my legs are as stiff as ice. I am numb; it is though I am being trapped behind a large window. The window is growing and growing. Distant cries and yells of pain surround me as I zone out into my own world.
I turn around . . . only to see hell at its worst.
“NO!” I cry a waterfall of salty tears.
I violently fall to my knees.
“Help,” I sob. “HELP” I shriek.
Suddenly it comes to me, they’re not coming back.
“Nooo”! I sob. “Come back, I love you.”
I bury the remains of my Mother and sister the next day. We sit together for hours and hours on end. My Dad attempts to comfort me but I am inconsolable I look up at the stars. I know they’re up there somewhere, I just know they are.
“God of love and God of peace, hear my prayer.”
WE PRAY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST LOVED ONES IN NEPAL.
Marlene Jahnke is a year 8 student at St Joseph’s School in Otahuhu. Her class, led by teacher Shannon Massari read news articles about the devastating earthquake in Nepal, as well as recently had a raffle for Mother’s Day to fundraise for the cause through Caritas.