A small town Midwestern high school football game is exactly like you think it’s going to be: wholesome, classic, and a little bit corny. The Emerald Eagles were battling the Durant Wildcats and besting them in the fourth quarter, 34 to 7. Kelly green and gold everywhere, from the fresh-faced football players to the cherubicContinue reading “8.”
The next morning. That morning. I made my way to the hospital and towards dad’s room. As I walked closer, I became aware of the beeping, the hum of voices, the activity. A few hospital staff exited from his room and I knew. Something was wrong. I rushed in to find an older woman nurseContinue reading “6.”
It felt like just a moment later, but it was probably more like two hours…Georgia and I found ourselves at the little side table in dad’s kitchen, munching on mixed nuts and sipping Diet Coke, which was all dad seemed to have. Why we weren’t on the far more comfortable sofa or at the muchContinue reading “5.”
I pulled into the driveway of my childhood home, my dad’s home – a two-story Victorian with a sprawling, tidy porch on a side street in town. It hadn’t changed a bit. I fished my bag out of the trunk and stepped onto the porch to search for the always-hidden key along a strong ofContinue reading “4.”
Inside Priya’s hospital room, hours later, the moonlight makes its final stand, Amal stands over his wife, cradling their new daughter. They gaze at the baby, madly in love. Dr. Nash knocks on the open door frame and the parents look up. He fixes his gaze on the scene and his affable demeanor returns, ifContinue reading “Interlude: Prequel, Part 2”
Interlude, a Prequel Night. Cornfields. A licorice whip of an interstate highway snaking through soft rolling hills. A sleek, mid-size sedan makes a jerky, rolling stop off an exit and turns towards the lights of the town. The car passes a bubbly, inviting, too-perfect sign that reads, “Emerald, Iowa: The Jewel of the Midwest.” TheContinue reading “Interlude: Prequel, part 1”
The 3-hour car ride back to Emerald early that next morning felt long, despite the fact that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d driven it. Dad usually came up to us for Christmas and birthdays. He’d grown up in Evanston and loved coming to visit. Which was fine with me. It was hard toContinue reading “3.”
My spunky friend Julia and her sweet fella Lucas cajoled us into joining them that night for a drink (well, for me, a “drink”) at The Tap in Rogers Park. The lived down the street from it and we liked it better than any of the frat-heavy hangouts in our neighborhood. It was a small,Continue reading “2.”
It was just a normal Friday night.
Well, maybe “normal” is relative.
I’m not sure what I would’ve done differently if I’d known what was coming, way back on that late summer evening. There was so much destruction that I’d see in the coming months, it’s almost incomprehensible.