“Ethan?” I called to my best friend. “Where are you?”
I received no response and I started to worry. Was he okay? Was he injured? Was he still alive? The last thought made me shudder and I wrapped my hooded cardigan tighter around my shoulders, trying to comfort myself. It didn’t work.
“Ethan?!” I screamed, hoping among hope that he wasn’t responding to my calls because I wasn’t shouting loud enough and he couldn’t hear me.
I heard moans of pain.
I tried to follow his moans of pain in the hope that they would lead me to him. I sprinted along trying to be careful not to slip on the shards of glass that were scattered across the wooden floor of the church. I almost fell into the pile of glass about fifty times but somehow I managed to stay upright.
I couldn’t see Ethan anywhere and I searched for him, wildly flinging my head around. I may as well have been searching with my eyes closed for all the luck I was having.
I heard another moan of pain and flung my head in the direction it had come from. Over there, under the window. I couldn’t see Ethan’s face because there was a large piece of what looked like the bell from the bell tower squishing him. I could just see his feet sticking out of the rubble.
I rushed to him. He had three pieces of glass sticking out of his face and I winced. He had been sitting under the window when the earthquake had struck and had paid dearly for that. That was the least of his worries though, how was I going to get the bell off of him?
“Ethan? I’m going to try and get this off of you, okay? I know that it will hurt but if I don’t you could die. Okay?”
Ethan didn’t respond to my words, he didn’t even turn to face me. Was he ignoring me? Did he blame me for him getting injured? It was hardly my fault. I didn’t know Dunedin was going to be struck by a large earthquake and the church would cave in.
I focused my thoughts on Ethan. I needed to get that heavy weight off of him before it squished him to death. I concentrated all my energy on the piece of bell and heaved. It didn’t budge. I went around the other side of it and pulled. It didn’t budge. For all the success I was having I may as well have been a dead weight.
I heard mens voices talking and looked behind me. Two firefighters were examining the rubble.
“Ethan, I’ll be right back, okay?”
Once again Ethan ignored me. Why was he being like that? I was trying to help him.
I rushed back towards the firemen, trying not to slip on any glass. As I arrived to where they were standing, I gasped. I could see the face of our Sunday school teacher, Miss Matthews, and she didn’t look good. Her chest was slowly moving up and down so I knew she wasn’t dead, I hoped her injuries wouldn’t be too fatal.
“Excuse me?” I asked the firemen. “When you are finished getting Miss Matthews out of the building, can you please help me with my friend Ethan?”
The firemen said nothing. They didn’t even turn to look at me. I tapped the man that was closest to me on the shoulder and he turnt to face me. He looked right at me but gave me a strange look. Why? I was just trying to get help for my friend.
“Everything okay?” The other firefighter asked.
“No! It is not okay!” I shouted.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” The firefighter who had looked at me replied. They both ignored my outburst and I stomped my foot in frustration. Some firemen they were! They were meant to be saving lives and instead, they were ignoring me. Did everyone blame me for this earthquake or something? Why? I wasn’t Mother Nature! I stomped my foot again and a piece of glass I had been standing on flicked up before landing on the ground again and splitting into two pieces.
The firemen turnt their heads to look at the glass and the spot where I was standing. Finally they had noticed me. “Okay, Ethan?” I asked.
One of the firemen looked over towards where Ethan was lying and gasped. “Jake, there’s a young boy over there and he’s covered by a part of the bell tower. That could kill him, we need to get that off of him.”
Jake – I guess that was the other firefighter- looked over at Ethan and nodded. “I’ll get the teacher outside into the ambulance and then I will come back and help you.”
The first firefighter nodded as Jake headed towards the exit carrying Miss Matthews. The first fireman carefully stepped over the shards of glass and headed towards Ethan. Finally, progress was being made.
I ran ahead of him, reaching Ethan first and wondered why the firefighter didn’t tell me off. Surely I wasn’t really supposed to be in here, considering they had already sent everyone else out to be checked over by the ambulance staff. Maybe it was because they knew I was Ethan’s best friend. Yeah, that was it.
“Corey?” The firefighter and I turned to face the direction the voice had come from. It was Jake, coming back towards us. Good, Corey – I guessed that was the other firefighter- and I could use his help.
“How is the boy looking?”
“Terrible,” I answered for Corey.
“Not looking good,” Corey said to Jake, choosing to ignore me. I couldn’t work out what was up with them but as long as they were helping Ethan, I didn’t really care.
Jake and Corey moved to each side of Ethan and lifted the bell. They were able to lift it off Ethan and they made it look so easy, like no effort was really required. I was able to get a better view of Ethan and his injuries. His leg was sticking out in a direction that was by no means normal and he had cuts and gashes every where. He needed to get to the hospital and fast.
“Get the ambulance crew in here with a stretcher and quickly,” Corey ordered Jake urgently. “We don’t want to move him too much if we don’t have to.”
Jake was back with the ambulance crew and a stretcher in no time and I prayed that Ethan would be alright. He was a keen rugby player and I wondered whether he had any injuries that would now, effect that. I hoped not.
As Ethan was being loaded on to the stretcher I heard him mutter, “Olivia?”
“I’m here, Ethan! You’ll be fine!”
Ethan was cartered outside and I suddenly felt tired. I picked up a piece of glass and looked into it. It was clear, reflective glass, but I couldn’t see anything. Probably because the glass has been damaged I told myself. I nodded my head and was about to put the glass down when something caught my eye, it was Corey’s reflection in the glass.
So the glass was working. Hmm, weird. Where was my reflection? I put the glass up in front of my face but still could only see Corey. I was standing right in front of the glass. Where was my reflection?
I heard glass crunching and turned to see Jake approaching us. He looked at Corey, “Why was that boy before saying the name, Olivia?”
“Because that’s my name.” I answered his question.
They both ignored me and Corey answered the question. “His best friend, Olivia Hennessey, she was in the church too.”
“How is she?” Jake asked.
“Yeah, not so bad,” I answered him.
Corey shook his head at Jake. “She was sitting right under the gallery when the whole thing came crashing down. Poor girl never had a chance.
My eyes perked up fearfully at his words. What? What did he mean I never had a chance? He couldn’t mean…. No! I sunk to my knees, holding the piece of glass and looked in it. No one was ignoring me, they couldn’t hear me. I didn’t have a reflection because I was- I was dead.