Shelley and I were watching television. Hurricane Wilma was wreaking havoc
in Florida. For three days I had the devastation broadcasting non-stop from our living room. I didn’t want to miss a thing. The Ft. Lauderdale airport was closed. That’s where my mom and I were supposed to fly. There was no word as to when it would re-open. The cruise was in jeopardy. Because of Wilma, it might be cancelled.
Natural disasters don’t usually put me in a party mood. This one made me want to order an extra large pepperoni pizza, crank up Wild Cherry’s Play That Funky Music and act slutty. I was sure it was a sign. I was being spared. Finally, a little sympathy had come my way…in the form of a hurricane.
I gave Shelley a bear hug. “Isn’t this exciting!?” I gloated.
Shelley picked up the remote and turned off the TV.
“There’s always something a little sick and twisted about your perspective…have you ever noticed that?” She asked.
We turned off the fireplace and lights.
“One person’s sorrow is another’s happiness.” I said, smiling.
We went downstairs and got ready for bed.
Hours later the phone rang. It was after midnight. No one ever calls us past 9pm. They know better. Concerned, I answered it half-asleep.
“It’s on! It’s on! The airport re-opened.! Isn’t that fantastic!” The caller shouted.
It was my mother. The hurricane wasn’t a sign, after all. I wasn’t being spared. I was merely given false hope. Wilma wimped-out just when I needed her the most. She didn’t destroy Florida, like I had hoped. She simply maimed it. Planes could now fly. Roads were reopening. The cruise ship was still afloat. People could come and go as they wish.
In less than 24 hours I would be sitting on an airplane next to my mother. And for 200 consecutive hours after that we would be inseparable…Wilma betrayed me.
Shelley rolled over and turned on the light.
“Who was that?”
“Mom.” I grumbled. “Wilma’s heading to Cuba.”
I fluffed my pillow in a show of domestic disappointment.
“Florida didn’t sink.” I whined.
Shelley ran her fingers through my hair and then turned off the light.
“I’m sorry, honey…”
I plunked my head against the down pillow and sighed in defeat.