At 4:00 a.m one fateful morning, I heard someone yelping the two syllables that changed my life. “FIRE!”
For two seconds, I lay in bed, positively perplexed. What should I do now? I thought to myself. And then, all of a sudden, I knew exactly what I had to do.
Jumping off my four poster bed, I shoved on a terry cloth dressing gown and my maroon striped fuzzy slippers.
Darting down the staircase like a mouse on fire, I barged into my parent’s master bedroom. ‘Mom, dad!! FIRE!’ I screeched, dragging them out of bed. Just before I rushed off to wake up my elder sister, Carlotta, I stopped short.
Wait a minute! How come my parent’s were asleep? If they were still in semi-consciousness, then who had shrieked the dreaded word that so abruptly jerked my out of my slumber? And where was the fire in the first place??
Rushing back to my parent’s room, I flung open the velvet curtains that snugly concealed a French white-paned window.
And from that vantage point, I could clearly see that my best friend’s house was engulfed in flames.
‘Giselle!’ I cried, tears welling up in my eyes. ‘What’s going on, Cece?’ My mom inquired, still drowsy. ‘Mom! Giselle’s house is on FIRE!’ I bellowed.
Without thinking twice, I sprinted out of the room, down the stairs, past the lounge and out the front door.
I barely managed to stay alive while crossing the road, I mean; I was almost steam-rolled by the fire brigade that was just pulling up in front of Giselle’s manor.
But my mind was made up.
I was going in there to rescue my chum.
I swiftly ducked under the yellow police tape, hurled past burly men in black and erupted into Giselle’s tiny cottage. Big Mistake.
Tongues of fire scorched my skin. My eyes began watering as I tried to make my way through clouds of thick smoke. I could feel my throat tighten, like as if it was trying to cling onto the oxygen it possessed.
The miracle is, amidst all this chaos, I spotted Giselle’s younger brother’s nanny, Gloria.
‘Cece, darling, what are you doing here?’ She enquired, looking perfectly fine. ‘What happened to Giselle?’ I briskly interjected, feeling in no mood for a cosy chat. Gloria shook her head.
I felt my face crumbling. ‘Oh my God,’ I managed to splutter, not letting myself believe the hideous truth. ‘How did it start?’ I coughed, referring to the fire.
Gloria stared at me. And then I noticed that she was smiling. Grinning very broadly indeed. ‘Gloria! You didn’t start the…’ I trailed off when I noticed a man in a neon jacket approaching me with some sort of oxygen mask.
The man striped on the mask onto my face. I was about to inform him that Gloria was the one who caused the fire when two things happened, all at once.
One, he hauled me away before I could say anything, but I did suddenly remember that,
Two, Gloria had passed away two weeks ago.