1990 Earthquake

I was home when it happened, on an otherwise usual day. It was last afternoon so I was back from school and my grandmother and I had gotten into an argument. I don’t even remember over what now, but I do remember that this was one of the few times my grandmother raised her voice to me, and I remember that this was one of the few times I’d felt really angry at her. I recall murmuring over and over again that she’d treated me like a kid and when I was a kid, which at the time I was, I hated nothing more. I’d come to expect it from other adults, but my grandmother was different. Anyway I slammed the door as I ran into my room and sat by the window for a few minutes, stared out into the yard and that’s when the ground started to shake. That’s when everything started to shake. I got scared and called out to my grandmother and my sister, who was asleep (taking her afternoon nap). Nanay – that’s what we call our grandmother – grabbed my hand, led me into the dining room and told me to stay under the table. She ran back to wake my sister (who wouldn’t wake despite the earthquake) and then they both joined me. My parents weren’t home. I heard my sister praying that they’d be safe. Has it really been twenty years? Where were you?

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