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Friendship: Write about being friends with someone.

Thomas Klaken found himself in a terrifying situation when be befriend a girl from his school named Louisa Aerosky. Louisa was new to Rockefeller Jr. High School in Jasper, Alabama, unlike Thomas, who had been a student in the city of Jasper since he was a child. Klaken was a native born Alabamian. No one was quite sure where Louisa was from, not even the teachers fully understood where she was she transferred from because her paperwork simply stated “RUSSIA, RUSSIA.”

No one in Thomas’ school had even been to Russia and their only understanding of Russia was that communism was bad for just about everything they stood for in America; this was grounds enough for the kids to exclude her from any social gathering that happened during or after school hours. This, unfortunately for Thomas, was how he happened to meet Louisa, and how his first interaction with Louisa would be the sole event that changed his life completely.

The weather is Alabama is always quite fair and if it isn’t fair that means the weather is horrid and on this day, the weather happened to be horrid. A common occurrence in Alabama around February was what locals called “nado, weather,” or simply put, tornado weather. Thomas, like most Alabamians, had seen his fair share of tornado warnings and tornadoes; but tornadoes were completely new to Lousia.

The school day was coming to an end, and like most tornadoes, they came towards the end of a school day around 1pm. “Why couldn’t they come in the morning so I didn’t have to come to school”, thought Thomas. Thomas heard the sirens whine in the background of an otherwise normal day of school. The students stopped to listen to the echoed sound that seemed to be a layer above anything else that made a sound. It seemed almost apocalyptic, the minutes before a tornado. There was a calmness in the air and the sky looked like leafs in the fall just as they start to change colors. Every student and every teacher intently stared at the sky almost as if waiting for some sort of prophet to return from the heavens with information that could possibly help them in anyway.

It had begun. The students formally stepped out of their classrooms and into the hallways to sit down with her heads against the wall and the thickest textbook, which was always the history textbook, over their heads. Teachers yelled professionally with a slight pinch of fear in their voices for students to get into position. Students and teachers are trained to remain in this position when the fear of a tornado becomes all too real. It was always even more apparent to the students the seriousness of the tornado warning if teachers always sat down in the same position as they did. This was one of those days.

Thomas sat down and looked at his inner-ankles and noticed a bit of hair starting to grow on them. He forgot to wear socks today. Thomas thought about school and what he would do after the tornado warning had pasts and what he would do at home whenever the bell rang. Thomas understood the seriousness of the situation but he couldn’t seem to careless because of how normalized this process had become to him. However, next to Thomas was Louisa, who, according to Thomas looked terrified of the situation and felt the need to constantly look at her surroundings.

“Don’t worry about it,” Thomas said to Louisa.
“Why shouldn’t I? It’s a tornado! That thing can kill us.” Louisa spoke when a hurried voice that seemed to have nowhere to go.
“This happens all the time, like, 10 times a year in Bama.”
“Alabama sounds like hell.” Louisa replied without looking at Thomas.
“It ain’t so bad.”

Thomas looked at Louisa, who seemed in no mood to reply. It was then that the stillness emptied the air around everyone in the school for a brief second before a trickling of hail slammed against the school walls and windows. The sound of category-5 winds slugging hail against structures sounds like a swarm of locust coming to devour whatever lay in its path. The teachers and the students knew that before the tornado came hail and after the hail came the fear. Thomas felt the same fear that Louisa was filling now. Tornado warnings were just tornado warnings but hail meant a tornado was surely going to hit near you.

There was a shattering bang that seemed to come from all directions that caught everyone off guard. A few of the teachers could be heard screaming and ducking next to the children for cover. Thomas quickly looked over at Louisa who seemed stoic and unmoved by the recent progression of  events that continued to turn worse as the minutes went by. Louisa looked over at Thomas and smiled because she knew he knew what she knew, and that everything would be okay regardless of what was to come next.

What came next was the most devastating tornado in Alabama since the early 1900s. Several teachers had died and hundreds of students did too as the tornado destroyed everything in its path. Thomas and Louisa were two of the unlucky ones and perished during the horrifying weather.

 

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