Chapter I

A New Life

by Laura Beth Gathman


Melissa woke up and looked around.

"Ah, finally you're awake", said the nurse.  Melissa turned around.

"Who are you?" asked Melissa.

"I'm, your Nurse Sarah", said nurse Sarah.  "You may call me just Sarah.  As you may know, you're at a hospital.  Press the buzzer if you need me."

"Why am I in a hospital?" Melissa asked herself.  Suddenly, the scenes flashed back in her head.

She screamed.  Sarah came rushing in.  "What's the matter Lissie?", Sarah asked.

"I WANT MY MOM!" she screamed.

"Lissie, people are out there looking for your mom right now," she said, pointing out the window.

"MOM!" Melissa screamed again.  She sat up with her arms open.  "MOM!"

"Lissie, you had better go to sleep," Sarah said.

The next morning, Sarah came in with her breakfast.

"Please eat this oatmeal," Sarah said.  Melissa took the oatmeal.

"Sarah?", Melissa asked, "can I go outside?"

"Sure," Sarah said, "I bought you some clothes last night.  You don't have any clothes left from the incident."

"What did you get me?" Melissa asked.

"Two jackets, three pairs of pants, two pairs of shorts, five shirts, three dresses, a bathing suit, a hat, shoes and socks and a present," Sarah answered.

"Thanks," Melissa said.  I didn't know hospitals did that.

"They usually don't because patients don't like to go outside or can't.  And they usually have someone like a mom, dad, or relative.  But you don't have any relatives because your parents are only children.  And we have not found your parents or grandparents yet."

"Oh, that's why I want to go outside," Sarah said.  I want to try to find them.

"Well, why don't you get dressed," Sarah said, "then I'll take you out. "

Melissa went over to the dresser in the hospital room and took out some clothes.  She shut the drawer with a slam.

"I'm going to change in the restroom," she said. While she was changing a police man came in and talked to Sarah then left.  After about a minute Melissa came out.

"Let's go," she said.

"I have to tell you something pretty important that the police man told me," Sarah said while they were walking along.  "We found your Dad dead."

"He's not dead!" Melissa said angrily.  She winced as she stepped on her broken leg.  She remembered her crutches, turned around and hopped of toward the PD.

Half an hour later, Nurse Sarah found Melissa on Franklin road with the PD.  They suddenly stopped and turned.  Melissa screamed and dropped to her knees, she put her hand on something.  Sarah walked over and looked down.  There was her Dad.

"He's dead!  His hearts not beating," Melissa screamed, "NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!"

"I tried to tell you, Melissa," Sarah said.  "I have something else to tell you..."

"NOT NOW!" Sarah screamed.  She grabbed her crutches, put her hand against the wall and gave her self a boast, and hopped away toward the hospital. 

Half an hour later, Nurse Sarah found Melissa in her hospital room.  Her pillow was damp with tears. Her face was streaked with tears, and her hair was matted and snarled.

"Why don't you go visit the kitchen and pick out a dinner you like," Sarah said, "... for a treat. Here you need this food card so the cooks know you actually belong here. Okay?"

"OK," she answered in a small voice.

"When you come back I'll tell you the other thing," Sarah said.

Five minutes later Melissa came back with a tray of food.  While she was eating, Sarah began to talk.

"About your mom," Sarah said, "We found her alive, but most likely going to die.  If she does die, you'll have to go to an orphan..."

"SHE WONT DIE!" Melissa screamed, she grabbed her crutches and left.

Fifteen minutes later, Nurse Sarah found Melissa in her in moms hospital room.

"I finally found you," Sarah said.

"My Mom is starting to wake up.  Please don't take me back to my room," Melissa pleaded.

"OK, I'll leave you two alone," Sarah said,  "Here's your dinner."  Melissa put it on her moms bedside table.

"Mom?" Melissa whispered, "Mom?"

"Yes?" Melissa's mom, Margaret, answered.

"You're awake!" Melissa exclaimed, "Mom you won't die will you?"

"I don't know Melissa," said Margret, "I'll probably die, but you'll see me again if you invite Jesus in your heart.  Honey I love you.  Don't cry.  I'm going to live with the Lord.  You'll soon understand how happy it is."

Melissa pressed the buzzer above her moms bed.  Her mom's nurse came rushing in.

"What can I do for you?" the nurse asked.

"Is she going to die?" Sarah asked, while her mom fell asleep.

"I don't know," the nurse answered.  Suddenly Melissa heard a loud and steady beeping noise.

"What's that noise?" Melissa asked.

"Oh my gosh," the nurse gasped.  Nurse Sarah came rushing in.

"What is it Lydia?" Sarah asked.

"She's dead!" Lydia screamed.

"NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Melissa screamed.  Melissa ran to her room screaming and crying.

An hour later, Nurse Sarah came in with a clip board and dinner.

"Lissie, I want you to tell me what happened to your parents,"Sarah said. "All of it, no matter how hard it is. Please tell me all."

"Well, we had gone on a two week vacation," Melissa said, "so we didn't hear the tornado watch.  While we were driving home we noticed that our neighborhood looked abandoned. So we turned on the news, as soon as we heard about the tornado we also saw it. My Mom started looking for her house keys, but then she remembered she left them inside, so we had to wait until we parked the car.  Then my dad had to find his house keys.  He found them pretty quickly.  We ran to the door, and my dad opened it. He let me in first, then the scary part happened.

"My dad fell backwards down the hill on our lawn.  I just stood there like an ice cube.  My mom went about five feet down the hill to try to catch Dad.  My mom missed him.  She started running toward the house, but the wind slowed her down.  I reached my hand out for her but she got sucked up in the tornado.  I slammed the door shut.  The tornado passed by, so I opened the door a little, and I yelled out 'MOOOM!' but she didn't hear I guess.  My legs got pulled out and as I pulled them back in, I banged them really hard against the door.  That's what the huge bruise is from. Well, I got my feet in and slammed the door shut.  I started running up the stairs but tripped, and that's how I broke my leg, which is why I'm in a hospital. Right?" Melissa asked.

"Correct," Sarah said, "You explained the cut on your dads head too."

"One more question," Melissa said. "Where did you find my Mom?"

"On the roof of the school just down the street.  God must have been watching over her," Sarah answered. "She didn't  die from any cuts or anything in fact she didn't have any at all. Her head landed on a pillow and the rest of her body on a comforter. She died because when she was in the tornado she could barely breath, not from loss of blood... like your dad."

"Don't talk about him," Melissa said angrily.

"OK," Sarah said. "You know, I think God made the tornado drop your mom on a pillow and comforter so she could live a little to tell you to believe."

"When am I going to leave for the orphanage?" Melissa asked quickly to change the subject.

"When your leg is healed, which is about five weeks," Sarah answered.

The day before Melissa was leaving for the orphanage, Nurse Sarah took Melissa to get some more clothes and a suitcase. The next day before she got on the plane, Sarah gave Melissa her present, which was accessories.  A watch, bracelets, necklaces, a journal and hair accessories, and one thing that wasn't exactly like an accessory, it was a Bible.

"Thank you Sarah!" Melissa exclaimed. Melissa buckled the watch on.

"You must read that Bible," Sarah said.

"I will, thanks again," Melissa said. She gave Sarah a hug, then left for the plane to California.

Two hours later on the plane, a lady came with a note pad to write down what she wanted for lunch.

"A sandwich, sour cream and onion chips, an apple and Grape Soda," Melissa said.  "Do you have all that?"

"Yes," the lady answered.  "It will take only two minutes."  Melissa set her watch for fun.  While her watch was beeping, the lady came in with her lunch.

"Thanks," Melissa said.  "Perfect timing."  The lady chuckled a little.  Melissa asked for a pillow and blanket, ate her lunch, and fell asleep.