This past week has been another test for my family yet again. Late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, between 12 midnight and 1 a.m., someone started a fire at the abandoned house next door to my childhood home. It spread so quickly and the flames soon flew onto our roof and set it ablaze. Everything happened so fast. My cousin was so distraught, he rolled on the ground in tears, seeing this place that we all referred to as home, be ravaged by these orange and yellow flames, desperately making a barbeque out of our home. However, everyone consoled themselves that nothing much was destroyed. The next day was when it really hit everyone.

I approached the house tentatively, not wanting to see it, not wanting to know what had happened. I found my mother sitting outside in the yard on a ledge in her nightgown, with her handbag, looking so forlorn that my heart wanted to break. My heart was indeed broken and I choked back the cry that wanted to escape from my lips. I looked at my mom and she too wanted to cry but we both said nothing and stared at the house in sadness and disbelief. Then, the owner of the abandoned house showed up, inspecting the damage that was done to his house and ours. What a waste! He should be sued, I thought.

Not long afterwards, the police came to assess the damage done and offered their condolences while saying they would return another day to get a statement. Then my aunt and cousin came and they looked upon the house in horror at the damage that had been done. Everything was gone. The house that was almost one hundred years old, was done in by a fire caught from an abandoned house, from neighbours I had never liked and trusted, and who never cared about anyone but themselves. No one knew what to say or what to do. My mind was a maze of thoughts as was everyone else’s. The biggest blessing was that no one died.

During the course of the day, so many people passed by. The media came, representatives from the government came offering assistance and other kind neighbours, strangers and a handful of family members gave us water, food and some clothes. My mom and aunt distracted their grief by going through the ruins, trying to salvage what they could and bag out the rest of items that were not salvageable to be disposed of as garbage.

Having to start over is really hard, especially for both my mom and aunt, who have lived their whole lives in that house. They still can’t seem to let go and I can understand that because it is still hard for me to let go as well. I can’t even bring myself to go and see the ruins because it hurts so much. I only wish that I could do more for them. I hate feeling so helpless and it seems that feeling is always there. I always wish I could do more. I just wished I was in a position to buy a house and say, here you guys, live here. Unfortunately, I am not in a position at the moment to even buy my own house. Lol! Although I know that me being there for them is enough, I still do wish I could do a lot more. Helping them to take things one day at a time is the best that I can and all we can really do.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20151021/news/up-in-smoke

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,218748.html