Prompt: I have to write a Narrative Essay, based on a significant change of my life. I want to see if I'am heading in the right direction.
At the tender young age of nine, I already had lived through my first earthquake in Chile. I had evaded death and lived to tell its story. I had experienced at first hand the trauma of living through one of Mother Nature's most notorious catastrophes. The earthquake taught me that life is unpredictable and life should be cherished intensely.
I was living with my grandmother at that point in my life. It was an ordinary Sunday morning; I was dressing up to go to church with grandma. My aunt Berta had called earlier that morning to see if I wanted to attend church with her, but I wanted to spend the day with grandma. At that moment, I had not realized the impact of that choice. As we took the bus to the church, I remember thinking what a picturesque and tranquil day it was, resembling the calm before the storm. As we stepped off the bus, we immediately headed to the entrance of the church, arriving approximately at the start of mass. We sat near the exit of the church. The priest started his general discourse of the day which merely lasted a few minutes before we started sensing mild tremors. He said over his discourse, "Please do not be startled. It is only a tremor it will soon end".
In the past I had experienced many tremors in the apartment we lived in, but due to my lack of understanding, I took tremors as mild disturbances and not as a prelude to disaster. Nevertheless, as soon as he finished his statement, the tremor turned into a cataclysmic earthquake. The earthquake feels like the ground underneath is having convulsions, shivering up and down with vigorous strength. Reaction is almost impossible due to shock and we could not move because it feels like the ground underneath is coming undone. Grandma and I started heading to the exit by holding on dearly to the church pews. As she led me to the exit, we struggled with other people who were fighting to escape, consumed by fear. Everyone was trying to flee through the small exit, and no one was succeeding. I felt like we were destined to stay inside of the church. I remember thinking, "This is it, my life is about to end", and praying to God for salvation. In the middle of my prayer for salvation, the earthquake stopped. We were soon pushed by the mob of people towards the exit of the church. As we stepped out of the church exit, we saw people on the ground who had been subdued by others. We started helping the people around us. Ironically the first person we saw at the exit of the church was the priest that had, a few moments ago, said everything would be fine.
Grandma and I decided to head back to the apartment via the middle of the streets. As we began our course through the streets, we saw many people in the streets in shock, buildings on the ground, they were either entirely destroyed or partially. The streets were an impression of a war zone. As we walked, the aftershocks were continuously haunting us. Furthermore, the streets had been torn in the middle, opening up the earth. We felt obliged to make stops before heading to the apartment due to the aftershocks. When we arrived on the street of the apartment building we lived on, my aunt Berta met us in the front and said to my grandmother ,"It was a blessing in disguise she did not attend church with me" , half of the building had collapsed and she had been lucky to escape with her life intact.
The apartment building looked as safe as the other buildings that had toppled down, it would be a great risk to walk up the stairs to the fourth floor. Grandma made the steadfast decision to stay on safe ground. Although, the building had survived with no visible structural damage. We gathered with a group of people outside, given that no one thought it was safe to go inside any surrounding buildings or structures in this disastrous wake. It was early in the afternoon; we contemplated staying in my aunt's home, located only a few blocks away. But due to the aftershocks and danger surrounding us, we decided it would be better to stay in the streets.
My aunt at the time drove a Volkswagen rabbit, forest green. She offered her car to us and our neighbors; we found it to be the best shelter at the time. That night was an abomination; more aftershocks were in store for us.
In the morning, we decided to get our personal things and some belongings together, since we would be staying in my aunt's house. We walked up the stairs to the apartment with much trepidation. As we stepped inside the apartment, we were lucky to find only a few things had fallen on the floor. We organized everything and headed out as fast as our feet could carry us to safe ground. Upon arriving at my aunt's home, we greeted her and I left both grandma and aunt bertha conversing, while I headed off to my assigned bedroom. When I sat down on the bed into depleted slumber, all my thoughts centered on the events of the previous day. It was quite an experience to have survived such a disaster. I realized that nature can't be controlled and life is a precious gift. Therefore, I know every step I take is a gift and ever since then I have lived my life to the fullest potential.
Thank you for your help, I'am just starting out with this essay.