A Perfect Storm

CHILDREN ON CAMPING TRIP – NARA – 543677 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was the worst storm of the century.

Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the East Coast. Everyone there was advised to take shelter wherever they could; the storm was just too dangerous to stay at home and attempt to ride it out. Already, I had heard news reports of several people drowning as they either sat in their homes or cars, attempting to ride this thing out.

I had made the potentially fatal mistake of deciding to go on that camping trip before my senior year in high school. Why did I decide that I really needed to give up on Facebook for an entire weekend? And the worst thing is, though, I had decided to go camping with two of the worst people in my school, Chris Bowers and Ericka Gorman.

How could I do something as stupid as that? Was there no normal person who I could have gone camping with? What crime did I commit as to receiving the sentence of having to go camping with Chris and Ericka?

Anyway, I could hear them calling my name, but I ignored them. After all, I was just your normal, everyday kid who did nothing but do his homework and tried to stay out of trouble. I’m not the nature type. But I knew that if we didn’t find shelter soon, we could possibly die or be injured.

“Gabriel Overton!” I heard Ericka screech as she pulled me in the direction of a small cabin that was in the woods. “What are you doing? Get over here!” I saw that Chris was already standing in the doorway to the cabin. “What are you waiting for?” he yelled at me. “Don’t you know that the storm is heading our way?”

“But we don’t know if we’re going to be hit,” I cried out.

“I’m not staying outside to find out,” said Ericka.

She pushed us inside the cabin and shut the door. The storm seemed to rage around us as we sat there, waiting for it to end. But it wasn’t just the natural storm that threatened us; it was our personal storms that threatened us as well. Ericka had lived her life mainly by herself, for no one wanted to have anything to do with her. Chris was much better, if you consider the fact that being knocked around and verbally abused by people who cared about him and parents who refused to do anything about it. I was living a decent life, with decent parents and people who never hurt me or degraded me.

So, why was I here?

The storms, both outside and internal, continued to lash out at us, at least until the storm outside was over. But what of the internal storms that need to quiet down? What of my two companions, both of who had never known what it was like to live a decent life free from abuse, neglect, and rejection? I didn’t know what it was like to be hurt, so how could I help them?

The storm outside was gone. Would we be able to survive the storms that raged internally?