Here is this week's free read. You can check out the original prompt and the other responses here.
A Pile of Rubble
Gone. Everything was just gone.
Kicking a piece of rubble out of my way, I continued to walk down my street. Or what was left of it. Every house on the street was in ruins, trees and their limbs everywhere. The emergency crews had finally broken down and allowed us to go to our houses to see if there was anything left. We were warned ahead of time that it was bad, but I never thought that it would be this bad. At least Jimmy and the kids were spared from seeing this.
As I walked farther down the street, I thought about how Jimmy was going to handle this. We had already been through so much in our life together. Growing up in the South, we had both had to deal with homophobia after coming out in high school. Sure, the hatred around us brought us closer together, but it still stung. We continued to face bouts of homophobia through college and grad school. It started to diminish after undergraduate school, but it was still there.
I know it is something that still scares, Jimmy. He is still afraid someone is going to hurt him or me because we are gay. In fact, that was one of the reasons he never wanted to have kids. He didn’t want to be hurt. It took me three years to convince him that it would be fine. That we would make sure of it. I know that he still didn’t believe me when we started the adoption process. He just went along with it because I wanted to. Of course, his heart melted when we first got our son.
Things started to look up after that. We got our two kids, a boy and a girl. Jimmy’s job as a producer was looking better and better. There was even talk that his new show might be up for an Emmy this year. My marketing firm was safely in the black. And, best of all, the homophobic comments all but ended once we got to Los Angeles. It was amazing.
And then this. I knew that earthquakes were common in this area, but I never imagined that one would devastate us. Everything that Jimmy and I worked so hard for. Destroyed.
Finally, I stood in front of the house Jimmy and I worked so hard to create. It was in shambles. I had a hard time even calling it a house any more. It was just a pile of debris and rumble. I let tears running down my face as I looked at the pile. There was nothing left here. All of the mementos that I had built up over the years. Some of those things were irreplaceable. But now they were lost forever.
Knowing that there was nothing that I could do, I turned away and headed back up the street. As I walked, I tried to think on the bright side. I tried to think about how Jimmy and our kids were safe at a hotel. Nothing had happened to them in the earthquake. That was really I could ask for. As long as I had them, we could rebuild. They were the most important things in my life. And as long as I had them, we would be okay.
At least that is what I tried to tell myself as I walked through the devastation. But somehow, as much as I loved my family, in that moment it didn’t seem like enough. I knew one day it would be. One day we would put our lives back together. But right now, it seems as broken as the house that Jimmy and I built together.