On Oct. 1, I started walking to the music room at San Gabriel Christian School when I saw Brian Gordon. Brian and I were talking as birds shot straight up. People say animals are smarter than humans when it comes to earthquakes. I guess they're right, because a few seconds later a siren sounded and the earth began to rumble.
The ground bounced against a metal fence, sounding like vegetable boxes being dumped onto a metal ramp. "Should we drop?" I asked my friend. As we spoke, we found ourselves heaped on the ground. Brian suggested we crawl under a table. The earthquake stopped.
While we peered through benches not knowing where to go, a hysterical, screaming lady pointed toward the playground and shouted, "Run for your lives!" We glanced at each other and joined the crowd in the middle of the blacktop. A woman lead us in prayer. It was reassuring. A girl told us almost every window had broken. The teachers did not have their attendance books so we didn't quite know who was and wasn't there.
I sat there with my 4th grade classmates on the playground an hour feeling alone and nervous, wondering if I would ever get my trumpet and backpack from near the classrooms. When would my mother come? It seemed like forever. I tried to remain calm and not to cry. In a funny way, the crying of other students was comforting. I wasn't the only one afraid. As soon as my mother came, the tears came.