My alarm hadn’t gone off yet when the ringing phone woke me and the rest of my roommates. Jen, closest to the phone, stumbled out of bed grabbing for receiver.
“Hello?” Jen mumbled into the phone. A pause. A sigh. “Yeah. Hold on, she’s right here.” Jen put the receiver down and looked at me.
I had just put my glasses on and was sitting up. Faint predawn light filtered in through the lone window in the room.
“It’s your mom.” Jen said slipping back into her bed.
A flash of panic flew through me. Something bad must have happened for mom to call me this early. I looked at the clock. 6:45. Someone was dead. I knew it.
I jumped out of bed and ran to the phone.
“Mom?” I asked, “What is it? What’s wrong? Is everyone okay?” My heart was pounding and I was close to tears.
“What? Everyone is fine!” Mom said. “Have you been watching the news? Are you okay? The hurricane is going to hit you!”
“What?” I stammered. “Everyone is okay?”
“We’re fine. I was worried about you.” Mom said. “I thought you might go to the beach to watch the storm. Are you girls okay?”
“We’re fine mom. We aren’t going to the beach.”
After spending a few minutes reassuring her that I would call if anything changed or we were evacuated I hung up the phone.
“Why is your mom calling so early?” Another roommate asked.
“She’s worried about the hurricane.”
“I don’t even think it’s supposed to make landfall anywhere near us.” Jen grumbled.
Later in the day as the skies grew progressively darker and rain pelted the windows in sheets, I sat in my dorm room doing an assignment. Wind howled and ripped through the breezeway and courtyard. Palm trees bent and swayed.
“You know,” I said, “all things considered, this isn’t so bad. We could have gone to the beach!”
(As a historical side note: The 1995 hurricane season was one of the most active hurricane seasons on record. Hurricane Luis, a Cat 4, never made landfall in Florida. Its outer bands swept the coast, but the Gulf Stream whisked it north to Newfoundland. And I totally went to the beach the day after the storm passed by!)