I just had the most terrifying dream last night.
I was at Ft. Myers beach, and for some reason I was with my grandma and aunt at a restaurant that apparently had really good soda. We were sitting at a table just outside the restaurant on the beach. My seat was facing the ocean, and my grandma’s and aunt’s seats were facing me from across the table.
I was listening to my grandma and aunt having some nonsensical conversation when I saw a fighter jet swoop low over the water and come to a stop. Then it started backing up and turning like it was trying to park, until it was turned so that its nose was facing the water. It dove into the water, but apparently that wasn’t what it wanted because it pulled out, backed up, then flew straight up into the air.
I was confused, but it was a dream, so of course I didn’t bother myself too much with it. I just shrugged it off and continued my conversation.
Then, without any warning, the jet rocked down into the water and blew up in a cloud of smoke, water, and debris. I watched in shock as a tsunami-sized wave erupted from the spot the jet had gone down and headed towards the beach.
I stood and pulled my grandma and aunt out of their seats, and told them we needed to go. The three of us started running, but we barely made it into town before the wave overcame us.
Everything became the wave. All I knew was that I had to survive and, more importantly, my family had to survive. As the wave was dragging us through the town, we passed by a tall fence and I grabbed on. My grandma and aunt grabbed onto my legs as they passed by, and after quite a bit of struggling, I managed to push them towards the fence so they could grab on as well.
We clung to the fence for dear life. I did my best to grab anyone who passed by and pull them to the fence, but I couldn’t get everyone. Most of the people, I couldn’t grab, and as they were dragged away, I knew they wouldn’t survive.
Some of the people who I couldn’t save were friends, and some were children. Those hurt the most.
After a few minutes, the wave passed by and the ground dried out. We sat there for a moment, trying to catch our breaths, before we all stood up and started stumbling about in different directions. I headed towards my house with my grandma and aunt, afraid that my parents might not have survived.
When we got there, our house still stood relatively whole amongst the rubble. I pushed open the door, which was partially destroyed by the water, and stepped into my house.
I was immediately bombarded by a huge hug. My parents and I cried in each other’s arms, then they did the same with my aunt and grandma. They explained how they had been sticking pictures to the wall in the corner when it happened. They told me they were afraid either I wouldn’t make it or they wouldn’t make it, so they spent what might have been their final moments taping the words “help, hope!” to the wall.
For some reason, that made complete sense to me, and I was so happy that they cared enough to do that in what might have been their final moments. Luckily, they had survived, so it didn’t matter.
My grandma and aunt went down to the basement (which somehow hadn’t flooded) to rest in the bedrooms down there. When they were gone, I asked my parents if my brother knew what had happened. They said they had no clue. He was still at college, and they hadn’t called him yet to tell him.
I had apparently lost my phone in the wave, so I found my dad’s phone and called my brother from that. When he answered, he nonchalantly said, “Hey, what’s up?”
I sighed in relief and put the phone on speaker so we could all talk to him. I asked him if he knew what had happened in Ft. Myers, and he said he’d heard something happened, but didn’t know what.
So I told him the story of what happened from the start of the dream. When I finished, he seemed panicky but calmed down when I told him we were all okay. I left when he started talking to my parents about something or other that I didn’t care about.
I went to the window and looked outside. I looked at all the people stumbling through the rubble that now made up the town. I thought of all the people that I hadn’t managed to save. I felt a tear slip free of my eye.
Then I woke up.
Picture source: DoSomething.org