"Mama, I don't have to take Mandy to school, right? I mean she has a study period and can go in later, right?" Dad waggled his finger at me.
"She disnae want to study tae study at home, so ye will drive her as I've got tae go tae work..." I opened my mouth to argue that he could take her, "which is in the opposite direction! Yer college is on the way, ye can take her." His tone left no room to argue. So grabbed my keys and got into my car.
Where the hell is she? I honked my horn forcefully and she finally bounded out of the house and into my car. Sighing dramatically I start the car and drive her to school.
"Don't get into too much trouble today, Mandy." I told her playfully as I opened her door. She giggled and blew me a kiss. We had a code, like twins do, that meant different things.
For me and Mandy: Blown kiss meant 'no promises'.
In my class I'm sitting making notes and almost dropping off, then a message comes over the P.A system. All classes are canceled and students will be escorted back to their dorms or cars. That was the weirdest thing ever. Individual classes have been canceled before but not school-wide.
I drive home to find my mother on the phone, Columbine is on the news and they're saying there was a shooting...Mandy...
"Mama?" She hugs me tightly, "What's going on?"
"There's a shooting at Mandy's school...I'm talking to your father..." She breaks down and I take the phone.
"Bree? Bree, breathe! I'm sure Mandy'll be fine, she's not daft and she'll have gotten out o' there..."
"Dad?" I hear him sigh. "Mom's broken down...I...I don't know what to do...I'm scared, for Mandy and for mom..." I hear him swear and talk to someone else in the background.
"I'm comin' home, lad. Keep calm." He hung up and I try to comfort mom the best I can.
Dad arrives home and he's actually as frightened as the rest of us...Mom screamed when the news told us that most of the dead were killed in the library...that was where Mandy was...dad held her close and she screamed into his shirt and she cried.
The odds were getting slimmer that Mandy was still alive. Then finally the news gave a hotline for anyone worried about relatives to call so dad lets mom rest of his shoulder while he calls the hotline.
"Right, the wounded were taken to hospital...the non-wounded to the elementary school...where dae ye want to try first?" He was looking at mom, and I understood why; mom felt out of control, giving her the choice put her in control again.
"I don't know...do I choose hope, or the most likely?" She wipes at her eyes "let's go to the hospital first..."
Mama hasn't stopped wringing her hands, "If I hadn't let you drive her to school she wouldn't be caught up in this now...God, forgive me..." Dad grabbed her hand from the driver's seat.
"Dinnae fash, Bree. God kens ye did nothing wrong..." I can't believe this. I've never seen mama so frightened...even when Mandy had her operations as a baby there was nothing like this. I suppose until she sees Mandy she won't calm down.
Dad stopped a nurse, "We're looking for Amanda MacKenzie, I'm her father." The nurse nods and leads us to a door where mama pushes past everyone and runs through.
"Mama!" my breath hitched as I heard my sister's voice again, a sound I was afraid that I'd never hear again. And yet, here she was. Her arm opened to welcome us. I run behind mama and beside dad to hug her.
"I told you not to get in trouble, Mandy..." I hope I'm being playful. "I'm so glad you came home." I smile at her.
Mama's practically smothering Mandy, "let's go get coffee mama." She shakes her head. "Mama, you need a break. Dad'll stay with her, she won't be alone."
When we come back, Mandy's asleep on dad's chest, he's running a hand through her wild curls. I smiled at the scene, Mandy's curls reminded me of Granny's hair and I suddenly miss my extended family.
Mama's saying that we can go through the stones after Mandy comes home. Of course she didn't say 'stones' but we're finallly going to see granny and granda again...