I was running on the treadmill, damn those holiday pounds, faster and faster. I look up at the television and think, Oh God, why is Haiti on the news…again. I look around me hoping no one notices the fear on my face. An earthquake? I’m running faster. Haiti is asking the US for help? My legs are burning. I turn the music up on my ipod and ignore the TV. They are just fine.
“Girl, Haiti just collapsed!”
“Turn on the news!”
I turn to the news and there is a picture of the capital. The Presidential Palace. There is something wrong. They keep showing before and after pictures. The Palace collapsed. The line beeps.
“Hold on a sec,”
“It gotta go!” she hangs up.
“What happened?” It’s Lourds.
“An Earthquake hit Haiti and everything collapsed.”
“What the fuck do you mean everything collapsed. It’s just an earthquake.”
“Just an earthquake? Honey a 7.0. hit the capital.”
“Is that bad?”
“That’s very bad. Yo, No one can get in touch with anyone in our family.” She sounds panicked.
My line beeps again. “My mom is calling, call you back.”
“Jesus” she whispered.
“It’s gonna be ok mom,”
“How can you say that? Have you watched the news?”
I look at the TV screen. It’s not looking good. It looks like total chaos.
“I can’t get through to anyone in Haiti to see if they are ok,” she says in Kreole.
“I’ll see what I can do,” I hang up the phone.
I’m staring at the TV. This cannot be happening. I’m online and I see nothing but prayers for Haiti all over Facebook. I still can’t grasp what is going on. The news is showing more images. There are people still buried…alive. I’m addicted to the news.
“Yo Cuz,” it’s Jeff.
“You see this shit?”
I haven’t spoken to him in months. I was mad at him. He didn’t come see me when I went home to Brooklyn. He claimed he didn’t get my message. When I changed my birthday he said it was stupid but called on the original day and the new one. I was still mad even after that. But what I was pissed about didn’t matter now. Our country was falling apart and there wasn’t a person in the world that could stop it.