Sitting on my patio chair, I look up. The sky had turned a mystifying purple blue. The air had suddenly turned cold, and alarms started to blare all throughout the city. The screams from below shook the foundations of my apartment building yet I wasn’t fazed. A thick black smoke crept from what seemed to be a helicopter that crashed into a nearby building. I look to where the ocean used to be. The water had been receding all day but now the horizon is rising, and its rising fast. On the other balcony an older couple has decided to have dinner and watch the wave come in. An hour before a magnitude 8 earthquake tore through the east coast of Australia.
I had come to New Zealand for work, but work had escaped my mind once the alert came in. The alert on my phone read, “Severe weather alert, Massive tsunami on its way to northwest New Zealand.” I had come to take some scenic pictures of the landscape. I decided to call my mom, she was the only person who knew I was in New Zealand.
“Hey, mom,” I said. “I’m—”
“I know, baby.” She sniffled. “Don’t worry.”
“Mom, its coming straight at me. I… I can see it,” I start tearing up.
She didn’t say a word. I could hear her refraining from breaking down into tears on the phone.
“Mom, I’ll send some nice pictures,” I said
“I know. I know. I love you.”
“Mom, I love you. I gotta go. I love you.”
“I love you so mu—.”
I hung the phone up and threw it off the balcony. I pick up my camera and start inspecting the scenery. First, I take a picture of where the helicopter crashed, because I didn’t want the fire to go out. Then I take a few pictures of the mountains and skyline. Finally I look back over to the other balcony where I see the older couple have finished their dinner and were laughing about things they were throwing off the balcony. Their smiles were contagious. In a moment where I was struggling to maintain composure, their happiness gave me hope.
I finished taking the pictures and I sent them to my mom. I sat on my chair for a moment, absolutely no thoughts were going through my head. I went back out onto the balcony and watched as the wave came in.
Demian Brighina hails from Miami Beach and enjoys to write comedy.