April 27, 2013
****DISCLAIMER: This entry will have some graphic details of the shooting as seen and described by Nessie so if you are sensitive to that kind of stuff, please skip ahead to the end of the entry. Thank you. ~xoxo Olga
“So as you know, Jake, Leah, and Seth were sick so I went to school alone. Thankfully grandma Esme drove me since she was going into town anyways. Nothing was out of the ordinary as I walked into the building. I met up with some girls from my class that I knew and spoke with and we went to our first class. It was the Algebra class that Jake hates so much.” I smiled at Jake who rolled his eyes.
“The first class was uneventful. My second class was the French class. We sat down and got our books out. The teacher, Mrs. Lounds, must have just said good morning when we heard a pop pop noise. We didn’t think anything of it because kids make all sorts of noise in the hallway on their way to class. Less than a minute after the first noise we heard more popping sounds, but these were coming closer and had a more metallic sound to them. We froze. Mrs. Lounds told us all to be quiet and stay still. She crept slowly to the door and looked out. She then turned quickly around and said, ‘oh my god there’s a boy with a gun! He’s shooting people. Get down! Everybody get down!’
“We all quickly got under our tables and tried not to make any noise. A few of the football players in my class quickly turned over a table that was on the side of the room and pushed it against the door so the shooter couldn’t get in. The rest of us just stayed where we were and I heard some students start praying. Then, without warning, a giant explosion rocked our classroom! People screamed. When I looked toward the noise, I realized there was a hole in the wall leading to the hallway! The shooter had some kind of a small bomb on him! He literally blew a hole in the wall because he couldn’t get through the door! Before I could react, this girl Michelle pulled my arm and half dragged me toward the closet in the back of the room. We climbed into the little closet area and closed the door. We could see what was happening but we were hidden from view and the closet didn’t even look like a closet so unless you knew it was there, you’d miss it. Mrs. Lounds was always happy with it because she said she bought it at IKEA and it was cool . . . Oh God, poor Mrs. Lounds.”
I had to stop talking because I had started to cry again. Grandpa Carlisle who was sitting not far from me, reached out and patted my knee.
“Nessie you don’t have to continue. Maybe you should wait until you feel a little calmer.” The others mumbled in agreement.
“No no . . . I’m OK . . . I just need to slow down when I talk—but I need to get this out of me . . . there’s so much to tell you.”
I took a deep breath and before I could say anything another glass of orange juice appeared before me. God I love my dad! I nodded a ‘thank you’ and sipped on the juice.
“Where was I? Oh yeah, Michelle and I hid in the closet. Then we watched with horror as the shooter stepped into the classroom through the hole he made! He had some kind of a rifle-looking thing with him. He was wearing brown pants, black boots, a black t shirt with what looked like a devil on it and a long trench coat. I recognized him instantly. The kid’s name was Frank Jordan. He was a sophomore at our school. I had maybe one class with him but didn’t really know him other than his name. He always seemed to keep to himself and had a few friends here and there. But he looked so different today. His face was cold and his eyes were blank. He looked like a zombie.
He briefly looked around the room and as Mrs. Lounds tried to get him to put his weapon down, he shot her multiple times in the chest. His gun spit out the bullets so fast . . . Michelle whispered to me later that she thought it was an AK-47. I don’t know what that is, but it was big and horrifying!
Mrs. Lounds fell and didn’t move. Michelle and I were crying and trying not to scream as Frank just looked around the room and started shooting, over and over and over! He wasn’t aiming anywhere just spraying the room with bullets. We were cowering, praying that we wouldn’t make enough noise to tip him off to our location. Oh God, I’ll never forget the screams of my classmates. They just kept moving out of the way but the more they moved the more they were shot. It was so loud!
We closed our eyes and our ears and were praying for it to be over. Finally, when it seemed that he had shot as many people as possible, there was a scurrying and screaming in the hallway that distracted him. He climbed back out into the hallway and started shooting at whomever was out there. I heard some more screams and the sound of people falling. At that point he moved away from our classroom and we heard his boots stomp down the hall and away from our class. We sat there…my heart was beating in my ears and I’m sure Michelle’s was, too. We didn’t want to move. What if he came back? But I couldn’t sit there in that closet while my classmates were bleeding just a few feet away. Maybe we could do something help them. Michelle hesitated, but then agreed and we both—very slowly, trying to make as little noise as possible—crawled out of the closet and toward our wounded classmates.
The first one I reached was one of the football players who had originally barricaded the door. He was lying on his side, moaning. He had bullet wounds in both shoulders and his leg. I tried to calm him down while I surveyed the damage. Mrs. Lounds wasn’t moving and one of the other students who wasn’t badly injured checked her and shook his head at me; that’s when I knew she was dead.
Another student who was lying near the window had horrific wounds. He had been shot multiple times in the abdomen and what looked like a part of his intestine was lying on the floor next to him. Michelle took one look at him and threw up. The other students had similar catastrophic injuries; a girl I knew from down the street had half of her head blown off and the brain matter was splattered against the far wall. I fought the urge to be sick but I knew I needed to focus. We had to get these people help and fast!
Suddenly, we heard a noise and we froze. What if the shooter was coming back? We had no chance to run back into the closet. We were exposed. So we just stood there, waiting. The next thing we saw was a head poke around into the room from the hole in the wall, then another, and another. We realized that they were members of the SWAT Team and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
We were safe.
Very quickly they motioned those of us who could walk to follow them.
‘What about the others?’ I asked.
One of the officers said, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll get everyone out.’
‘What about the shooter? Where is he? Was he alone? ’
‘As far as we can tell thus far, he was alone. And we’ve neutralized him.’
‘Neutralized? What does that mean?’ Michelle asked.
The officers looked at one another and the one answering the questions said,
‘He wouldn’t put his weapon down when we ordered and proceeded to fire at us. We returned fire and he was hit. He didn’t make it.’
“As Michelle and I tried to digest all that, we were escorted out of the building where it looked like a war zone. There were cops and ambulances and SWAT vehicles everywhere. There were other kids streaming from various exits in the school; some were unharmed while others had blood all over them; whether it was theirs or someone else’s I couldn’t tell. I just kept walking . . . following the officers.
“Finally, when we were far enough from the school, I turned around and looked at the building. The windows were all busted, blood was everywhere. This could not be my school. It was horrible, just horrible. Michelle had stepped away from me at that point and when she returned she was crying. She told me that they are thinking he killed 45 people. It’s not confirmed, but that’s what the officers think. I felt so nauseous I wanted to pass out.
“Just then I heard someone call my name. I turned around and saw Mommy, Daddy, and Jake. I forgot about Michelle and ran to them. After we hugged, I turned to look for Michelle and was happy to see her in the arms of her mom and dad. We exchanged a look as well as a smile and were taken away by our respective families. I mean she saved my life! If she hadn’t dragged me into the closet . . . I don’t even want to think what would have happened.
“There were so many media people with cameras and trucks. They were trying to get those cameras into my face as we tried to leave but Daddy made sure they backed off very quickly. Then we were reunited with grandma Esme in the parking lot and all walked into the woods so Jake could phase. I wanted to ride home on my Jakey-wolf. Seth, Leah, Aunt Rose and Uncle Emmett were waiting for us anxiously at the house. They were very glad I was OK. But after everyone hugged me, the full effect of what had happened hit me like a ton of bricks, and that’s when I really started shaking and crying. And the rest you all know.”
When I was finally done my story, everyone was just sitting there, shaking their heads. It doesn’t seem real, even now. People started to get up and talk amongst themselves. My mom stayed on the couch next to me, still rubbing my back soothingly. I love when she does that. It really helps. Jake got up and kissed me on the tip of my nose, then he whispered, “I’m so glad you’re OK Ness. When I heard what happened . . . my heart stopped. It was all I could do not to bolt out the door. My heart only got back to normal, I think, when I finally had you in my arms. I wanted to kill that guy! Well . . . if the SWAT Team hadn’t gotten to him first. I love you so damned much. I couldn’t live without you.”
I touched his face. “I love you too, Jakey. Yeah it’s definitely not a day I’ll ever want to repeat.” Then he kissed me on the lips. I was fully expecting my dad to start harping, but surprisingly he didn’t say anything until we pulled apart.
“OK now that all the making out is over, Nessie, you had a long day, it’s time for bed.”
I sighed and got off the couch, then turned to my mom.
“Mom, can you tuck me in?”
“Of course, sweetheart! Come on, let’s get you nice and comfy.”
She smiled and hugged me. I then was hugged and kissed by the rest of the family just as the phone rang again and everyone rolled their eyes. Aunt Rose went to field it again. I was so tired I didn’t even stop to hear who she was talking to or what was being said. I just let my mom pull me toward the cottage. As she and I were headed out the door, Dad was still talking to Grandpa. Aunt Rose had gotten off the phone, walked over to me with a smile and said, “Well that was Alice. She and Jasper will be home tomorrow so expect to spend the whole day playing dress up!” Everyone laughed while Leah, Seth, Jacob, and even I groaned!
“Awww come on! I need a break. No dress up tomorrow. Maybe the day after. I just want to have a quiet day tomorrow.”
“Good luck spilling that one to Alice!” Uncle Emmett quipped.
I decided to not even think about that and, with another round of goodnights, walked arm-and-arm with my mom to our cottage.
“How are you feeling, honey?”
“Very tired, mommy. Very ready to sleep.” I yawned for emphasis. She laughed.
Then we walked into our little home and I changed into my very comfortable cotton pj’s with little suns and moons on them and climbed into bed with a content sigh. Mom pulled the covers over me and sat next to me. We didn’t speak but just stayed together. I started to fall asleep soon after. She kissed me on the forehead and whispered, “More than my own life.”
“I love you very much mommy.” I smiled and hugged her and kissed her back.
She turned off the light and I closed my eyes and fell asleep. I dreamed of kisses and forests . . . and a strange man standing far away watching me . . . with bright red eyes.
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