The Threat of a Bomb

by carlocmd

While at work, I received an urgent phone call from a friend.

“Did you get your sons already?” she asked.

“Why? What happened?” I replied.

“It’s in the news.  There’s a bomb threat in school.”

Those words sent chills down my spine. I excused myself from the clinic to make phone calls. Upon hearing the news, my driver turned the car around go back to school. I am glad for his initiative and forward thinking. Then I saw the news and the traffic just outside the school, as students were asked to gather in open spaces for evacuation. I remember a fire drill the school conducted a few weeks back. I could only imagine what it would have been like if no system of evacuation had been in place.

I could not focus on work, just spent time pacing the halls, waiting for the call that told me my boys were safe and secure. I could not even verify where in school my boys were, as they do not have cellphones. For various reasons, we do not even have a way to speak with their teachers. Colleagues who had children in high school had it easier. They gave instructions via cellphones to their sons to hitch rides with classmates who already had a way home, and would be picked up later. I wanted to ask if they could find my children too. But the chaos and the danger would be putting their lives in peril.

So I was left to stew in uneasiness. And because there was nothing I could do, I prayed.

After a long, anguish-filled while, the phone rang. My boys were on the way home. The relief, the sense of peace, the feeling that time began to move again at its usual pace.

“What happened in school today?” I asked.

“There was an emergency. A bomb threat. We had to go home early,” they replied, almost nonchalantly. “You know what? My teacher stayed with me the entire time,” my son said, probably sensing my tension. “We were ok.”

“Nobody got hurt or lost?” I inquired some more.

“None,” he replied, “Although I did not get to finish my lunch because I ran out of rice.”

And we laughed, relieved, that such simple problems could be easily solved.