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The Visit Essay

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As the dust began to settle, I lay trapped under the rubble of my hotel room. What had just happened? A terrorist attack? A suicide bomber? I began to realize what had happened. I had seen devastation like this before. The room was filled with darkness except for a small beam of light glaring through the cracked wall. Broken glass was everywhere amongst the bricks and mud scattered on the layer of dust covering the hotel room floor. Ornaments and paintings had been tossed from the walls, into a pile of chaos and destruction. Parts of the walls had tumbled down, making the environment difficult to breathe in.

Like a half bitten sandwich, the room sat silently in ruin. The rug that had once dominated the room was now sprawled out lifelessly across the floorboards, covered in debris. The four poster bed was in mammoth splinters. The occasional creak came from bursting floorboards and slight moans from me hidden in the shadows. The en-suite was now in the same room as I was. All I could smell was a slight smell of iron, presumably blood. There was a huge hole in the floor boards smashed by falling concrete. I was totally alone. Where was my daughter?

The building that had once housed this room was in ruins. It had once been a luxury five star hotel on the south of the island in a town called Santo Domingo. It had a swimming pool, tennis courts and a golf course. Now the fairways of the course had been split down the middle with immense accuracy. The tennis court was a pile of rubble and the swimming pool was parched, full with bits of bodies, concrete and toppled palm trees. Sirens began to surround the smashed hotel. Panic started to set in as screaming adults and children began the desperate search for lost loved ones.

I could not see or hear my child and so many questions were going through my mind. Is she safe? Is she even alive? Has someone found her? The state of the hotel was disregarded now. Ambulances and fire engines sped across gardens and through saunas to get as close as possible to the wreckage. I started to feel faint, the blood was pouring from my head. I felt that I wasn’t going to last much longer. Footsteps started echoing through what was a corridor but now resembled a cave. I could hear someone yelling my name. My eyes lit up using up vital amounts of the minimal energy I had left.

I made an attempt to speak. Nothing came out, I then coughed and spluttered. The voice was getting louder it was a young male with an American accent. My hopes became raised. I heard some debris being moved and kicked away as he approached . I thought I am safe, I will survive. The figure was now metres away from me just the other side of the bricks. I was going to survive. Then the voice got quieter. He had turned around. I tried to scream once more but again nothing came out. I was not going to be found, I was going to die. I gave up. This was it, the end of me.

My eyes began to close, brain to switch off, my heart to slow down, my muscles relax. This was meant to have been a week’s break with my daughter and instead it had turned into my burial and almost certainly hers. Then a voice, again. I didn’t hold much hope but I fought, I tried to keep myself going. I shouted in utter desperation. A slight sound came out. There was some banging at a few jammed planks of wood. They broke, dust was stirred again, fragments of concrete fell, but what emerged injected kicks of adrenalin into my bloodstream, my seven year-old daughter had found me.

She ran over, wiped the blood that masked my face and kissed me above the forehead. I was safe, I could feel it. She shouted for paramedics and they came loaded with equipment. I was going to survive. They moved beams and planks from on top of me. I was then stretchered out of the wreckage. Once more I hugged my daughter. I had survived, thanks to her. They treated me, I spent days in hospital. My leg still will never fully recover. I cannot fully extend it due to the damage done to my right knee but I am still alive to see my daughter and that is all that matters.

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