Boxes Near the Old Trailer | Source: Shutterstock
Boxes Near the Old Trailer | Source: Shutterstock

Poor Man Shelters Family in His Old Trailer during Storm, Finds Dozen of Boxes near Home Next Day – Story of the Day

Prenesa Naidoo
Apr 02, 2024
08:14 A.M.
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Adam and his family sit down to dinner with the radio on - only to be interrupted by a severe weather warning. As the night progresses, the storm increasingly gets worse, only to have the family take refuge in the dilapidated trailer in their yard.


Adam took the bowls out from the kitchen cabinet, ready to set the table for dinner. Maggie was hovering over their two-plate stove, stirring the stew she was cooking for their dinner and constantly tasting it as she added new ingredients.

"Parsley with a fish stew, yes or no?" she asked him.

"Yes, I think," he said. "My Mom used to add either parsley or coriander, whichever we had."

"Okay, I'll add some," she said.

Adam watched her reach for the parsley from the little yellow pot on the windowsill. Maggie loved trying to grow her own herbs and vegetables. She said it was something to keep her busy with during the weekends. But Adam knew the real reason was that they would always have some sort of fresh vegetable she could harvest and cook for their meals.

That way, their kids would have food. That way, they wouldn't go hungry.

He set the bowls and took out the loaf of bread that Maggie had bought when she and the kids walked home from school that evening.

Adam could hear the kids laughing from their small bedroom across from the kitchen. Emma was trying to imitate somebody, and Charlie was laughing with everything he had.


Adam smiled, and then he winced. He had twisted his ankle at work earlier that afternoon, landing in a deep puddle of water. He was grateful that it was just the water and nothing harder that would have caused a more severe injury. Instead, the first aid officer at the construction site had strapped his ankle up.

But Adam was stressed that his boots were still wet – he needed them to be absolutely dry for the next workday, or he would be confined to the office. Which meant fewer work hours and less pay. And knowing that his family was relying on him to sustain them financially meant that Adam had to try harder.

It's not like I don't want to do it, he thought as he set the spoons down. It's more the fact that I love them so much that I don't want to do wrong by them.

Then, he remembered that he needed to buy Maggie's epileptic medication soon. He had three days before she would run out entirely, and Adam knew that when she got to the final row of pills in the card, she would get anxious if there wasn't a new box waiting in the medication cupboard.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


"Adam," Maggie called.

"Yes, honey?" he said, looking up.

"Dinner is ready. You can get the kids. Make sure that they wash up first. Charlie pulled some fresh carrots for me earlier, and I didn't get a chance to see if he had washed his hands properly," Maggie said, wiping her hands on her bright pink apron.

"Of course," Adam said. "Why don't you get the radio on? We'll listen to some music during dinner."

Maggie smiled at him and nodded.


Maggie stirred the stew. She was trying to recreate the fish stew that her aunt had made throughout Maggie's childhood. But she always made it on an outside fire – the smoke would completely take over the house and make everything hazy.

It was something that Maggie loved, and most of her nostalgia was laced with the smell of the outdoor cooking.

She added a bit of butter and noted that they needed to get butter when they went shopping again. She could hear Adam talking to the children and wondered what they were discussing.


Maggie added a little more salt to the pot, added another teaspoon of lemon juice, and stirred the pot again.

Perfect, she thought.

Then, she began to dish out the stew into bowls, ready for everyone to dig into when they sat down.


Adam went to the children's room. Emma was lying dramatically on her bed, her feet pressed against the dull wall. Charlie was flat on his stomach, coloring a picture of a dinosaur.

"Did Emma draw that?" Adam asked when he knelt next to the boy. Charlie was five years old, and he was everything Adam wasn't – artistic, with a passion for reading, just like Maggie – who would spend hours at the public library just reading her way through the bookshelves.

She was there so often that the librarian eventually offered her a position for their reading groups a few times a week, where schools brought learners in to help them read. Most days, Maggie usually did that while waiting for the kids to finish school.

"I did, Dad," Emma said, sitting upright on her bed again. "I finished my homework early and drew it for Charlie to color in."


"Well done, Ems, it's very good!"

Emma beamed at him. She was eight years old and was his daughter through and through. From their favorite meals to their favorite time of the day to even enjoying the same type of old music on the radio, Emma was much more similar to Adam, including the color of their eyes and hair.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

"Come on, dinner is ready," he said.

He watched Charlie bolt upright and Emma jump off the bed.

"But," he added, "to the bathroom first! Mom said that there are hands to be washed before dinner."

Adam led the two to the bathroom and waited as they washed their hands with the soap that smelt like lemon and disinfectant at the same time. He watched Emma wrinkle her nose when she smelt her hands after.


I need to get them something milder and better for their skin, he thought. As soon as the budget allows.


In the kitchen, Maggie had dished out the fish stew and had placed slices of bread on little plates on the table. She had also lit two candles, giving the room a warm and welcoming feel. If anything, Maggie always knew how to make the children feel special in the simplicity of their lives.

Adam watched as Maggie stepped forward and held tightly onto the chair in front of her.

"Are you okay, Mommy?" Emma asked as she sat down at her place.

"I am," Maggie said. "It's just been a very long day, and I'm ready for bed." She went back into the kitchen to get the pitcher of water.

"But you have to eat first," Charlie said, breaking off a piece of bread.

"And that's exactly what Mom is going to do," Adam said firmly.

He was not going to allow Maggie to go to sleep without eating anything. The last time she had done that, her blood pressure had dropped so low that Adam had to take her to the clinic a few blocks away just to help her revive herself and feel 'normal' again.


"Are you okay?" he asked Maggie when he went to the counter where the water pitcher was.

"I just feel this intense pressure in my head," she said. "The last time this happened, there was that huge storm. So, we're probably going to get a storm tonight. That's all."

Adam believed her – after Maggie was diagnosed with epilepsy, she had read most of the books in the library related to it. And since then, she has become really good at managing it. If Adam had to think about it, she had had very few seizures since she started her epilepsy research.

"But you're feeling fine, otherwise?" he asked.

"Yes, Adam. I'll just have to be careful if there's any lightning, that's all," she said, returning to the table.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


Maggie knew that Adam was worried about her. Whenever she had a headache or felt faint, he would stress until she felt fine again.

But she was fine. It was just the fact that her head felt fuzzy, and it was probably because of a storm.

Or at least that was what her recent research paper at the library indicated.


"So, tell us all about school," Maggie told the kids.

"I have a science project coming up," Emma said. "We can make a tornado or do the volcanic eruption."

"The tornado is the wind one, right?" Charlie asked with his mouth full.

"Yes," Emma said.

"Mind your manners, Charlie," Maggie said.

"Sorry, Mom. So, the tornadoes are the monsters in the sky?"

Maggie chuckled.

"Yes, Charlie," she said. "They are the wind monsters of the sky."

"How would we make a tornado, Dad?" Emma asked him, her eyes wide.


"I have no idea, Em. But we could try to make the structure out of steel wool. That could work," he said thoughtfully.

Adam loved working on projects with the kids – it was one thing that they counted on him for more than Maggie because he was good with his hands.

"We can do it this weekend?" Emma asked.

"Yes, of course we can," Adam said.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

While they ate, Adam noticed that it had begun to rain. There was the soft pitter-patter of the rain on the roof – something Adam had loved falling asleep to as a child. He found comfort in the repetitive sound.

He turned the radio up so they could listen to the music while eating. The conversation seemed to have died down as they emptied their bowls.


Apologies for the interruption, Folks. A voice crossed over on the radio, silencing the song playing.

Adam knew the voice – the man who read the local weather report during the radio's news hour.

"Why did the music stop?" Charlie asked, tapping his fingers against the table.

"Let's find out," Adam said, increasing the volume.

A severe weather warning is coming into effect for the next few hours. Local reports show no indication of how long it will last. Residents are advised to seek shelter immediately. Close and board up windows. Stay low. Do not leave your homes. This is not a drill.

And as if right on cue, the rain began to fall harder than before.

Maggie's eyes met Adam's. And he knew that she was thinking that their roof was not the best, and neither of them was sure if it would stand a major storm – or at least the type of storm the weatherman warned them about.

"Dad, what's happening?" Emma asked, looking from Maggie to Adam.

"There's a storm warning, Em," Maggie said. "But it's okay, at least we've heard the warning now, so we can prepare."


"Dad, the man is talking again," Charlie said, pointing to the radio.

I repeat. A tornado warning is in effect in the surrounding areas, and from the look of it, we are in the middle of it all. Take cover immediately. Stay indoors. Do not go outside. Keep windows closed shut. This is a dangerous and unpredictable situation, folks. A storm of this magnetite has not been recorded in the town's recent history. So, one more time – take shelter. And be safe. Keep tuned for further updates.

"Okay," Adam said. "I want everyone to finish their dinner, and then we're going to talk about the storm in the lounge, okay?"

"A family meeting?" Emma asked.

"Yes, honey."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


Adam went to the window in the kitchen corner and pulled the curtain back. The clouds were heavy and thick, a deep grey blanketing the sky. The rain fell harder against the window.

"At least my head predicted this one," Maggie said, carrying the children's bowls to the sink.

Adam smiled.

"Are you worried?" she asked.

"A bit," he said. "It's the roof that worries me most."

"We'll be fine. We just need to keep the children calm, and then we'll be calm."

Adam nodded.

"Yes, I think so too. But I need to think of a backup plan. A basement would have been the most ideal thing for us."

"Honey, we've got to make do with what we have, not what we wish we could have," Maggie said, washing the dishes.

"You're right. We cannot dwell on that," Adam said. His ankle throbbed with the pain from earlier, but he wanted to see to the children and the house before he put his foot into a bucket of warm salty water to soothe his ankle.


He pulled back the curtain again and looked outside. The rain was falling harder than it had a few minutes ago.

"Okay, family meeting," Adam said, entering the lounge and sitting on the couch beside his children.

"What do we do now?" Emma asked him.

"We're going to sleep in our clothes tonight, okay? Not our pajamas."

"Why?" Charlie asked.

"Because you heard the weatherman, we've got to be ready or anything and everything," he said. "If we're in our clothes, we just need to put on shoes and leave."

"So, we'll be quicker?" Emma asked.

"Exactly," Maggie said from behind the couch. "And warmer."

Adam hadn't noticed it by then, but the temperature had dropped significantly since he came home from work.

Adam nodded.

"Yes, we need you to be warm and dry," he said.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


A few hours later, Maggie and Adam had gotten the children into their most comfortable but warm clothes and were asleep in their bedroom. Maggie wanted the whole family to sleep in one room.

"So, we won't be sleeping in our room tonight?" Emma asked, picking up her teddy.

"No, but it's only because of the storm," Maggie said as she packed extra clothes into the children's backpacks.

"And now we're packing extra clothes, just in case," Maggie continued.

"In case we need to run away?" Charlie asked.

"No," Maggie laughed. "Just in case we need to go somewhere else for shelter."


Adam walked around the silent house, trying to assess the situation. The power had gone out a while ago, so he used his old, reliable flashlight. He was grateful for the fact that Maggie was asleep with the children as well. The lightning had started, and he just didn't want to risk anything – he wasn't sure how they would handle Maggie having a seizure.

When the wind began picking up, Adam knew the children were not okay. Charlie had been visibly shaken, and Emma kept carrying her teddy around – something she only did when stressed about something.


Adam checked the bathroom – besides the wind being the loudest in the bathroom, everything seemed to be in order. He went to the kitchen and living room. They overlapped because the house was so small. Adam could hear the wind getting stronger and more forceful.

He wondered what Maggie's garden looked like. There was no way that her vegetables would have survived the storm so far.

As Adam stepped into the children's bedroom, he could hear dripping. He ran his flashlight across the floor, only to reveal a spreading pool of water, with drops falling steadily from the ceiling. Adam's heart dropped.

He quickly scanned the room, locating the source of the leak – a damp spot on the ceiling, which seemed to be expanding as the storm intensified once again.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels


"Damn it," he muttered under his breath, with his frustration etching worry lines across his forehead.

Adam went into the bathroom quickly, putting a bucket directly beneath the leak, hoping to try to contain the growing puddle. He sighed, trying to find a solution to the problem, which could only get worse as the hours dragged on.

He walked to his bedroom and shook Maggie awake as quietly as possible. The children were still safe, dry, and sound asleep.

"What's wrong?" Maggie whispered.

"Come with me," he whispered back.

Adam showed Maggie the leak when they got to the children's bedroom.

"Look," he said, shining the flashlight.

"Oh, my," Maggie said. "We have to get out, right?"

"Wait here," Adam told her.

He went to the kitchen and grabbed the broom from its spot next to the sink.

"You're not actually going to stab at the ceiling?" Maggie asked.


"I'm going to try and feel out the situation," he said.

Adam reached for the ceiling with the broom – he needed to try and do something.

But when the broom hit the ceiling, more water began to fall – and it was a steady flow.

"Adam, the roof is going to cave in!" Maggie said.

"I know. But I can't do anything to fix it," Adam said. "All my tools are stuck in the trailer. We would need a tarp and maybe some duct tape, but I don't know if it would hold in his storm. Can you hear the wind?"

"Adam," Maggie said, her eyes wide. "The trailer!"

Adam understood. He nodded.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


"Yes! I don't know why I didn't think about it myself. I'll go clear it out."

"Let me come, I'll help you."

"No, honey. You stay here. Try to get some food together, anything that will last long term. We have some tinned goods and packets of crisps and biscuits. If you can store some water, then do that. Move quickly and quietly, Mags. We'll only wake the kids when it is time to move."

"Are you sure? Because I can help you, we can come back inside and sort the food out."

"Maggie," he said urgently. "The roof may cave in at any moment. We cannot be slow about this."

She nodded as Adam moved to the lounge. He bent down to put his boots on – he knew his ankle was swollen when he struggled to put his foot in and lace it up. But he had no time to think about it.

He just had to move. His children needed to be safe.


Adam opened the door, which flung itself onto him with the force of the wind, and the rain swiftly followed, spraying the entire kitchen.


He hastily put on a raincoat because he couldn't afford his clothes to get wetter, then ran out.

The wind howled around him as he fumbled for the trailer's keys in his pocket, the rain stinging his face as he struggled to unlock the rusty door. The moment Adam pulled the trailer door open, he got into it quickly and closed it behind him – he didn't want to get more water into the trailer.

The trailer was told and run down and was given to Adam by a friend who had moved to another town and had no need for it. Adam had wanted to spruce it up and get it ready for the road, where he would take the kids for long drives and weekends away when the weather was perfect and called for it.

But when he finally checked the trailer out, he found that the engine needed to be replaced, among other things – all of which would cost two months' worth of work.

When he realized he could not afford to sort the trailer out, it became a place to put his work tools and other random things, from a box of old pots to Maggie's grandmother's clothes to a set of suitcases that neither remembered as their own.

Inside, he pulled the cord on the dim light, revealing the amount of clutter, a maze of forgotten projects and dusty equipment. Adam quickly assessed the trailer's contents, mentally calculating what could be moved to make room for his family.


For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

He picked up his toolbox and saw the dust all along it. He saw the mold building up along the side of the trailer, next to the bathroom cubicle–a cubicle he had never used.

How am I going to bring the kids into this, he thought.

The sound of the rain drumming on the thin roof intensified his anxiety. He began to shuffle boxes and rearrange his tools, trying to clear space.

"No," he said aloud. "This isn't going to work."

Adam grabbed the boxes and threw them outside. He didn't care what was inside them or about them getting damaged in the storm. He continued to declutter the trailer – throwing things out as he went.


The kids are more important than all this, he thought.

Adam pulled the sheets off the mattresses and put them onto the floor at the trailer's door. He wanted to soak up as much of the water that had gotten in. He continued until the only thing left in the trailer was his raincoat, which he had thrown out and flung over the driver's seat.


Maggie had packed all the necessities and stood by the window watching Adam clear out the trailer. At first, he spent some time in the trailer, and Maggie wondered what he was doing. But then the door flung open, and Adam began throwing things out of the trailer onto the rain-soaked ground.

She could see the look on his face – the silent determination stretched across his features, and the rain and sweat drenched him. Maggie also knew that he was in pain, his ankle had been swollen when he had gotten home, and she couldn't imagine how much worse it would have gotten in all of Adam's movement.

She packed the last of the snacks they had reserved for the children's lunchboxes – Adam was always adamant that, regardless of how much money they had, Emma and Charlie would still have the best they could afford.


Maggie suddenly remembered the blue plastic crate that held Charlie's toys. She knew that if she packed everything into a cardboard box, it would disintegrate when she stepped out of the house. She dumped Charlie's toys onto the sodden carpet.

The leak had become more of a gush since they had left the room. Maggie felt heavy, knowing that their childhoods in that house were over. But she couldn't dwell on it. She glanced up at the ceiling once again.

No, there is no time for this, she thought as she picked up the crate again and walked out.

Maggie transferred everything to the crate and then stood, looking out the window and waiting for Adam to come in.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


"Maggie, grab some sheets," he said when he returned inside. "I've pulled the sheets off the mattress in the trailer so the kids can sleep there awhile."

"Will do," Maggie said. "Give me a minute, and then we can wake them up and move. The leak has become really bad."

"Did you pack anything for us?" Adam asked.

"No. Other than food, nothing. Should I pack for us?" she asked.

"There's no time, Mags," he said. "Let's just get the kids out of here."


"Come on, Sweetheart," Maggie told Emma, waking her up.

"Is it morning yet?" Charlie asked them, rubbing his eyes.

"No, but we're going to the trailer now," Adam said.

Adam bundled Emma up, wrapping her in the duvet.

"I've got Emma," he said to Maggie. "Can you take Charlie, or should I take Emma and come back?"

"No, I'll bring Charlie along. Let's just do this one time."


Adam nodded. The house had begun to creak and groan. And the water was only falling harder in the children's bedroom.

"Let's go."


Adam held tightly onto Emma. He tried to shield her from the rain, but it came down from every direction. As he approached the trailer, with Maggie right behind him, Charlie was wrapped in a blanket, his head hidden beneath Maggie's wet hair.

Adam swung the door open and let Emma down while he stood in the rain, waiting for Maggie to enter with Charlie. He tried to shield them from the wind as much as possible.

Then, he ran back to the house to get the crate. He walked around the small house, taking everything in. If he was being honest with himself, there was no way the roof would survive another heavy wind.

And if the tornado, which was scheduled to run through their town, did eventually come through – then there was no way the house would remain standing.

You've done well by us, he said to the house in his mind.

Then, he went back to his and Maggie's bedroom and pulled a few towels from the cupboard. He packed them into a plastic bag to keep them from getting wet. As an afterthought, he grabbed a pair of track pants for himself, and Maggie's pajamas were already in the clean laundry basket next to the bed. He stuffed them into the crate and then ran outside.


For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

Maggie put the clean sheets onto the mattress in the trailer while waiting for Adam. Both Emma and Charlie were standing with their noses pressed to the windows, their breath fogging up the window as they exhaled.

"Come here," she called them.

"When Dad comes," Emma said, pouting.

Maggie couldn't blame them. Although the house was just across the lawn, having been in the wind and rain had made them realize the severity of the situation.

"Dad's being too long," Charlie said, wiping the glass.

"There he is!" Emma said, jumping up and down on the spot.


"Let me open the door for Dad," Maggie said.

The children moved aside and let her through.

She opened the door as a gust of wind ran through the trailer.

Adam got in, shaking the rain out of his eyes and hair.


"The storm is picking up again," he said.

Adam put the crate onto the unstable table and removed his raincoat.

He saw Emma and Charlie huddled close together, leaning on the mattress.

"It's okay," he said. "We're safe in here. Take off your shoes and make yourselves comfortable. We're going to sleep here tonight."

Adam helped Charlie remove his boots while Maggie used a towel to dry Emma's hair.

Maggie caught his eye and smiled.

Adam put Charlie onto the bed and pulled the blanket around him.

"Are you okay?" Adam asked him.


Charlie nodded. His eyes were droopy with sleep.

Adam sat next to him, taking in the smell of the dampness mingled with the scent of motor oil and aged leather from the seats. It was not ideal, and the threat of the mold stressed him out. He hated that he was exposing his children to these hazardous conditions.

But there was no other choice, he thought to himself. It was this, or we would have stayed in a house with the roof about to collapse.

Adam needed to remove his boots, but his ankle was so sore that he couldn't imagine doing it.

"I'll do it, just hold on a minute," Maggie told him.

"Okay," he said. He needed her touch. It was the one thing that would calm him down during this entire thing.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


Maggie knew Adam was in pain when he allowed her to remove his boots. She wanted to help him more than just simply taking his boots off. She wanted to give him painkillers and apply a soothing ointment or something that would take away the pain.

But there was nothing she could do now. There was nothing any of them could do.

She knelt before him after putting Emma to bed next to Charlie. She gently took off his boot, watching him wince in the process.

"I'm sorry," she said.

"It's okay," Adam said. "I just need to keep it up for the night."


Hours passed, and the children were finally sleeping properly. The mix of fear and exhaustion had wiped their adrenaline completely. Adam glanced at them. They were safe while the rain steadily beat down around them.

"Do you think the storm will let up soon?" Maggie asked as she took the food from the crate and set it on the table.

"I don't know," Adam said. "And now, it's difficult without the radio to give us any updates."



Adam awoke with the sound of the wind howling through the trailer. It was so heavy that the trailer shook as well. Maggie was wrapped around both the children on the tiny mattress.

He pulled the curtain aside and looked at the house as the wind took over.

Before his eyes, he saw the roof cave in.

Just like that, he thought.

Adam wanted to wake Maggie up, but there was no way that she could move without waking Emma and Charlie.

Instead, he sat there and watched the house that had been their home for years. He watched the roof give in, and the rain take over. He saw a sheet fly high with the force of the wind. He tried to see what Maggie's vegetable patch looked like, but he couldn't see much due to the wind and the heavy rain.

When he looked up at the house again, he saw the windows had finally given up as they succumbed to the wind blowing through the house. The green kitchen curtains flapped in the wind, too.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


Then, Adam climbed into the driver's seat, reclining it as far back as it would go, before closing his eyes. He needed to rest before the rest of the family woke up to see their home as a shell of what it had been.


The next morning, Maggie woke up first. When she realized Adam was still asleep, she turned around and closed her eyes again.


Adam finally woke up. He was exhausted from the lack of sleep and could feel his body was trying to fight a cold. It was to be expected, given his time in the rain.

He peered through the window and saw that the rain had finally let up.

"Good morning," Maggie said from the table.

"Morning," he said, moving to sit next to her.

"The roof," she said sadly.

"We'll fix it," he said too quickly.

"How? We can't afford this."

"We will manage, we always do, Mags."


Maggie opened a pack of chocolate biscuits and pushed it toward him.

"Eat," she said. "You look too pale."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

"Mommy," Emma said when Adam and Maggie opened the trailer door. "Where is the roof?"

"It was the storm, honey," Adam said.

"Adam, what's that?" Maggie asked, pointing to a pile of boxes that were sitting right next to the trailer door, covered in a tarp.

"I have no idea," he said.

Adam bent down to remove the tarp. Despite the weather of the previous night, which bled into the morning, there were rays of sunshine trying to emerge through the clouds.

Adam opened the first box and found bottles of water. The next box had a lot of edibles – all things that would last them a while. He could see children's cereal and boxed milk, too. In the final box were blankets, toothpaste, and toothbrushes, with plastic bowls, cups, and spoons.

"Someone left a bunch of supplies for us," he said.

"There's no note?" Maggie asked.

"Not that I can see," Adam said.

He took the boxes into the trailer.

"Maggie, give the children some cereal," he said.

When he went through the box of food, he found a bunch of medication that was over-the-counter medication – there were painkillers and flu-effervescent capsules.

He took two painkillers for his ankles.

"There's a note here," Maggie said.

The library was untouched by the storm. Come here when you're ready.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


Adam and Maggie took the children by the hand. They would walk to the library and see what was happening there.

"Will it be scary?" Emma asked as Maggie put her shoes on.

"Will what be scary?" Adam asked her.

"The roads and the houses? Like our house with no roof?"

"I don't know, Honey," Maggie said. "But we're all together, and the storm is over now. So, we will all be safe."


As they walked to the library, Adam noticed that that part of the storm had not really been hit that badly by the storm. It made him feel settled because they could find somewhere to stay while figuring out their housing situation.

When they got to the library, people were milling around. Inside were tables set up with different items if people needed them.

"Wow," Maggie said, looking at the setup. "I really did not expect this."

"I know," Adam agreed.

They walked inside, and it was even better. There were food stations and play corners for the children.


"Oh, Thank God!" Diane said, coming up to them and throwing her arms around Maggie.

Diane was the librarian who had taken Maggie under her wing, allowing her to read to the children who came in with their schools and help other children pick out books.

"I was so worried," Diane said. "I heard that your side of town was hit the most!"

"It was pretty bad," Maggie told her. "We stayed in the trailer until it calmed down. But we saw that most of our roof had caved in this morning."

"Oh no!" Diane exclaimed, clutching Maggie's hand.

"I'm going to take the kids to the play area," Adam told them and took them away.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


"Adam is really stressed out by the whole thing," Maggie said.

"And rightfully so," Diane told her. "Did you get the boxes?"

"That was you?" Maggie asked, holding onto her hand tighter.

"Yes, but I asked my son to drop it off because I had to set up here," Diane explained.

"Thank you, Di," Maggie said.

Her eyes welled up. It was one thing to be strong with Adam, as they learned from each other, but it was another thing to have to be strong for the children. Now, having someone looking out for them meant that Maggie and Adam could take a moment to breathe.

They could sit back and know that their children were safe in the library, surrounded by adults and other children in the same situation. And for that, Maggie was grateful.

"Listen, I know you're probably stressed about where to go," Diane said. "But you must know that my home is open to your family. And it's not just a temporary place until you find something else. You can stay for as long as you need to, Maggie. I mean it."

Maggie nodded and pulled Diane into a hug.


"I wouldn't know how to thank you," Maggie said against Diane's hair.

"You could help me cook," Diane said, grinning. "You know I hate cooking."

Maggie laughed.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

Adam took the children to the play area, where they found other children from their school. He saw their faces light up as they ran to play in the library area that was dedicated to them.

"Sir, do you need anything?" a young woman asked him. Judging from her uniform, Adam assumed that she was a nurse.

"My ankle," Adam said. "I twisted it at work yesterday, and I've been on my feet ever since. Do you think you can look at it?"


"Of course, come with me," she said.

Adam let himself be led by the nurse to another corner of the library, which was set up with medical supplies. She lifted the leg of his track pants and examined his ankle.

"Oh, boy," she said. "This must hurt."

"Like Hell," he agreed.

After the nurse had taken care of Adam's ankle, she released him to the rest of the library with strict instructions.

"I know you want to get to your wife and children, fine. But find them and sit down," she had said.

Adam thanked her and left.

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Unsplash


When he found Maggie, she was sipping on some tea with Diane.

"Adam, Diane brought the boxes," she said.

"Diane," he said, sitting down next to them. "Thank you. But how can we repay you?"

"By staying with me until your home is sorted. My son is leaving to return to university on Monday, so I'll be alone again. So, your family will bring my home some joy."

Adam smiled and took her hand.

"Thank you," he said. "Truly."

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only. | Source: Pexels

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If you enjoyed this story - here’s another one | A dad can't stop thinking about his son's final moments, thinking he was somewhat to blame. His wife wasn't at home when their son passed, which consumed her with regret. The mourning dad couldn't shake off the feeling that there was something more he could have done. Read the full story here.

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