No Mama, we can't leave!05 Nov, 2014 04:42 AM
So it was really gone then. I thought that we could still stay. I really wanted to stay. Mama and Daddy really wanted to stay. Even Charles, who absolutely hated this place, wanted to stay. I guess anybody would stay here in Oklahoma rather than somewhere else, where they would have to start with a new life, new farm, new everything. But we can’t stay now. We wouldn't have anywhere to live. Because our home was gone. The big, mean people crushed it into little pieces. Although I’m hoping that a miracle will happen in the next few seconds bringing our home back. I really, really hoped, but deep down I knew that the miracle was only in my dreams.
I guess that we could live at Aunt Heather’s house, but they will do the same to her house soon, if they haven’t already. It’s the same case for everybody near this place. The Dust Bowl happened, and ever since, there has been a drought, with no rain at all, and without rain, how are anybody’s crops going to survive? So nobody has any good crops to be harvested, and that means no income (Daddy uses these big words all the time). So we would not have enough money to pay all the workers for the job, and pay all our taxes(I don’t know, that’s what Daddy said to Mama). So the big, mean people (because I don’t know who or what they are I just know that they are big and mean) are breaking down everybody’s houses with giant tractors. So right now, there is nothing anybody can do, but pray and pray and pray for rain. And only the farmers who the big, mean people have not visited yet can pray. For everyone else, everything is gone already. Since there was nothing I, Daddy, or anybody can do, I just held onto Mama’s hand tightly and watched a tractor knock down our home. It wasn't that great of a home, but it was still home.
I watched Mama as a single tear rolled down her cheek. Adults don’t cry! They aren't supposed to cry. Mama always told me that I was 8 years old now, and that I was a big boy, and that big boys don’t cry. I was even more surprised when I saw tears roll down Daddy’s cheek too. Daddy can’t cry either! Daddies aren't supposed to cry, there are supposed to be big and strong. Aunt Heather told me to respect daddies because they are always strong, and because they were the “backbone” of the family. Even Marie, the little 4-year old in our family, thought so. “Daddy, don’t cry! Daddies aren't allowed to cry. Why are they breaking our house? That’s not nice. But it will be okay right? We can live in Carrie’s house!” Daddy and Mama smiled for a little. “Maybe we can, Marie. That’s a good idea.” Marie giggled childishly at the praise from Daddy. Carrie was her best friend, and of course they would let us live in their house, but I heard theirs was crushed too. She will have to know the truth someday soon. She probably figured it out the next second from Charles, though. He said, “Where do we go now? They can’t do this to us. It’s not our fault that the crops won’t grow! So we can’t do anything about it. Why don’t they understand that? So now what? Do we just live on the ground and eat dirt? Tell me Daddy, tell me! What happens now?” His voice grew from a quiet question to a loud yell as fury welled up inside him. There was no answer. It was quiet except for the loud rumbling of the tractors. There was still no answer. “Daddy, what are we going to do now? Are we going to starve?” My shy voice was much quieter than Charles’. But Daddy’s voice was even quieter when he replied with: “We will go to California.” What?! We can’t go to California! The word ‘California’ gave me a jolt. California is too far away! Much too far away for our family to travel, especially with Mama and Daddy growing older, and little Marie.
Daddy was happy here before the Dust Bowl storm. But ever since the drought that followed it, he’s been talking about moving to California and starting anew. But none of us ever thought that was actually going to happen. But now that we are in debt (Whatever that means, Daddy said it), the big, mean people are sending several tractors to knock down people’s houses, and run over the crops. I thought running over the crops was a waste of time and energy because there weren't any crops to run over. They did it anyway. They told us to be ready,and that the tractors could come by any moment. So we were prepared, and kept our most precious belonging in our tiny suitcases. We heard a loud rumbling noise this morning, and we grabbed our suitcases and rushed outside. Now we were standing outside, watching everything of ours being crushed between the ground and the tractor’s huge wheels. “Daddy, we can’t go to California! It’s too far, and it’ll take too long!” I whined, even though I knew perfectly well that there was no other option. “Then what can we do Jacob? There’s nothing left of it. Look at that mess, do you think we could still live there? No, we can’t. There’s absolutely nothing left for us here. We can’t stay here anymore!” Charles deep voice was yelling again. I looked at him for a bit, and looked back at what had once been our home. I felt a tear come out of my eye and rolled down my cheek. It was followed by a couple more. ‘No! I have to be a good, big boy. I can’t cry, big boys don’t cry!’ I was thinking in my head. ‘I have to stay strong!’ But I had to give myself an exception this time. I buried my head into Mama’s long dress, and dried my tears. She picked me up, and I buried my head into her shoulder, and cried like a little child.
When I was younger, a little bit older than Marie, I had always dreamed to be rich and own a big farm with lots of workers and servants, just like Daddy. But now, we were in debt, our taxes could not be paid, our workers were mad at us, there are no crops, there is no money, we have barely enough food, and we have no home. That’s what Daddy was saying to Mama yesterday.
I looked back to the remains of our home, as the sound of the tractor grew softer as it drove away from our area and into another unfortunate person’s farm. I looked for a couple seconds hoping for a magic trick like Daddy used to show me sometimes. Or a miracle from Heaven, like Daddy told me would happen if we were good boys. But there was nothing. Only the sound of a distant rumbling of a big, fat, meanie tractor.
So it was really gone then. All of it. My dreams, my hopes, my home. All of it was gone.