Two years ago on November, I visited my great aunt in Chicago. It was excruciatingly cold outside. In fact, it was so cold, the coldness numbed my facial muscles. I couldn’t even blink my eyes. My poor old aunt was cocooned in her quilt like a moth. All of the quilts she owned, were corroded by years of excessive use. The holes in the blankets were the size of a Pomegranate. I knew it was going to be impossible for the both us to combat the coldness.
My aunt never had a heater installed in her house. She grew up on Kerosene lamps in the South. When I asked her where she stored the Kerosene oil, she told me she ran out of it. I was thrown aback by what she said. That’s was when I thought we were doomed to blizzard hell. Since we were in engulfed in coldness and cornered by the blizzard mountains, I had to make do with one of her flimsy blankets. She didn’t even have a repertoire food in her refrigerator or cupboards. All she had was, an open container of expired milk, molded bread, and a half empty bottle of water with a dead gnat floating inside. I froze in disgust and gagged.
I was so dispirited by our predicament, that the warm tears cascaded down my cheeks. It was the only thing that revived my facial muscles. I haven’t cried that much since I started my first day in school. There I was weeping like a baby who was teething. When I approached the living room area, my aunt was sleeping. She slept like a lamb but she snored like a dragon. There I was, brooding in misery and starvation while she was vacationing in dreamland. I submitted to my defeat and called it a night. I didn’t sleep well because my stomach barked, growled, and howled. My aunt never flinched a bit. She rested so peacefully, she looked like an animate object laying on her stained mattress.
The next day, we were still trapped inside with no escape route. I turned on the television and I was informed that the snow won’t cease for another day or two. I knew that my aunt and I were in for another calamitous treat. Suddenly, I stood our dilemma in the face and challenged it do a dual. That was when my survival instincts kicked in. I stormed into the kitchen, pulled out three large pots, filled them up with water, and turned on the stove. I also turned on the oven so that it could impregnate the house with its’ warmth. I told my aunt there was no food in house. She sniggled at me and said, “I hid all the food and good blankets in the cellar. I was only testing your survival skills.”