“Michelle, Not as Tender as Her Name.”
I had never been scared of hurricanes. Even if people say that hurricanes are one of the most terrifying natural events that occur, destroying homes and taking lives every year. I was accustomed to their route through Cuba, maybe because I have not realized the destruction they really can do. Every hurricane season, three or four passed leaving behind some major floods and some roof partial gone, but anything else.
On November 4, 2001, Hurricane Michelle was a different story. Since Hurricane Fox in 1952, Michelle was the strongest hurricane that had hit Cuba. It was the most destructive hurricane I have ever seen struck my entire home leaving behind a trial of destruction.
Everything began happening at 4:00 p.m. on that fatidical November 4 of 2001. Five hours before the hurricane arrived, we evacuated into my cousin’s house which was ten miles far from the sea. We were ten family members evacuating: my grandma and grandpa, my aunt and her husband, a cousin of mine with her two little kids, my mom, my sister, and I. No one was scared at the moment because that was a routine we would follow religiously about two or three times each year. Going to a family member’s house, wait for the storm to pass and come back home to clean the mess was the normal thing to expect. Sometimes we used that time to tell stories and enjoy the fact of reuniting. That afternoon was especially quiet, but with a weird underlying vibration waiting to explode. After the sunset, grayish clouds began to dense traveling too fast close to the ground, as if they wanted to touch ours heads. Around 8:00 p.m. the first gusts of wind and a heavy rain began to trickle out from the sky. Half hour after, the government cut the power and the water service off. The night was so deeply dark that we can hardly see each other’s faces; however, the noise that came from outside was so strong that for the first time we started...