On Sunday morning when I woke up I saw an unread message from Justin, one of my friends from back home. The message read, “Hey Morgan, I’m up just checking on you! I saw in the news where a big earthquake just hit about a hundred miles from you! My heart dropped when I saw there was a big earthquake in Italy just now! Message me and let me know your okay.” Immediately I messaged him back letting him know that I was fine and that I did not even feel the earthquake. Curious about everything, I googled earthquake in Italy and all of these results started to show up.
One headline read, “Earthquake strikes Italy near Bologna.” When I read the words near Bologna, my heart dropped. Bologna is where my roommate Stephanie traveled alone to this past weekend to visit her friend. Since we are in another country I do not have my phone so there was no way I could call her. I ran to my other friends rooms who are also American to see if they could call her. Luckily, Hannah has a phone, so I asked her to call Stephanie. As Hannah pulled out her phone she had a unread message from Stephanie that said, “Hey guys, are you all okay?” After reading that I already felt better because that meant Stephanie was okay or she would not of texted us. Hannah texted her back saying that we are fine and that we hoped she was too.
Later on that evening around 8:00 PM I was starting to worry when or even if Stephanie was going to come home that night. This earthquake was a very big and where Steph was at, was very chaotic. Since it was so big, I knew that all of the trains would either be delayed or just not running, depending on how much it affected the tracks. We then texted her to see what time she was going to come home and if she wanted us to meet her at the metro. The metro is about a 15 minute walk from our apartment and I did not want her walking in the dark that late by herself. Before she replied back, I told Hannah that I knew Stephanie would text back and say, “No, I think I will be alright by myself.” When she replied back, I was right!! Hannah texted back and said, “Stephanie, we are going to meet you at the metro so tell us what time you will arrive.” She didn’t argue with us and just told us around 12:00.
The walk to get Stephanie was not the most enjoyable one. We walked in the rain at 11:30 and it was cold. We did not care though, we just wanted our Steph back safe and sound. On the way there, the rain continued to get worse and started to make HUGE puddles. While I was walking on the side walk, a speeding car drove by and guess what happened.. It splashed water ALL over me!! I couldn’t help but laugh because it was the only thing to do. I just needed to stay positive.
When we finally got to the metro, we waited about 10 minutes before we saw Stephanie walking up the stairs. Ashley, Aubrey, Hannah, Laura and I all started shouting and waving our hands. We were acting as if we had not seen her in years but we were just so happy that she was finally back. Stephanie gave us a group hug and started to cry. Since Thursday, this was the first time Stephanie felt comfortable and safe. You could tell she had been through a lot in just the past 24 hours but we told her that she was okay now and that it was all over. On the walk back home, Stephanie told us the whole story about the earthquake and how it felt. I can not imagine going through a tragic natural disaster by myself but she did. Stephanie is such a brave, strong, independent young lady and I admire her for that.