I was about 5 years old when my mom dropped me off at my first day of preschool. I had no reason to think that day was going to be any more than mundane, unfortunately I was all too wrong.
The second I was pulled out of my mom’s crimson Durango and stepped foot on St.Peter’s (a Presbyterian Church my family so happened to attend and offered preschool to the clergy,) front lawn I felt eyes starring at me but couldn’t find the culprit. My mom held my hand and walked me up the lawn towards a large ominous statue of a man with hollow eyes, a thick beard, and other uncanny human features. Of course my mom saw me cringe at the statue and she quickly calmed me by saying “Don’t worry honey, that is Saint Peter. He is kind of like a guardian angel. There’s no reason to be scared.”. Naturaully I listened to my mom, being only 5 at the time, and continued into the eerie yet astonishing church.
I wish I could say the hardest part of that traumatizing day was saying goodbye to my mom after hugging her and her whispering “Remember darling, someone is always watching over you,” but no, things escalated at a pace so fast my 5-year-old brain couldn’t quite comprehend the situation so the details are still scattered to this very day.
Following my slight temper-tantrum after watching my mom drive away I was taken to my classroom for the day by my teacher, Ms.Baltimore. She was a very short and stout lady but overall pleasant. All the other children took turns and intoduced themselves yet when it was my turn to talk my words couldn’t escape my lips. The overwhelming feeling of being watched was washing over me and I just stood in front of all the other students and proceeded to start hyperventilating. I don’t know if it was a coincidence but right as I sprinted to the bathroom and slammed the door shut, there was a peircing alarm coming from over my head.
Keep in mind I was five so I intantly began to cry and burrowed myself into the far corner of the bathroom. I remember red flashing lights coming from over the stall I was crumpled next to and managed to make myself crawl underneath the stall’s door revealing a fire alarm shrieking and strobing enough to induce an epileptic seizure. Now I have wet myself, and started for the door leading back into the classroom. I banged and sobbed at that door for what I recall feeling like an eternity (after the incident it was found that a nearby bookshelf had been knocked in front of the bathroom door due to panicked children,), only to realise that the choas on the otherside was far too hectic for me to be heard.
Smoke began to seep into the bathroom and my breathing became scarce. My heart began to slow and I was slowly being asphyxiated by the smoke. As I lost consiousness the last image I can recall is a man with a beard scooping me into his arms and carrying me out of the room.
I wake up to Ms.Baltimore standing over me on the front lawn of the church with her hand covering her gasping mouth and tears streaming down her cheeks. I was on a stretcher that paramedics were using to transfer me into the back of their ambulance. Following being placed into the van I sat up and straight in my line-of-sight was the statue of Saint Peter smiling at me with soot all down his robe. Back then I didn’t think too much into it, but now as an adult I can help but wonder if it was the statue who saved me. Don’t call me crazy, because the statue was no where near where the fire occured and all of the staff of the church claimed they couldn’t even get the bookcase trapping me in the bathroom to budge. Yet I was found in the middle of the front lawn?
I know I was saved that day if not by a human it was my guardian angel, Saint Peter.