Michael continued watching some obnoxious cartoon and I shoved Kate's suitcase off of the bed. There were two double beds in the room, and we had already agreed to let the kids decide who slept where as a kind of peace offering to them not to hate us for splitting them up.
We would tell them that when the girls got back.
I gritted my teeth to keep from shouting. What the hell had I done?
In that twenty seconds where I was looking right into her eyes, I could see Katie was hating herself for giving me the silent treatment. They shone the way she did when she was about to cry.
I could have done anything - anything - else to comfort her. I knew that if had hugged her, she would have given in. She probably would have even burst into tears. And forgiven me. And I would have forgiven her. If I'd just hugged her.
But I didn't.
Instead I just gave her a steely stare and now I felt worse than I did before.
I looked over at Michael to see he had fallen asleep on the bed. I was about to tuck him in when the floor started vibrating.
In the first few seconds, my mind told me it was a truck going by. But it kept going, and the intensity of it rose. The beds moved gradually across the room until they were jammed against the wall, and the TV fell off its stand.
The first thing I thought to do was get Mike out of there, so I picked him up as gently as I could and made a hasty exit. He didn't wake up, which I was thankful of.
Along the corridor, pictures were falling off the walls and people were standing in various states of panic and confusion.
Soon I found a small store cupboard, in which a girl of about eleven and a boy of three crouched looking scared. I stepped in with them, knelt down, and told them to stay with me.