We drove back to his aunt’s house, where much of the family had assembled. One daughter and one son still lived at home, and another had brought her husband and two children to the house. We took his another to the house he lived in with his wife and two children to pick up the rest of the family, some clothing, blankets, and their computers. His wife and children were waiting outside for us when we arrived. Though the house wasn’t in danger of collapsing, it was a night when no one wanted to sleep alone. The more people the better. Even if it meant sleeping on a kitchen floor, everyone just wanted to be with their families as the 4.0-5.5 Richter aftershocks continued.
By 4 am, I had moved to a sleeping bag in a side room, and drifted off to sleep while Alex and some of his cousins stayed awake to “keep watch.” The truth is, as exhausted as I was, I didn’t really want to sleep either. It wasn’t so much that “keeping watch” would really help anything, but the thought of waking up to another violent shaking almost kept me from drifting off. Almost.
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