"Mom. We're in lockdown. I'm in the library, in the room in the middle. Someone shot their police guard, took her gun, and ran from the medical hospital in this direction. He's six foot seven, Mom."
Stunned, I didn't know what to say. I wanted to get to the school and get her out. I'm not sure I heard anything else she said.
"Are you okay? Who is with you?"
"I'm okay. I'm really hungry and I have to pee. We can't go to the bathrooms, though. Mina is with me. There were two classes that were in the library. There are five teachers with us."
"How long have you been there?"
"It's 1:00 now. I haven't heard from the school or anybody."
"It will be okay, Maddie. Let others use your phone if they want to call somebody. Call me back. I love you."
That was the first phone call I received today. The television had no reports of what was happening, so I looked on the local t.v. station websites. I found one small article. It confirmed what Madeline reported to me. I called Larry to tell him what was happening. We were still in unbelief or denial. Not sure which.
Then came the second phone call.
"Mom, we're still here. I'm so hungry."
"It's noisy. Are the other kids being loud."
"They're on their phones, too. I'm scared. We've been here so long."
"I know. I've been praying. Now is a good time to pray. Tell Father on the gunman and ask for safety."
"Okay. I'll talk to you again. I love you."
"I love you, too. It will be okay."
I had so much pent up energy, but wanted to stay home. The police did not know where the gunman was. The hospital is in between the school and our home, so I locked all the doors; prayed; did chores; prayed. Then I texted Maddie this verse: This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
The school sent out an automated call telling us the school is in lockdown, as the sheriff's department ordered. Another half hour passed. I called Maddie.
"Hi Maddie. You doing alright?"
"Yes. I want to leave. They announced that the man has a hostage over on English Street."
"It is good they know where he is. Now, you know he is not on campus."
"Yeah. I have to go. They're making an announcement. I love you."
"I love you."
The next phone call was from the school. They were releasing students and parents should come pick them up. I texted Maddie "I am on my way."
Maddie called, "Don't come to the usual pick up place. They won't let us go to that part of the campus. I'll meet you at the Dry Cleaners on Soquel."
"See you there."
I was so happy to see her walk up the street. We hugged.
"Where do you want to go? Home, or get some lunch?"
"Lunch, Mom. I'm starving. Can we go to the bakery?"
"Yes, let's go!"
We ordered lunch for Maddie, a coffee for me. She devoured her twice baked potato and iced tea. When she was telling me of the ordeal, she was wiping away tears.