The school day began just like any other. I was writing some schoolwork at my desk when suddenly I heard the sting of the loudspeaker startle me. A woman with a very choked-up voice began speaking. The words were jumbled and slurred to me, but from what I understood, we were going home. An emergency had occurred. We had no idea of the tragic events that had unfolded.
Parents began to arrive seemingly instantaneously. I put my pencil down and looked around at other frazzled students. My eyes latched onto my teacher’s face. It seemed to change instantly, appearing as if she lost the ability to speak after seeing a frightening sight. With a look of disbelief, she silently gathered her things frantically and then stared blankly out the window. Moments later the door swung open and students began to leave. Then it was my turn. I slowly got up and walked to the door with my Lisa Frank book bag and pink sandals, unaware of the events playing out with each step I took.
While walking in the hall, everything seemed to be moving so fast and all at once. It truly felt like a blur. The hall seemed to darken and have a completely different feel than usual and that scared me. As I walked, I glanced into each room and the other teachers. They had tears streaming down their faces, while others had their heads hung low or frantically grabbing their things to leave.
Finally, I reached the front of the school and was met by my friend and her mom, “Honey, I’m picking you up today. Your mom has to get something figured out and can’t make it here”. Those were the only words she said. We jumped into their car and off we went. As we drove away, I turned and looked out the back window. I saw that the school flag that was once flowing in the wind begin to lower.
I turned back around and stared straight ahead. The silence in the car was deafening, as my friend’s mom gripped the steering wheel tightly while her face expressed a painful but hurried look. I turned and looked out the window. As we drove through the city, flags were being lowered and people were moving at a faster pace. But little did I know, life as we knew it had forever changed and would never be the same again. While grabbing my friend's hand we sat in stunned silence. I wanted to ask what was happening but I was scared. I knew whatever it was, It was bad. It almost felt like a living nightmare. And that’s exactly what it was. I just didn’t know it yet.
We drove up the mountain where we both lived and drove past my house, I hadn’t the slightest idea as to why. Why wasn’t I going home? Where were my parents? Then we pulled up to my friend’s house, I saw her mom’s husband lowering the gigantic flag that was once flying high. We walked up the steps and into the house. We took off our shoes and ran to the family room to excitingly greet their dog. But when I looked up at the tv, I remember wondering about the strange movie that was on. Why were those people covered in chalk? And why was everyone crying? Then it hit me. This wasn’t a dream. This wasn’t a movie. This was real life! People were screaming and running around covered in blood and soot. People were calling out for their loved ones who at the time didn’t know they’d never be seen again. This was life. This was happening. This was not a dream.
My friend’s mother then came into the room and sat down, tears in her bloodshot eyes, and grabbed both of our hands. She then went on and explained what had happened. Planes had crashed into The World Trade Center towers. The moment felt like it was frozen in time. I wondered why anyone would do this. Why? Just why? She went on to explain that my dad was boarding a flight at the time and my mom was unable to reach him. So as my mom frantically tried to call him, I would wait with them until he was safely on his way home.
Time went by and we all sat in silence watching the news. I vaguely remember looking out the window overlooking the valley. I thought about how big we were up on that mountain and how small the town below looked. But at the moment I felt so small, I felt such a sadness come over me about what was happening right before my eyes.
As time progressed, there was a knock at the door. My friend’s mom nodded to me with a slight smile. My heart dropped and I ran to the door and swung it open. It was my parents with red teary eyes and their arms wide open. I jumped into their arms… But in the back of my mind I thought that while I was hugging in relief, so many others were holding on to their loved ones in sadness, mourning the lives lost on that tragic day of September 11th, 2001.
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Kjerstyna DavisWrite a Review