Blessing In DisguisebyLansaraStar©
"Have fun at your conference!"
I waved good-bye to Professor Jones and headed home. I was excited that Wednesday I would be free from class. Mrs. Jones and Professor Dubois were leaving from Boston's Logan Airport Tuesday morning for a conference in Los Angeles. I skipped out of class ready for a crisp fall day.
Tuesday morning the phone woke me up. I reached for it, knocking my alarm clock off the nightstand.
"Star! Star! They're dead! Professor Jones is dead!"
Instantly awake I began to shiver.
"Their plane. It went into the World Trade Center. It's on the news. Turn on the TV."
I jumped out of bed and ran into the living room not even taking time to grab a robe to cover my nude body. I turned on the TV and sat in shock trembling, shivering. I watched as the second plane hit. The smoke, the fire. The TV cut to the Pentagon. Shit! My aunt works there!
I ran and got dressed and then sat in front of the TV, watching, waiting for news. I cried, thinking one of my favorite teachers was dead. My aunt, was she alive?
The phones to Washington D.C. were busy. My mom called, I kept her updated as she continued at work. The afternoon wore on, I cried as the Towers collapsed. Panicked as the Flight Number was confirmed.
The shrill ring of the phone made me jump again. I grabbed it and on a shaky breath, whispered Hello.
"Star, she's okay!"
"Professor Jones, their car had a flat, they missed the plane! They just showed up here at the College! They didn't even make it to Logan! They didn't even know!"
Again the tears cascaded. Now, if only my Aunt was okay.
I skipped class Tuesday evening, waiting, wondering. Every time the phone rang I snatched it up, fearing, yet needing to know.
The TV stayed on well into the night as I watched in horror, the news coverage. How many? How many died needlessly? I was angry. I started throwing things, uncertain. I wanted to find whoever was responsible and destroy them!
As the night gave way to day, I calmed down. I realized I hadn't eaten. Something so base was nearly impossible. I couldn't help thinking of all those people who would never eat again. The firefighters, families, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons. Despair washed over me again and I cried, I sobbed myself into sleep.
I awoke to the sound of the TV. Rubbing my eyes, I made breakfast, listening, straining to hear any news. When news of the Pentagon came back on, I rushed back into the living room, trailing jelly from my toast onto my rug. I didn't even care as I stepped in it. Still no word.
I started looking through my address book, did I know anyone else in DC? Anyone who might now? My aunt's best friend lived across from the Pentagon. I tried calling her house. No answer. I did the only thing I could do. I waited.
About 5:30 Wednesday night, I got through.
"Oh Aunt Mary! How are you? Are you okay? where are you?!"
"I'm all right. I went out for coffee. When I came back, it was burning. My office! All my co-workers. When I left they had been joking that I should give up coffee, it was only going to kill me with caffeine. It's the only reason I'm alive!"
She broke down sobbing. I could hear my aunt, my very much alive, but sorrowful aunt sobbing for her friends, her co-workers, her life. She felt guilty. I felt selfishly joyful. She was okay. I didn't realize I was crying until my tears fell onto my hands.
And I still cry, for all those who died, and all those who still live.