Fallen Towers

Litzy Perez, Guest Writer

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“Would you like some water?” The faint voice rang as I fluttered my eyes open.

 It’s 6 in the morning! Why would I want water? As I tried to make out the words, “No thank you,” I realized that my mouth and lips had become dry, so I softly nodded yes. The kind nurse then made her way toward my bed with a cup of water. I violently gulped it, savoring every last drop. The nurse glanced at me with a very surprised look. ¨Thank you,” I said with much more ease. A faint smile appeared on her face upon hearing my words.

“That’s what I’m here for,” she said happily.

September 10, 2001, Monday morning at Bellevue Hospital Center and I wanted to jump out of my hospital bed and back out into the city. The doctor believed that I needed at least a few more days before I was fully healed from my car accident, involving a drunk driver. OHH! It makes me so mad just thinking about it. The car crash happened about two weeks ago. My lung had collapsed, and I had surgery to insert a plaque on my left radius. I couldn’t wait to see my family Anya, my 6-year-old sister, had been living with our aunt Serena. My brother, Stephen, the 23-year-old, had a job at the World Trade Center in the south building as an engineer.

Considering our parents died a year after Anya was born, our childhood mostly sucked. Until our aunt Serena was kind enough to invite us into her home. After two years, Stephen decided that he no longer wanted to live with us, but wanted to earn a living and help Aunt Serena.

After reminiscing, I finally picked myself out of bed and made my way to the bathroom in need of a shower. I was still drowsy and hoped a steaming hot shower would wake me up. By the time I got out of the shower, Jake, my childhood best friend, had made himself at home on my hospital bed.

“You ready to get out?”

“Of course,” I said eagerly.

The TV rang loud in the background, “According to some estimates we (The Pentagon) cannot track 2.3 trillion dollars in transactions.”

We immediately focused our attention at the CBS News Channel. We looked very surprised at what Donald Rumsfeld had admitted, not thinking much of it.

***

“Ahh!” I heard Jake behind me as his pounding feet brought him closer to me. He’s not gonna win this one. I began to quicken my pace. I swooshed through the halls of the hospital. The nurses yelled at my decision to run in a hospital. As I laughed and spared a quick glance behind me, Jake had disappeared, gone like the wind.  SWISHH. a nurse got a hold of me with an angry face.

“Don’t ever do that again or there will be great consequences.” His face burned beet red after having to run after me.

“Sorry.” It was all I could mutter. I’m not sorry, that was the most fun I’ve had in awhile. I began to walk toward the cafeteria doors when Jake’s face popped out from behind the door.

“Hey there, slowpoke. What took you so long?” He said with pride.

“How did you get here so fast? You were behind me the entire time.”

“Well, if you had been paying attention. You would’ve noticed the elevator that takes you straight to the cafeteria.”

I rolled my eyes at his expense. Where is the pizza? Where is it? Nope, I definitely do not want any of that, I thought as I glanced at the slop-filled cafeteria serving trays. AHH, there it is. I began to speed walk towards the delicious delight that pizza is. We quickly grabbed as many slices of pizza that we could and made our way to the roof. After eating, I decided to lay down and look at the skies above. We weren’t supposed to be up here, but I just needed an escape. The dark abyss that is the night and little by little I saw less and less. Until my eyes finally fell shut.

***

DINGGG. “Owwww!” yelled Jake in pain. My eyes flung open and my heart almost jumped out of my chest.

“What happened? Oh no we fell asleep up here. I need to get back into my room before they realize I’m gone.” That honestly wouldn’t be the worst thing. We quickly gathered everything together and made our way back into the building. ¨Wait!¨ I found myself whispering to Jake. ¨There’s a guard out there, let’s wait until he leaves.¨His facial expression let me know that he had acknowledged what I had said. Okay, now. I waved him over. We threw our stuff into a supply closet so that we wouldn’t look as suspicious. I made my way back into my room and Jake left. Good. just before my 6 A.M. water wake-up call. I fell back into a nice slumber.

BOOOM

I quickly wake up with no knowledge of where the sound came from, it was about 20 minutes before 9 ó clock. “Hello? Is anybody there? A nurse?” I yell with confusion.

“Hey, everything is going to be alright,” the nurse didn’t seem too sure about what she was telling me. As she left I got up and changed into some jeans and a shirt. I slide over to my door to peer into the silent hall. I make my way down the corridor and immediately stop.

“Oh no! It can’t be!” Said one voice.

“How can it be? So many people! Husbands, wives, and even children!” Said another

As I peered closer into the nurses’ workroom, I realized what they had been talking about, the North Tower at the World Trade Center has been hit by an aircraft. Feelings began to flood my body. No, Stephen works there! My mind began to wander. What if, just what if I escaped today? I have to help someone, I have to find my brother.

As all the staff had made their way into offices and supply rooms in order to figure out the circumstances, I decided that now was the best time. I quickly ran towards the service elevator using the key that Jake and I had stolen off of a nurse yesterday. The elevator opened up, and I hopped in. My adrenaline was practically bouncing off the walls. Once the elevator opened up, I sneaked through the halls making sure I would not be seen.

CLUNK

Oh no, what is that? My eyes flickered. As the janitor left, I sprinted towards the door that was left ajar for only a few seconds. I slid through the opening and out into the world. Finally! I tried to call my brother, but there was no answer. I went onto the street and began calling for a cab. After three minutes of waving them over, one finally came. I got in and had them take me immediately to the towers.

“No. I will not take you toward the danger! Are you crazy?” He snapped at me.

“Please! My brother is there. Can you try to take me close.” I said anxiously.

“Okay, I will try my best.”

“Okay, that’s perfect just be quick please,” I responded anxiously. The cab was moving very slow, but I wanted to get closer. We were about two miles away from the towers. It had been about 15 minutes, and I was getting antsy.

BOOM. This time it was the South tower, and I saw it. It’s middle floors had been obliterated from a plane. NO! It can’t be! I jumped from the cab and made a run for it. The sharp wind cut through my hair as the sky thickened with ash. I had the towers in sight and I got closer and closer, one foot in front of the other. I finally got to the scene. Due to all the commotion, I was able to sneak through. The thick smoke and ash made its way to my throat, I could barely breathe. Maybe this isn’t as good of an idea as I thought. I began to run across the rubble toward the building, slowing my pace due to the multitudes of people pushing me back, in hopes of getting to safety.

“Ahhh,” a voice yelled.

That sounds like a child! Sure enough, as I got closer to the voice it was a little boy. The boy’s body was stuck beneath a heavy piece of metal. I feared that if I moved the metal, he might have internal bleeding that had been stopped by the weight. I yelled out for help in hopes that someone would hear me.

“Hey, yell louder so I can follow your voice,” someone called out.

A hand grabbed my shoulder. I told him about the boy, and he decided that it was better for us to give him a better chance of survival rather than let him die under the chunk of metal. I tried to put in as much strength as I could. The man who helped me saved the boy did most of the work, but I did the best I could. I told him to carry the boy to the nearest ambulance. He nodded and thanked me for calling him over. The boy drowned in tears of pain, but throughout it all, he was able to crack a smile of gratitude. As I started back towards the building I hear “Octavia! Octavia! Octavia!” It was him. It was Stephen’s voice. I ran towards him with so much relief.

“Octavia what’re you doing here?! You can’t be here.” His bright green eyes flickered with anger and fear. My mind couldn’t comprehend why his anger was inflicted onto me. I wanted to help you. I needed to know that you were okay!

“I wanted to help, I couldn’t just stay in my room and occupy space needed for people with real injuries.” My voice began to shake in disbelief.

“Look I can’t have you out here in danger. I need you to go somewhere safe, I have to go do something.” His voice sounded firm and demanding.I immediately asked him what was wrong with him and he responded.

“Aunt Serena is in there.”

My curiosity disappeared and became worry. What are we going to do? This can’t be it. As my last thought left my brain the whole world became opaque and void.

 

 

Bibliography

Grim roll call of the companies located in World Trade Center” The Guardian, 18 April 2019, Web. 14 September 2001

“The Day Before 9/11: Suspicious Events of Sept. 10, 2001” 911blogger, 18 April 2019, Web. 10 September 2014.

“9/11 Timeline” History, 18 April 2019, Web. 21 June 2011

Dudley, William. The Attack On America: September 11, 2001. Greenhaven Press, 2002. Print.

Frank, Mitch. Understanding September 11th. Viking. 2002. Print.

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