NOTES: I have a little note before you begin reading. First, 9/11 means a lot to me. With it comes anger, grief, etc. I could have lost family members to those terrorist attacks that day had they not passed away the year before. Also, my parents had lived just outside of New York a few years before that happened. Had God not called my family to move, we could have been affected by that horrific event. Personally, I was three months old so I don't remember much of anything but I have done research and it is a subject I know a lot about. Some stuff I need help with: can someone who knows NYC well direct me as to where people would most likely live, and go to escape 9/11. I just put random names (Manhattan and Queens) in when in reality, I have no idea where they are. As always I thank you for your comments/ reviews! -Hermione
9/11/01 12:00pm EST Manhattan
Chaos. Pure chaos. People everywhere, flooding the streets. Screaming, crying, yelling into phones. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. It felt like the world was closing in around me. The reality? The world was ending. The strongest country in the world could be gone, diminished in the next hours. The Twin Tours had fallen. It was rumored thousands were dead. And nobody knew what to do. I pushed my way through the crowd trying to figure out what to do next. Do I go home? Or try to find my family?
9/11/01 8:00am EST Manhattan
The first period bell rang. History. Wonderful. I trudged into the room, mad at my parents because I couldn’t stay home. Lucy did. That was my younger sister. She was in 8th grade and my parents practically bowed down to her. When she was four she had a major allergic reaction to nuts and latex. She was in the hospital for a week. The entire time spent in the ICU. She almost died. Since then my parents have babied her. She gets whatever she wants, whenever she wants. Today, Lucy was “feeling short of breath and Momma, I just need rest.” The truth? She had a major history test she didn’t study for the night before. My mind wandered back to class. I had taken my seat and Mrs. Hadley had said something to me. I looked up at her with a blank expression on her face. She smiled and repeated herself, “Can I use your presentation as a ___ for the class today?”
“Oh. Yes, that’s fine,” I replied. She nodded, and I handed it to her.
“Thank you dear.”
“You’re welcome.” My mood had brightened slightly but soon plummeted like a rollercoaster when three classmates walked in together. They were the “mean” girls. They were loved by the faculty and staff but hated by all students. Their names were Beatrice, Brooklyn and Emily. But everyone calls them the Bees as in Queen Bees. I like to call them the Dictator Bees. They sat down chirping a sweet hello to Mrs. Hadley and then, when her back was turned, cast judgmental looks towards me and my outfit. Today it was jeans, a t-shirt and a bomber jacket. I shrank under the gazes and focused on Mrs. Hadley. Would this day ever end?
9/11/01 12:15pm EST
I pushed my way through the crowd trying to gather my thoughts. I had to find them. Good think Lucy was home. Oh God! Lucy! What would she be thinking? Was she OK? We were only a few blocks away from the World Trade buildings! I ran in the direction of home. I stumbled and fell. I hit my head and blacked out for a minute. When I woke up, a familiar face loomed above me blocking out most of the noise. It was Jacques. But everyone called him Jacq. He had been my crush since last year. Now, amid chaos, here he was.
“Julie?” He said concern filling his beautiful emerald green eyes.
“Jacq.” I replied quietly. He stooped down and helped me sit up.
“Are you OK?”
“Umm… I think.” I replied blushing deeply. He smiled then his expression got more serious.
“What were you doing running in the direction of the Towers?” My eyes shifted to the ground studying my shoes.
“My family lives six blocks away and my sister is home sick. My Dad works in WTC 7 and my mom was shopping around there this morning.” His face fell.
“Have you heard from your sister?”
“No.” he nodded and then turned, heading in the direction of the towers.
“Where are you going?”
“To get your sister.” I ran up behind him and pulled him back.
“Jacq! It’s too dangerous.”
“No. My parents were over there too. I need to Julie.” His voice broke a little.
“Ok.” We ran towards the towers.A few people yelled at us to go back. In about 30 minutes we reached my apartment building. I looked past it. And my throat clenched. Jacq pushed me into the lobby. It was dead silent. Hank, the doorman wasn’t seated at the front desk. There was no one bustling in an out running errands. It was just me and Jacq.
We decided to take the stairs just in case and as we were climbing them I heard a crash that sounded like a bomb going off. Then I heard screams. Again, I fought back tears. Jacq must have sensed this because he grabbed my hand and pulled me faster up the stairs. Finally, we reached the 12th floor, where our apartment was.
“It’s 21B.” I said as we ran down the hall. We arrived, and I pulled my key out of my backpack. My hand shook so hard I couldn’t fit it in the keyhole. Jacq took it and unlocked the door. We hurried in.
“Lucy?” I called. No answer I tried again, “Lucy!” Nothing. I became panicked and started searching through the rooms. She wasn’t in the living room, kitchen or her room. Not in the bathroom. I opened the door to my bedroom. She was on the floor passed out.
“LUCY!” I screamed. I fell to the floor beside her and started checking her. She hadn’t done anything to herself. He face was swollen and I spotted tons of hives on her cheeks.
“Go get an EpiPen! They are on the counter in the kitchen grab two and dial 911. Jacq ran and did as I said. I leaned over Lucy and rolled her on her back. Her heart was still beating but barely. She must have come in here to use my phone, but I had no idea what she reacted too. I started chess compressions praying the whole time for Jacques to hurry up. I gave Lucy two breaths, but her chest didn’t rise. She must have had an asthma attack as well. I continued compressions until Jacq came back. He threw the EpiPen’s and I grabbed one and stabbed Lucy’s thigh with it. Then I grabbed the inhaler while Jacq took over the compressions and forced it into her mouth and gave her two puffs. No response. I took the other EpiPen and stabbed her again. This time, her eyes fluttered open. She looked at me, a terrified expression on her face.
“Lucy! Oh, thank God! What happened?” I said, “never mind, I need to call 911.”
I dialed, and the phone rang and rang and rang. ON what seemed like the hundredth ring, someone picked up.
“911 what’s your emergency?” but in a hollow, exhausted voice.
“Hello? I’ve just come home, and my sister had a sever allergy attack and an asthma attack at the same time!”
“Ok honey. What’s your name?”
“Juliet Rosalia Clairmont.”
“OK. Are your parents there?”
“No. They’re….” She understood.
“OK. Have you administered epinephrine and an inhaler?”
“Yes. I used two EpiPens and an inhaler before she came too.”
“Ok. Good. Now where are you now?”
“I’m in the Hillsborough Apartment buildings. We’re about 6 blocks from the World Trade.
“I can’t send paramedics to you, but do you think she can walk? We need to get you to a hospital that isn’t overrun. And you need to leave your building. It’s not safe. “
“Alright. Do you have family in other parts of the city?”
“Yes. In Queens.”
“Good. I need you to go there. See if she can walk or if you can carry her or support her. Your goal right now is to get out of there. Take extra Epipens and an inhaler. And be prepared to go slowly. Do you understand?”
“Yes ma’am. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome sweetie. I hope you get there safely.”
“Alright, goodbye. I’ll be praying for you.”
“Thank you. Goodbye.” I set the phone down and we gathered Lucy to her feet. With that began our journey across New York City. Once, one of the most active and flourishing cities of the world, it was now left in decay, ruin and grief.