It was only four days before I was going to be taking all my stuff with me and moving up to San Luis Obispo. New town, new school, new friends...new life. I was so excited thinking that this, this was the answer for all the aching I had inside. A re-start.
The phone rang early in the morning. I could hear my step-brother yelling for my step-mom to turn on the television. Grandma was on the phone and wanted us to turn on the t.v. It was about 6:30 in the morning. Since I was now awake, I was curious. Was someone we knew on t.v.? Instead, I turned it on to find the most devastating scene I have ever watched in my life. Two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center's tallest buildings. Smoke was pouring out of the buildings. You could feel the fear as the world realized that we had been attacked. I remember sitting on the edge of my bed in utter shock and silence. In a short time, more news came in that a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon. I couldn't move. My eyes were glued to the t.v. hoping it wasn't true. I don't remember much except that I couldn't stop watching. And right before my eyes, the towers fell. I remember disbelief. I remember deep, deep sadness. I remember fear.
Somehow, I managed to get ready for work, which started that day at Target, one of my last days there, at 9am. Everyone was so quiet. Work seemed pointless that day, not many people came out to shop. We had a television set up in the break room so we could watch. Co-workers expressed concern about not knowing if their loved ones were safe or not. I didn't personally know anyone in danger, but the impact was hard nevertheless. I don't remember that evening, except I imagine that I spent it glued to the t.v. eager for answers as to WHY this happened to us.
As the answers came, the satisfaction of knowing never followed. The last few days with my family were a blur of emotion. I had a caravan of friends and family on the day I moved up to San Luis Obispo, now a place I lovingly call home. As my dad and brother left, I read the card my dad wrote and wept. It was a bittersweet time, that excitement of freedom overshadowed by the tragedy of 9/11/01. I realized how much my family meant to me, and how that freedom didn't seem to be so worth it anymore. We all began to put our feet forward as a nation, and still stand strong...but that day will forever mark us. I know I will never forget.