Author note- I don’t usually write short stories but today I can’t help but think of all those lives lost and those who have lost in result of 9/11. A truly horrific act in which we will all mourn for the rest of our lives.
I kissed her head as I left for work today. Her hazel eyes lost in half a daze fighting between waking up and dreaming. I smile to myself knowing she was never good with early mornings as she pulled the blanket between her arms as a temporary substitute of my company.
Her lip curled on the left side of her face as she mumbled ‘I love you’ with her last cognitive breath before drifting back to sleep.
Work was the typical day. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, printer ran out of ink, I drank coffee, made phone calls, typing away on the computer. The best part of my job was the view. Regardless of the three years I have been working here it never got old, being on the 80th floor gave me a breath-taking view of New York.
Everyday I watched as silhouetted giants soak up the rising sun rays bringing colour and definition to the sleeping city. It truly was magical witnessing the world wake up.
I often wondered about all the other people waking up to start their day. Parents taking their children to school whilst carrying bookcases and lunchboxes filled with apples, sandwiches and crisps. All those little minds growing with knowledge that will one day get to experience how wonderful this world is.
Then, the parents wave goodbye as they watched their little feet running towards those doors of endless possibilities and future dreams before heading off to work themselves. How I wanted that, to be a father.
Oblivious, that today would be the last day they ever kissed the foreheads of their loved ones. The last time they ever packed a lunch box. The last time they get to see sweet hazel eyes lost in dreaming.
There was a crash, a loud bang rang through the building with screams screeching down the halls of the people placed inside. The building trembled with fear for the collision was out of the blue. My coffee mug fell to the ground and shattered.
I feel my heart racing. I froze for what felt like an eternity. I’m searching. I don’t understand what has happened. Until, a second crash, a second shudder, a second wave of terror screams synchronous with the fire alarms.
I’m aware that there are sounds yet the blood and adrenaline coursing through my veins is the only thing muffling everything around me.
The room lit up. Amongst thick charcoal clouds I see an orange glow. An intensity brushes past my skin giving colour to my complexion. They’re running to the remains of the windows that shattered with the first collision. The exit doors are blocked with no possible route of escaping,we are forced to the back of the room.
The flames are fuelled with a bullying heat that we are defenceless against.
Time caught up, I was snapped back to the reality of a room already engulfed with a merciless inferno. I’m stood at the window waving, screaming crying. A choir of prayers sing to the crowds below us. ‘Help’ ‘Please’ ‘Save us’ We have ran out of time.
The fire whips our skin, lashing away any hopes of saviour and survival. It dances, taunting us as though it feels victorious. I look to the ground below and I know what I need to do.
I say one last prayer. One last wish, I beg a dying man will be granted. I pray that the blanket will keep her warm in cold nights. I pray that her hazel eyes will one day be capable of dreaming again. I pray that the world can one day be wonderful for all those yet to experience it.
I stand on the window-ledge, turning to my colleagues and say ‘it will be ok’. I will not let the flames claim my body, instead I give in to the relentless persistence and accept its motion of driving us out the window.
I whisper ‘I love you’ as I close my eyes and continue to fall.