That Fateful Day

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That Fateful Day
I remember that day, long ago from my childhood. It was warm the night before, nearly 80 degrees, so I had left my window open. The morning winds where rushing through my school work on the desk. Black and white squiggles on seven pieces of paper, every one of them part of an accumulation of the last two weeks of homework. I needed them to get any kind of decent grade in my first weeks of the fourth grade.

“It’s Tuesday today dad.” I said tentatively to my father. He just stood there in the living room, not really looking at the television. “I know” he said in reply without any hesitation. “Aren’t you usually at work on Tuesdays?” For nearly a minute he just stood there, not saying a word. “Yes” he said, “I usually am at work on Tuesdays. But today is different.” Not knowing what he meant I said to him, “how?”

I can’t remember much between that moment of me asking how, and him finally stopping to try for an explanation. After what seemed an eternity, he finally un-muted the television. There in the center of the screen where two skyscrapers, one of them was burning and had smoke coming off of it. There was no one talking on the news, but they were replaying a clip of the tower before it was smoking. The exact moment when the plane hit the building, I knew what was happening.

“Dad, do I still have to go to school today?” I asked in as solemnly as I could. “Yes, you still have to go to school.” The moment after my father said this the news woman began to talk again. On the screen there was an explosion of smoke and fire from the second building. I stopped hearing what the reporter said and just stared at the screen. I never thought that I would ever see anything like that in my life. This was the kind of stuff that happened in the movies, not in real life.

“It’s 7:35” I remember someone saying, “the bus is late.” “No shit” my sister said. We were all waiting for the bus. My sister was in tenth grade, and she had a serious attitude....
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