Author: Holli-chan PM
"Matt couldn't quite explain why he wanted to come to New York on such a day. Nothing had changed but the mere presence of the buildings' disappearance." Dedication to all 9/11 victim spouses. Matt POVRated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy - Words: 1,067 - Reviews: 9 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 1 - Published: 09-11-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6316096
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Dedicated to the approximately 1,609 people who lost their lover to the attacks on 9/11. / 3
The morning was September 11th. Better known as 9/11. But it wasn't the day of the tragedy - it was simply yet another day in another year in another month in a list of seemingly endless weeks and hours. But still, it was 9/11, and though it had been nearly nine years since the twin towers fell, there was still a strange numbness that could be felt throughout New York.
Matt couldn't quite explain why he wanted to come to New York on such a day. Nothing had changed but the mere presence of the buildings' disappearance. Sure, there were still ceremonies and mourning-fests and pity-parties being held all around the city and in nearly every school in the country. But the sun still shone bright in the sky, and it was unusually warm for a September afternoon, but not so warm that Matt (even in his bulky attire) broke into a sweat - a perfect kind of afternoon, really. And as he walked down the streets, people still ate and laughed through restaurant windows, people still came out of stores lugging huge bags full of unnecessary indulgences, children still chased one another around bus stops with patient parents watching on, businessmen and women still stormed through the streets in a rush to get to work, people still ignore the homeless man on the street with no food to eat, and people still don't return the smile Matt shows them as he passes by on the street. Matt doesn't know why he smiles at these people, these busy New Yorkers who, especially on a day like this, don't have time to be sharing grins and good measure. But none the less.
Matt is good at navigating New York. It's nothing if not just a more peaceful Detroit, where he grew up as a smaller child, even at the age of 6 he could navigate the D by himself despite all the dangers. Compared to that, New York was a stroll through the park.
So he walked. He walked until he reached that spot, the place he had been sitting where it happened. It wasn't too far from Ground Zero itself, but not close enough that he was in any danger. One second he had been sipping frappichino, thinking about how, if Mello had been there, he'd be chugging hot chocolate, when he noticed a plane was flying much too low.
After that, everything had been a panicked blur. People rushing around him, clusters of confused people gathering around the television, scared children sobbing, people wailing about a horrible accident, people shouting names of loved ones and 'what plane was it? What flight!' People spoke in hushed tones as the news came on, the only noise being the wails of small children who didn't understand, quiet whispers of those trying to comfort or convince, and the wail of sirens in the background. There was smoke rising into the sky through the window, but no one cared to look at that. Matt sat, silent as stone, at his table, watching the TV. Clutching his drink and not altogether caring when it spilt onto his shirt. He wasn't so much traumatized as shocked - he had witnessed worse things, heard of more terrible accidents.
Then the second plane hit, and the talk of accidents vanished. The word 'terrorist' was tossed about, passed among the wails of crying children and sobbing adults. Matt remembered watching numbly as the old couple at the table beside them held each other, a teen boy held the little sister he'd been scowling at before close to him, and a burly man wept in the corner for an ex-wife who'd been on that flight. Matt had been so young then, but he understood the pain and the panic. He understood it all.
Matt finished his frappichino just as the first tower fell to the ground.
But that day was not this one, and now Matt shook his head, dislodging the memory from his mind. It wasn't something he cared to ponder upon, especially not that day. Instead he passed by the store and flipped open his phone - he didn't want to think anymore. He wanted to go home.
The phone picked up on the first ring, and there was no hello, only a shouted, desperate hiss of, "Matt?"
"That's me," Matt mused. His voice sounded numb, cold, without much feeling. The memory still burned the back of his mind. "Can you pick me up?"
A breathy sigh echoed through the ear-piece, a static-y sound. "God, Matty, you about gave me a heart attack," the man on the other line hissed, the sound of rushed footsteps catching on the receiver, and Matt knew he was already headed for his motorcycle. "You can't just leave the hotel room on a whim like that - you've got to at least leave a note or something."
"Sorry, Mel," Matt muttered obediently, even though he really wasn't. He had needed to be alone for a while. Mello sighed, because he knew exactly why the redhead had left that day, and he couldn't help but feel horrible about it.
"I'm coming to get you right now. You at the coffee place?" Mello inquired, sounding exhausted, as if he had just scoured the entire city for him. Maybe he had. Mello wasn't ever the type to just sit around while something happened.
"Yeah," Matt confirmed, sounding a bit tired himself.
"I'm coming to get you," Mello told him, and then, without a goodbye, the line went dead. Matt closed his phone and shoved it in his pocket. As he did, he couldn't help but wonder if there would be a day that Mello wouldn't come to get him. That maybe someday, Mello wouldn't be around to be there for him.
Matt shoved the thought away. Stupid thought. He shouldn't think that way.
But then, almost 3,000 people never came back nine years ago. How many of those had partners waiting for them?
Matt closed his eyes and let the thought fester in his mind, because today there was no use in fighting them.