Summary: On September 11, 2001, Edward was traveling on United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston to New York and Bella worked in the South Tower of the WTC. Will they be able to survive our nation's greatest tragedy?
A/N: My goal with this story is to stay true as much as possible to what really happen on 9/11, although there will be changes here and there to some facts. For example, Flight 175 was not heading to JFK but to Los Angeles. For story purposes, I chose New York.
My heart goes out to the men and women who lost their lives that day and to the people they left behind…
All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
I would like to thank Project Team Beta from Twilighted for their support! This story would be nothing without them.
Summary: On September 11, 2001, Edward was traveling on United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston to New York and Bella worked in the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Will they be able to survive our nation's greatest tragedy?
September 11, 2001
The smell of smoke assaulted me as I slowly woke from an unconscious blackness to a nightmare. I squeezed my eyelids tight as my head throbbed uncontrollably. Dust clogged my airway as I tried to catch my breath. What had happened? Why am I on the floor?
Before my eyes could fully adjust, a scorching pain spread across my back. It took me a second to realize I was on fire! Instinctively I began to roll back and forth, in an attempt to distinguish the flames. Debris was blocking me on both sides, limiting the amount of space I had to move. As my eyes further adapted to the scene around me, I realized that it wasn't debris blocking me, but two lifeless, broken bodies.
A shrill scream escaped from my mouth as I sat up and looked around. Ignoring my aching body, I staggered to my feet. To my horror, I realized they weren't just bodies, they were my coworkers. Some were crumbled on the floor at an unnatural angle. I squinted my eyes trying to see through the haze of smoke, I saw Marianne, the girl who works in the cubicle next to me, who appeared to be fine. Marianne is alive! My heart felt relieved as I scrambled to get to her. "Marianne! Marianne! Can you hear me?" When I was almost to her, I tripped over an arm laying on the floor and landed next to Marianne. Lifting my head off the ground I expected to see her looking at me, but that was not the case. Marianne's eyes were closed and she looked like a sleeping angel except a filing cabinet existed where her lower half should be. My heart dropped and I felt sick to my stomach. Not wanting to see anymore, I turned my head away and got back on my feet.
I quickly surveyed the office, my eyes widening in horror as I realize everything had been destroyed. Cubicles were toppled over and desks lay in broken pieces on the floor. The ceiling had collapsed over a significant portion of the office, leaving the area that had once been the break room and the bathrooms, unrecognizable. I looked to my right and found that the elevators doors were missing. In their place were orange flames, licking their way along the inside of the elevator shaft. I started to gag on the black smoke that was slowly filling the office and decided make my way towards the stairs.
Swiftly I maneuvered my way through the office, climbing over desks and file cabinets as if moving across a mountain terrain. Tears trailed down my face as I felt my raw, slightly burned back scream as my shirt rubbed against it. My knees began to bleed as I scraped them against several desks. The unwelcome urge to give up was rising, but I suppressed it and kept moving.
Feeling like I was going to have an asthma attack, I decided to rest for a second. I crouched low to the ground in order to breathe in cleaner air. After a minute I decided to continue. As I made my way towards the exit I could hear the noise of debris falling, the sound of the fire raging and the screams of fellow survivors. All of the screams sounded so distant, so far away. There were no screams coming from my floor. The only thing I could hear was the sound of the wind rushing by the shattered windows. Had no one else survived?
Trying to escape the fire raging behind me, I slammed my body into the door that led to the stairs. The door burst open and the force of my body propelled me into the far wall, my head plowing into the cracked drywall. Grey soot rained down, covering me like a dirty blanket. I shook my pounding head to get the soot off, and my ears started to ring loudly. I noticed a trickling of warm wetness coming down my face. I stopped and put my hand on my forehead. I flipped my hand over and it was covered in blood. I squeezed my eyes shut, wanting the world to stop spinning for just a minute. The blood continued to come in unyielding waves from my forehead, despite my efforts of putting pressure on the wound.
Noticing there was a railing above me, I grabbed it and struggled to pull myself up. A shocking pain shot up my leg and I fell face first, tumbling down one flight of stairs and slammed into a wall. It knocked the wind out of me and I gasped for air.
I started to scream as my lungs recovered, made an effort to use my right elbow to sit up. It was useless. I howled in agony because my arm felt like it was broken in two. Sliding back on the floor in defeat, I began to sob as I realized that I wasn't going to make it out alive. Is this really how my life is going to end?
Suddenly on the stairs above me I heard what sounded like footsteps coming closer. "Help me," I groaned, with the last bit of energy I had. The footsteps paused with a slight hesitation before continuing.
A person appeared in the stairwell over me, and he froze. It was as if he didn't know how to proceed. Finally he cautiously approached me, and he looked to be uninjured. He had dark soot covering his face and grey dust all over his clothing, but there was no blood. There was nothing to indicate injury at all. How could that be?
He bent down and the fluorescent light behind him glowed. It was as if he was coming down from heaven. Is this the angel of death or my savior? As I felt his sturdy arms reach beneath me, I willed my eyes to open to look into the face of my angel as my whole world fades into a tunnel of darkness.