A/N: Since Osama Bin Laden died I've been thinking about 9/11 and I got inspired to write a story.
It was one of those mornings. One of those mornings that you just don't want to get out of bed because you know nothing good is going to happen on that day. When the alarm on my cell phones went off simultaneously we both opened our eyes and reached for our cell phones located on the nightstand beside us.
"I don't want to get up." I said.
"Neither do I." Edward answered. He sat up and threw his feet over the edge of the bed. He looked out the window, to see a perfectly blue sky. The sun had just risen, illuminating the day.
"I just feel like something is going to happen and I really don't want to be here when it does." I said.
"What do you mean?"
"I don't know. I just... I have this feeling. I can't explain it."
"Okay..." he replied and got out of bed without questioning me any further.
At 8 o'clock on the dot we both arrived at the hospital. We had dropped our 4-year-old daughter, Adrian at pre-school. Edward stepped out of the car and stood beside it, waiting for me to take my purse from the back seat. I walked toward him and took his hand. He held it firmly while we walked into the building. The sound of my heels against the tile of the hospital let everyone know that the Cullens had arrived.
After getting off the elevator onto the proper floor we went our separate ways. We began doing rounds and examining patients and before it was even 8:30 we were too busy to even remember our thoughts.
Then it happened at 8:46 am. I was in the middle of an ultrasound when I heard the crashing noise that cause both my patient and I to jump.
"I'm sorry." I said and stopped what I was doing. I walked over to the window to see the twin towers crumbling in front of her eyes and smoke rising from the ruins. "Oh my... Fuck!" I exclaimed without realizing that I was still with a patient.
"Dr. Cullen?" my patient said, sounding uncomfortable with the situation at hand. "What's going on?"
"I uh- I have to go. I'll be back as soon as I can." I answered and ran out of the room. By the time I reached the nearest nurses station it was on the news. Everyone was gathered around the TV, watching as if they were hypnotized by it. I stood in the very back of the crowd, I was only able to see the corner of the screen but I clearly heard what was being said. It was a terrorist attack and after that I couldn't hear anything more. I felt a strong arm wrap around my waist and I turned to see Edward behind me.
"What's going on here?" he asked.
"Didn't you hear that?" I replied, "Didn't you look outside?"
"I just got back from the morgue. They needed a consult on a autopsy. I haven't see or heard anything."
"There was a terrorist attack on New York. A plane crashed through the Twin Towers, Edward. I literally saw it crumble into pieces and burn."
"Cullen!" we heard someone yell. We both turned to see the chief of staff running toward us. "Two of you are on the trauma team, get your stuff, change let's go..."
"What?" I asked. "What stuff? Why do we need to change?"
"Stethoscope, gloves- stuff, Swan. Get it?"
"Actually it's Cullen." Edward corrected.
"I don't have time for this! The ambulances are waiting for you two."
"Ambulances?" I realized. "You mean we're on the dispatched trauma team. Not the trauma team in the ER."
"Yes! Change into scrubs, make sure you have your ID in site, get anything you might need and GO!"
"No.. No, no, no, no, no." Edward repeated over and over again. "Bella's not going anywhere."
"Yes, she is." he answered firmly.
"She can't sir. We weren't going to tell you until she was showing and we couldn't hide it anymore. Bella's pregnant, sir. She can't breathe all that smoke and ash, not good for her or the baby." Edward answered.
"Fine. Cullen, have it your way. Go, change."
"Thank you for understanding." Edward replied and walked toward the locker room. I ran after him. I walked into the locker room to see it filled with people, all preparing to leave. Edward stood in front of his locker, he had already taken his shirt off and was pulling the scrub top over his head.
"Edward..." I said from beside him. "You shouldn't have done that. I would have been fine."
"We're not taking the chance, Bella."
"Yes we are taking a chance, Edward. You're going. What if something happens to you? I can't raise a baby and Adrian on my own. I can barely handle Adrian as it is."
"I'm going to go, and I'm going to get Adrian, okay?" he answered. "That's why I'm going. I know this may sound horrible. I know there are people that need me, but I care about my daughter more than anyone else. I need to go find my daughter and get her here, where I know she'll be safe."
"What if something happens to you, Edward?"
"Nothing will happen to me. I'll never leave you alone."
"What if." I emphasized.
"Than I need you to know that I love you more than you can understand. And I need you to tell the baby that I loved him... or her and I need you to tell Adrian that I did this for her."
"Edward... please don't-" he cut her off.
"This conversation is over, Bella." he stated as he pulled on his scrub pants and secured his ID around his waist line. "I love you." he kissed me and left the room. I stood there, looking into his locker which he had left open. Inside I saw the clothes he had just taken off stuffed inside. I removed them to neatly fold them when I noticed something else inside the locker. The platinum band that I had slid onto his finger the day we'd gotten married. The clothes fell from my hand and I reached in and picked it up. I slipped it onto my middle finger although it was way to big for me. I glanced at my hand, my own rings glimmering against my husbands. I went into my office and placed the ring on the corner of a silver frame that encased a picture of Edward and I on the day of out wedding.
Two hours past and I still hadn't heard from him, nor had any one seen or heard of him. The ER was bursting with patients that I had the responsibility to care for but couldn't because my mind was in all the wrong places. I stood beside a gurney, a chart in my hand. Physically I was there, but mentally I was somewhere else.
"Dr. Cullen?" my patient asked, she was a teenage girl who was 28 weeks pregnant. She'd been at the public high school a few blocks from the towers.
"I'm sorry..." I snapped back into reality and looked down at the chart. "Have you had any contractions?" I read the next question of the form and continued to work as normally as I possibly could.
Every half an hour I tried to call my daughter's school but no one would answer the phone. And I'd call Edward's cell phone which would go straight to voice mail. After that, my mind would be back in the gutters, fearing the worst.
Before I knew it, the day was over. It was dark and the patients were still coming in but I couldn't take anymore. I needed to take a sleeping pill and turn off my mind. I stood in front of the chief of staff's office, my hand on the knob as it had been for the past few minutes. Finally I worked the nerve to knock and twist the knob open.
"Dr. Swan..." he looked up from the papers stacked in front of him.
"Cullen. " I corrected.
"What can I do for you?" he ignored my remark.
"I was hoping you'd heard from my husband. He's not answering his phone and he was suppose to get out daughter but I haven't heard from him and he schools not responding to my calls."
"What? What do you know?"
"All the trauma units I spent out have returned, Bella. All expect for Edward and his crew."
"What?" I repeated, my voice unstable and on the verge of tears.
"I'm sorry, I was hoping you'd heard from him. I was about to come find you to ask you."
"That's not possible. You have to have been able to reach someone from that unit."
"I'm sorry, I haven't been able to. I promise you, I have made countless efforts."
"What did you do!" I screamed. "Why would you send my husband out of all the other fucking people in the hell hole? There are hundreds of SINGLE family-less child-less people in this hospital and you choose my husband. One of about... what twenty doctors employed here with a family. What the fuck is that about? Now he's dead, I'm a fucking widow, my daughter is probably dead with him and my baby is left fatherless with a mother in depression. Is that what you wanted?"
"I'm sorry, Bells. He's is the best neuro guy this country has ever seen."
"I don't give a fuck! I don't care! I'm leaving. I might not come in tomorrow.. or the next day for that matter."
"Okay." he answered. I tried to calm myself as I walked toward my husband's office.
"Dr. Cullen." I heard his secretary say. "I'm sorry."
"Yeah." was the only thing I managed to reply. I didn't know what else I could say. I walked past the secretary and opened the door to his office. I stepped in to the office and immediately saw what I was looking for. The car key was right on the desk next to the mouse of the computer. I walked closer to pick it up when the pictures caught my eye.
He had the same picture from our wedding that I had on my desk. He also had a picture of Adrian asleep on a pool chair while she was trying to "tan". I remembered taking that picture; it was a year ago in Jamaica where we vacationed. Right next to that picture there was there was our unborn baby's first and only picture (the sonogram). It was tiny, almost the size of a pea. But the fact he had it there was touching, the fact that every time he sat at his desk he wanted to see it. It was proof that he really was an amazing husband and the most amazing father in existence.
I stopped myself from thinking about it any further and took the keys and left. I left without out looking back. For the first time that day I stepped outside the hospital. I could hear screaming, I heard sirens and saw the smoke. It was like something directly out of my worst nightmare. Something from the most terrifying 'end of the world' based movie. Would I even able to get home through all that chaos?
I got into Edward's Volvo and put to key in the ignition. It was my first time driving his car I never went near it. I hated even sitting; I always told him that my Lexus could kick his Volvo's ass. Sitting in his car, on his seat I could almost feel his presence. Soon I realized that I couldn't ignore the thoughts. I drove home in silence, not even bothering to turn the radio on or put a CD in. I pulled into the driveway and parked.
The house was Dark and quiet. I turned on the light and saw the mess we had made that morning, usually I wouldn't leave for work until the house was perfectly clean but we were running late and I had no time to clean up. The flour Adrian and spilled all over the kitchen counter and floor while she tried to help Edward make pancakes. And the dishes that Edward left piled in the sink. Our bedroom was a mess, the bed wasn't made, the T-shirt I was wearing was on the ground. Edward had thrown a bunch of shirts on the bed while he was trying them on. Our bathroom was just as horrible, the straightening iron was still plugged in both of us left their deodorant on the counter, and Edward hadn't even bothered to close the cap of his. His toothbrush was in the sink and the toothpaste was beside it oozing out.
It was all disgusting. I hated the fact that if I didn't pick up everything after them for one morning it would reach that point. Usually, I would have started cleaning everything. I found it helped me unwind and relax but I couldn't. I couldn't because every time I saw the mess I thought of Edward and Adrian.
I took a long shower to help me relax and I threw the wet towel in the pile of dirty clothes I had gathered by the door so I could do laundry. I put on Edward's ridiculously oversized Columbia t-shirt and got in bed. For hours I couldn't sleep thinking that my daughter and husband where lying somewhere lifeless while I had made no effort to find them.
And somewhere along those thoughts I fell asleep but my nightmare continued on into my dreams.
Around 4 am I heard banging on the front door. I got up and ran downstairs, barefoot and still half asleep. I flicked the light switch at the bottom of the staircase to illuminate the foyer. I opened the front door to see Edward standing there in filthy scrubs, carrying a sleeping child in his arms. I opened the door wider so that he could walk in.
"Edward..." I breath out in relief.
"I told you I would be fine." he answered and passed our sleeping daughter into my arms. I took the Ardian and cradled her against her chest.
"Is she okay?"
"She's got a few cuts, scrapes... stretches, bruises but nothing at all serious. It'll heal in a few days so I doubt we've got anything to worry about."
"What about you?" I asked and leaned in to kiss him with the Adrian between us.
"I'm fine, babe." he promised. "But there is a part of me that would love for you to kiss it and make it all better." he smiled
"Perv." I hit is arm. "Tonight of all... I don't think it's even legal to have sex tonight. They might take our citizenship from us and send us to Antarctica or some god forsaken place like that."
He followed me up the stairs, into our daughter's room. He watched me wake our daughter by kissing her forehead. Adrian opened her eyes to find herself in her my arms.
"Mommy." she whispered and tightly wrapped her arms around my neck. "I didn't think I would ever see you again."
"I know, honey. I was scared, too." I replied. "You feeling okay?"
"Uh-Huh." she answered. I set her down on the changing table that hadn't been used since Adrian was potty trained almost 2 years prior. I slowly slipped her dirty ripped clothing off her to give her a bath. I looked over my daughter's tiny fragile looking body and saw the bruises and the cuts that Edward had warned me about.
"Does this hurt, baby?" I asked her before applying pressure with my hand to a bruise on her bare abdomen. Adrian cried out in obvious pain and pushed my hand away. "I'm sorry." I quickly said and took my daughter into my arms to stop her crying.
"Mommy..." she sobbed again; obviously still afraid from everything she's seen that day.
"I'm right here honey. Don't worry you're okay, every thing's okay." I promised as I set her down at the edge of the tub while I turned on the water and waited for it to fill. Once I'd tested to make sure the water wasn't too hot or cold I turned my attention back to the crying four year old who was staring at my with Edward's green eyes. "Stop crying, honey."
"I can't. I'm scared." Adrian admitted and jumped off the edge of the tub toward me.
"Don't be scared, sweetheart. It's over, okay? Daddy and I would never let anything bad happen to you again." I reassured. I picked up Adrian and placed her into the warm water. "Do you want to tell me what happen?"
At first Adrian shook her head, but soon she changed her mind and nodded. "We was in class." she began with a sniffle wiped her nose with the back of her hand. "My teacher was reading us a book bout' a Caterpillar who ate a bunch of stuffs and trended into a butterfly. That book that Daddy used to read to me." I smiled, in reassurance and to show her that I was listening. "And the we heard this loud sound! And after that the ground shacked and it was really loud. Peoples were screaming and there were stuff on fine! And a bunch on buildings broke and people got stuck under! Cept me' I hided and I didn't think anyone would find me! I was so scared."
I was scarred just listening to the story; I couldn't imagine what the child had gone through. I poured water over her head with a small pink bucket and then poured the Johnson's shampoo into my palm before messaging it into Adrian's golden waves. Adrian shut her eyes while I poured more water over her head to wash away the suds.
"How long were you hiding before you found Daddy?" I asked while I lathered the body wash into a cloth to scrub the dried blood and dirt away from my daughter's skin. Adrian shrugged her shoulders and backed away, further from me not allowing me to touch her body. "I won't hurt you again, Adrian. I promise."
"You can't touch my owwie.," she stated firmly.
"We've got to wash the owwie so it doesn't get infected, honey. But it won't hurt." I swore
"Pinky Promise?" Adrian asked.
"Pinky promise." I answered. Adrian came closer and stuck her pinky toward me I intertwined my pinky with my daughters. Adrian smiled and stood allowing me to scrub all the debris on her body.
"What happen, Mommy?" she asked curiously.
"Today." she cleared. "What happen? Why did that happen?"
I dropped the sponge into the water and looked into her eyes. "Remember the two big tower right by to your school?" I asked Adrian nodded. "A plane crashed through them and those two buildings crumbled apart and fell and caught on fire." I gave the most vague answer she could.
"Oh." Adrian replied while I opened the drain and wrapped a towel around her wet body before carrying her out of the tub into her bedroom.
"Can I sleep with you and Daddy tonight?" she asked as I dressed her in her pajamas.
"Of course you can, honey." I answered. "Go ahead, I'll be right there." I added. Her daughter ran off toward my bedroom. I placed the towel and the dirty clothes in the hamper and rinsed the tub before returned to my bedroom.
Edward took a long shower while I cared for our daughter. He stepped into the his massive closet and pulled on a pair of clean boxers and a t-shirt. When he came out he saw Adrian walk into the room.
"Mommy said I can sleep here tonight." she cleared. Edward nodded and pulled away the covers of the bed so she could get in. I walked in and instantly ran into his arms and didn't let go.
"I was terrified, Edward. I couldn't think about anything else. You have no idea how horrible I felt."
"I know, I'm sorry." he held me tighter, reassuring me that he was right there.
"What happen? Why were you late? It's past 4 am, Edward."
"I know, Bella. You should have seen what it looked like out there. It's horrible, I have never seen so much pain, so much blood, so many bodies... just lying around. People stuck under ruins crying for help, dying in front of my eyes. And for the most part, I couldn't do anything about it." he explained. "When I finally got to her school it was a little too late. I mean, you know it's not too far from the Towers... so anyway, her teacher was dead. And so were a majority of the kids, it was horrible. Adrian's the only one from her class that survived. I can't begin to tell you what I felt when I saw that first lifeless little boy underneath all that shit. All I could think about was Adrian."
"Where was she?"
"She was hiding. Underneath the teacher's desk... which was the only thing that remains standing somehow. It was such a relief to see her, Bella, I felt like the world had been lifted off my shoulders. She was terrified. Terrified doesn't even begin to describe it. And when I saw her she looked pale, and burdened. She was lying there. For a second I thought she had died too. I didn't know what to do. So I ran over and grabbed her thinking I'm holding my dead child in my arms for the last time when she moved... and I heard her whisper my name into my ear and I knew she was okay."
"I called you, a million times." I said.
"My phone fell and I never went back for it." he answered, still holding me in his comforting arms while I sobbed. "It's okay, love. It's over. It's all over.," he promised.
"Adrian-" I couldn't finish my sentence because he cut me off to finish it for me.
"Adrian's fine, I'm fine. Most importantly you're fine, which means the baby is too. We're all good." he finished for me.
"I told you I had feeling about today."
"I know you did." he answered and kissed me. "And next time you have a feeling that the country is going to be the victim of terrorist attack, I urge you to speak out." he joked. He let go of me and got into bed while I went around to my side of the bed and got in. I moved closer to my daughter. Edward turned to face us and dropped his arm over his daughter and rested it on my waist.
"I love you." he whispered to Adrian.
"I love you, too." she replied just as she was about to fall asleep.
"What was today?" he asked. "September 11th-right?"
"Mhmm." I replied, trying to stay awake to hear what he had to say.
"This is like the most horrible thing to happen to his country since Pearl Harbor. Just think about how many families were broken apart because of this today. Think of everyone that died, of everyone who's dying. Of all the wives sitting at home wondering where their husbands are, all the parents hoping their children weren't victims. Think about it for a second, love. We survived it. Adrian and I... we could have died and we survive barely harmed." he said. "We survived." he repeated once more. "If anything this brought as closer together rather than tear us apart. If we can survive this, Bella, we can survive anything as long as were together."
I turned briefly and picked something up from the nightstand on my side. I rolled back on my side facing Edward and held the platinum wedding band up for him to see. "Want it?" I asked.
"Of course I do." he answered and tried to take it from me. He reached toward my hand but I pulled it back and took his hand in my grip. I slid the ring onto his finger. "I left it in my locker because I knew you'd find it. If anything did happen, I wanted you to have it so you could remember me." He said.
A/N: I worked long and hard on thins story so I hope you like it!
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