A/N: I realize I've already done a 10-year fic on Caroline, but I would like to do another one. The playlist for this fic is like the title says, The Sound of Silence, by Simon & Garfunkel.

It will focus mostly in the first verse mostly because, in 9/11, the things that scarred me the most and that still haunt my dreams that this movie interprets so well, are the dead silence and horror that immediately followed the attacks, and the images of that day that I feel took not only a piece of my innocence, but a piece of everyone's innocence and sense of security.

So here we are, 10 years after. People are at home or at one of the three memorial built for people like Caroline who lost someone they loved very much.

Caroline isn't at the memorial today. She's at home, in the dark, reflecting.

Hello, darkness, my old friend…

I'm sitting here in the dark, thinking about you. I was watching the memorials on TV, but I turned it off. Seeing all those people who miss someone as much as I miss you makes me too depressed. I know you would want me to move on with my life, but it seems like 22 is the dead end curse for all of us.

Allie, she's a therapist now. I talk to her a lot. She still loves you, you know. She had a boyfriend but they broke up a couple months ago. She hasn't been able to hold down a relationship since she met you ten years ago.

I on the other hand, have been with a guy for six months now. His name is Josh, and I met him at NYU. He's majoring in Criminal Justice and he's also doing studies in Anti-Terrorism. He's smart and sarcastic and he loves art just like me. I told him all about you, and he called me this morning to see if I would be okay, if I wanted to maybe go see your name on the memorial. My dad and Allie and Aidan went, and they promised me pictures, but I don't think I could have handled it. I decided to sit by myself in the dark for the umpteenth time.

I've come to talk with you again…

I stayed because I, like so many other people, didn't sleep well last night, thinking, and remembering, and dreaming… about watching you…

It started out so innocent, with one of my favorite memories of you. Those crazy bitches had cut off half my hair, and I was pretty screwed up over it. You came home right away, and you read to me from that Greek mythology art book you bought me. It's still on my bookshelf, by the way.

I was falling asleep… and then I was just falling, and I could see the fire around me and the pain in your eyes, like you just knew we were going to die… you had been staring out the window of Daddy's office and the glass had cut your face and your body. You tried to hold on to me, but you fell away from me… out the window and down… I could see you falling outside, and I was falling too.

I woke up screaming. When Josh asked me what was going on I told him I didn't want to sleep anymore and I was going for a walk. He was at work by the time I got home again.

A vision softly creeping
left its seeds while I was sleeping

You weren't there to pick me up that day, and I was panicked and confused. I didn't understand until that night that you weren't ever coming to get me again. I understood because I saw daddy's offices crumbling to the ground in millions of pieces on TV, over and over and over again. My life crumbled to the ground in pieces too. Eventually my mother muted the television, and my dad turned it off before retiring to his room. And my world became silent.

And the vision that was planted in my brain,
it still remains…

And that was alright, because I needed the silence. I didn't want to hear the horror of it all on tv anymore. The only thing that ever brought me any measure of comfort is silence. The ride home from school was silent. The house was silent for days, weeks even. Everything in my world became silent. And that was alright, because you were gone, and the only sound that mattered to me was your voice, your laugh, your sarcastic jokes… and I would never hear that again.

The only way I can ever let your soul rest in peace, the only thing that will ever bring me comfort…

It can only be found within the sound of silence.


I hope you all enjoyed it. This fic is super personal to me, because, while I didn't lose anyone in the 9/11 attacks, I was still very scared. And I, like Caroline, find that the thing that scarred me most and sticks out most in my nightmares, and in the moments of peace that I have in relationship to this day, are always marked by silence.

I hope that everyone was able to find some measure of peace today. I know it was a rough day for those of you who lost family members and can identify with Tyler's story, and with Aidan, Caroline, Allie, and their families. I hope you know that your loved ones would want you to have a full and happy life. I hope you know that today this entire country prayed for you, including me.

Thanks for reading.

~temporary insanity.