"Oh my God, Steven, get down here," Elyse said as she flipped through the channels. They were all the same. A plane had went through one of the Twin Towers in New York, and a feeling of dread like she had never known shot through her, even worse than childbirth. "Now!"
"What is it?" the jovial older man came from the upstairs wearing his pajamas and robe, ready for his morning coffee. "Did you burn the eggs again?"
"You have to see this. We're under attack."
"No. The U.S. The Twin Towers."
They looked at each other, fear paralyzing them both. While the rest of the world sat in fear, wondering what would happen to America, they both only shared one thought: Alex.
Alex P. Keaton was their eldest child, very successful, who worked hard to get where he was at. He had worked his way through college, taking several jobs in banks, working at Wall Street for several years, but due to the recession he lost his job there. Always resourceful, he finally landed on his feet, landing a job at the Twin Towers, doing better than anyone had dreamed of doing. Except for his parents. Steven and Elyse knew that Alex would go far, knowing as far back as preschool that he was destined to succeed. He was a type A personality, sometimes quite difficult to live with, but they wouldn't have him any other way.
"His cell phone," Steven called out, as Elyse ran for the phone. All they heard was his voice commanding the caller to leave a message, and they must have left two dozen of them before they were told his mail box was full. That was when , on the tv screen, a second plane hit the other tower, and Elyse ran to the bathroom getting violently sick. Steven wanted to join her but he knew he had to be strong. He was always the sensitive type but he was the protector, the provider, and he knew Elyse needed him more than ever.
Suddenly the film crews cut to images of thousands of people running for their lives on the streets of New York. Surely Alex had to be one of them. He and Elyse spent hours watching, waiting for sight of him. In the meantime Mallory and Andy kept calling, reassuring them that they were all right, and asking if they had heard anything from Alex. Each time they called they ended the phone calls the same way: I love you Mom and Dad. That was the time they needed to hear it the most.
It was disturbing the way the news kept showing the planes. Steven wanted to turn the t.v.'s off, but Elyse said leave it on. There might be a chance they would show Alex, and she needed to see him. Alex was safe. He just had to be. Elyse was a mother. She would know in her heart if he was gone, and she just didn't feel it.
Steven excused himself for a second, and when he returned he came back with something very small but meaningful. It was a preschool-sized tie, Alex's first. Elyse smiled for the first time that day. She clung to it for the rest of the day and throughout the night. It was four in the morning, and Steven turned off the t.v.
"Come on honey. We need to get some sleep. The t.v. will still be there in the morning. He needs us to get some rest. We won't be any good if we can't function."
"He's not coming home is he?"
Steven said nothing, and Elyse broke down, and fell into her husband's arms. The whole house was quiet, until the sound of the phone broke the sound of Elyse's tears.
"Hello? Mom, Dad? I just called to say I love you, and I'm coming home."