September 18th, 2001

Dear Charlie,

I am glad you like shop class and I think your sister is headed for disaster by hanging out with that guy. Reading your anecdote about your school day makes me feel so distant. I feel as if moments like these will no longer exist for me in school.

I wonder what it will be like if our country goes to war. Will we have to ration our food and have air raid drills? I also wonder if there will be a draft. I know I probably wouldn't be drafted but what about my dad and my friends?

There has been nothing on tv except endless, endless news. If there is actually other stuff on, I have no idea because my parents won't even change the channel. My whole life is being saturated with war!

My parents seem to be so worried all the time and it's giving me anxiety. My mom keeps cautioning me about how things are going to be more difficult when I go back to school. She said I need to be "aware" of things. I have no clue what she means by that but I guess I'm trying to be aware. I'm noticing how strange she and my dad are behaving. They have gone back to work already but my mom is working in a different location.

The day she came home from her first day of work, she had this strange look on her face. I didn't ask her anything because I was so freaked out by it. She is always so composed. She went into the bedroom and talked in hushed voices with my dad until dinner. But, I did hear my name a couple of times. Not that I was eavesdropping or anything, but I was listening quietly at the door.

I don't know. I find it really difficult to concentrate on anything at home. I feel so strange. I just can't wait to go back to school. I'm pretty sure that I will feel better once I'm doing something again. I haven't talked to any of my friends since it happened, even Rachel. I just can't wait to go back to some normalcy.

-Zara