A/N: Every chapter of the story was rewritten and released on April 28, 2014. Hope you enjoy the new version.
Just Another Beautiful Tuesday
I get out of the police van at Seventh Avenue and Thirty-fourth Street.
"Listen to me Everdeen, stay on this corner all day. No wandering off, and write plenty of tickets. I want to see that book empty when I pick you up this afternoon. Got it?"
I nod my head. "I got it, Sarge." I slam the door and I frown as the van takes off. I have my doubts about how my Sergeant treats me. He doesn't treat me poorly, but he just doesn't seem to trust me with any other assignment other than standing on the corner and writing tickets. Before I start my day I dial the pay phone. A friendly and familiar voice answers.
"Hi, Dad. I'm on my post. Another day, another book of tickets."
"Listen Kat. You have to do the grunt work before you can move up."
I bite the inside of my cheek. "I know Dad. It's just so boring."
I can feel my father smiling. "Listen to me, Roy Bell is a good man. I worked with him in the Village. He'll keep an eye on you. Just follow him."
I sigh. "Okay, Daddy."
"Cheer up Kit-Kat, your day will come. Bye now."
I say good-bye and hang up. I dial another number and listen to the answering machine message. "Hi, it's Katniss. I'm sorry I missed you this morning. I'll make it up to you tonight. Peeta, I love you. Bye." I hang up the phone. Damn, I wish we both had nine-to-five jobs.
I look around at the usual denizens of the corner. The street vendors, the hot dog guys, the store owners. The tourists, the shoppers and the commuters mob the street. "What have I told you, Tomas?" I approach the street vendor.
"But I'm not hurting anybody."
I shake my head. "The stores are complaining. You can't sell your bags on the street. Now pick up your stuff and get out of here." He scoops up his counterfeit Gucci handbags in a sheet and takes off. I look at one as he picks everything up. Not bad for a knock-off.
"Thank you, Officer Katniss."
"No problem Mrs. Kim." I look up into the bright sky. It is a magnificent day. The sun is out and there isn't a cloud in the sky. The noise was deafening. We look up in the sky towards uptown and we see it. A giant airplane flying way too low. It goes over us at an enormous speed.
"Officer Katniss. That doesn't seem right." Mrs. Kim says to me.
"I don't think it is." I stare at the plane when suddenly ..."
"Holy shit. Did you see that. It hit the building!"
"That's the Twin Towers!"
"Oh my God!"
"A Plane hit the towers."
I look at the crowd streaming to the corner and into the street. Traffic is coming to a stand still. People are getting out of their cars. I get into the middle of the street. "PEOPLE! Back on the sidewalk!" Every person's eyes are fixed on the towers and they ignore me. Smoke envelopes the top of the building. I remember my dad telling me about the bombing in ninety-three, six people died and smoke-filled the building. There were many cases of smoke inhalation and exhaustion. Today, this is much worse, there are hundreds dead already.
"YOU! Back in your car!" He just stands there staring. I smack his hood. " Come on. Let's go!" He nods his head and gets back in and takes off. I hear a siren in the distance coming towards me. I stop traffic on Thirty-fourth street to allow the patrol car to get by. I hear more sirens. Two ambulances stream downtown followed by Twenty-six Engine. They're right up the block from my post. I had lunch with them last week.
More sirens. A whole line of black Suburbans come at me from the east. I now stop the downtown traffic when one, two, three, four, five of them come through. An air-horn blasts. It's the big ESU truck, One-Adam, trying to get through. I start the downtown traffic again. I watch as they pass. One of the officers is standing in the back doorway of the truck. I wave. He waves back. "Good luck," I say to myself.
"OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!"
I look at the person screaming and follow her pointing arm downtown. There's another explosion. I can see the flames and smoke rising up into the air. "What was that?" I ask a passerby.
"Another plane. Another fucking plane. Oh shit, we're under attack." He screams and runs away. The corner I'm on has now deteriorated into a mass of people screaming and crying. One lady faints. A mother picks up her child and squeezes him so hard he starts to cry. Even though my corner is miles from the Twin Towers these people are starting to panic. "EVERYONE! ON THE SIDEWALK!" The best thing I can do is keep people from getting hit by a car.
When I turn around I see a mass of red lights coming at me. I scream at the cars to move. The lights are getting closer. The sirens louder. Cars on Thirty-fourth street are trying to sneak through the intersection. A man screams. I turn and look and see a group of construction workers in their hard hats have formed a line blocking traffic. The people across the street are also inspired to help by doing the same. Downtown traffic flows again.
The cars spreading apart remind me of the parting of the Red Sea. The fire engines and ladder trucks move through as fast as they can. There are firefighters hanging off the rear tailboard. Something they haven't done in years. Fifty-four Engine passes. They're located in the theater district. Their motto is "We've Never Missed a Performance."
Things start to calm down on my corner as time goes on. Every once in a while I turn around and look at it. I think about the people inside and the cops and firemen in that building trying to save them. I clear a path for a police van screaming down Seventh. It comes to a skidding stop.
"EVERDEEN! Get in and drive!" My Sergeant screams to me as he moves over to the passenger seat. The van is filled with officers that were on foot patrol on this side of Midtown.