posted by BeB
That day... That day I felt something wrong, I thought it was paranoia.
But I was wrong, because that day, when the plane crashed... I was at a UN meeting and suddenly my head hurt.
"A-Ahhh ow!" I gripped my hair and felt blood dripping from my nose, my eyes already stung and I heard so many voices yelling, I felt 11 surges of pain spiral out onto parts of my body.
"America? Bloody hell your nose is bleeding!"
"Aiiiiya everyone! I know I'm late but turn on the news, America somethings terrible happened!" I cant hear them, or even feel them. That pain was spreading like a forest fire and I stood up, we were in Canada so it wouldn't take me long to get home but I stumbled and leaned against a wall
"A-Ahhh! Fuck no... NO!!!" tears fell and I heard the TV monitor play and what I heard matched the voices in my head but I also heard the fire. The crumbling of the twin towers, I could hear children yelling for their parents... I could hear men and women calling for their lovers desperately trying to live... I could hear them die. I could smell the plane fuel, the burning metal, the burning skin. The blood...so much blood...
I could feel the heat, and feel their pain, the crushing and agonizing pain. I couldn't stand it, I was their country, I live to PROTECT my people, yet here I am withering in pain, doing nothing... that stung so much, knowing right now I could do nothing. But I had to try. I bolted out of the room as everyone yelled after me.
"America!!!" was a familiar British voice, I ignored it and kept on running bumping into someone and went into a coughing fit.
"A-Alfred are you okay?" I look to see my brother, Canada, I remember him in all the panic and shove him yelling
"I'm sorry I have to go!!!" I cough more and look to see blood. Blood. The blood my people were losing each passing second, as I run to my car and get and start driving I wonder to myself
Why is this happening?
Why is GOD letting this happen?
How is this happening?
Whose behind the reasons? Whose pulling the strings? Whose playing with the lives of my people?
I grip the steering wheel tighter as I break the speed limit the pain building up more and more. The flames licking each and every part of my body burning me whole, the pain striking and vibrating all inside me. I tried not to cough because my eyesight would get hazy, and at my speed that's not good.
"I'm coming... please, hold on I'm coming..." I chant on and on hoping... maybe this pain will stop.
------------------10 Years Later-----------------
I open my eyes and immediately feel the tears slide down. I frown and look at my calender and realize what today is.
"Nine eleven..." I sigh and get up, its too early though 9:10 on the dot. God just loves torturing me. I feel my body weak this day, just like every fucking year on this day. I feel the sorrow of my citizens and the spite. The bitterness and ache are familiar, but so many of my people, I feel that missing piece, those lost that day I will never forget. I think of all their names, I memorized all the people I lost because after the first year I wanted to know the stories and pasts of everyone I lost on that day... I say each them in my head as I get ready to start this hard day. Soon as I finish taking my shower, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, and combing my hair I am barely almost done, I say the last one when I get my phone out seeing the few text messages I've gotten.
"Kiku, Feli, Arthur, Matthew, Tony, Mr. Obama, Mrs. Obama...' I don't bother scrolling down any further to see who else offered their 'condolences'. I sigh and put my phone on vibrate and put on my bombers jacket, today I took the day off like I do ever year so I'm dressing casual, some blue jeans and a plain black button up T-shirt. I decided wearing black today would be respectful.
"...Oh! Forgot my wallet," I run back in to get my wallet and glance at the clock and sigh. This year isn't better than any other year... the year I failed to save my people. As I leave my room I can feel the quietness and the sound of tears echoing. And that pain rising up in my chest again, that guilt
"Hello Mr. America." I stop to see I've already made it out the door and my usual driver, Alex, a young man about 26, he was pretty much my height a bit more slender, and had dark shaggy hair and dark eyes to match. Hes been my driver for 5 years now, hes always been a great guy, personally he didn't lose anyone on 9/11 but seeing him, one of my own, it makes me sad. I smile, but can tell its not convincing,
"Hey there Alex. I'm going to walk today..." He frowns shutting the door, his chestnut eyes search my face and I feel a bit uncomfortable but he sighs, and so do I mentally.
"If you say so sir... but you might want to take a umbrella, its starting to look like it might rain." We both look up to see gray clouds forming and the wind picking up a bit. I shake my head and shrug.
"Its okay, it might just drizzle, plus I'm a country, we only get colds or sick usually if our economy's down." He gives me a look and smirks
"Well shouldn't you be in bed right now sir?" I smile just a bit and give a dry laugh, hes a really good kid.
"Very funny, you've got a job right? Just take the day off, see that girlfriend of yours. I'll be fine." I smile a bit more like myself and he hesitates before nodding. He goes back inside the hotel and yells over his shoulder
"I'll see you tomorrow morning Boss!" and with that I turn on my heel and head to my first destination, the flower store.
-----------------a few hours later----------------
I finally had gotten the amount of flowers I needed, and was at my next stop. Where my Boss Mr. Obama, the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg and my old Boss Mr. Bush where going to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I waited in the very back where you could hardly hear what they were saying. I didn't even pay attention anyway, I just went because my boss said to, I didn't really feel up to paying attention.
"Barack... ya really know how to give a speech man." I put the banquet of flowers in my mouth as I put my black leather gloves on because it was raining just like Alex said it might, but it was only drizzling so far but it was coming down a bit harder. A lot of people had umbrellas and a tinge of regret made me wish I had mine,
"Damn it why didn't I listen to him" I sighed and as soon as it was close to being over, I left, and I went to the final destination of the day. To where the Twin Towers fell. There were others but most people were at the real memorial site or where I was listening to my boss speak. Or at home because of the weather, either way not many people here this year.
"Hello everyone....its me Alfred. Ya know, the hero." I knelled down cracking a small sad smile and exactly then the wind started picking up. I guarded the flowers in my jacket careful not to ruin them, and narrowed my eyes as the water fogged up my glasses and it was hard to see. I sighed again, this time hanging my head in shame.
"I'm...I am so sorry everyone, I let you down, all of you, the damn terrorist- they got to you and they ended you lives, the lives we will never get back. But hey, Osama is dead. 'Least we wont have to worry 'bout him right? Heh....... well I don't know really what to say. I feel like this only happened last week, now its been 10 whole years... I hope you guys arent still pissed, I did the best I could but I guess it wasn't enough and I paid the ultimate price- losing part of me, losing you all. I can not tell you how much pain this causes me and the ones you all left behind." I stopped as if waiting for a answer but was greeted with the sound of rushing wind and the rain hitting the ground. So I continued,
"You know I love my people, I love them and my country, if there is ANY way I could have prevented this I would have! B-But there was no way for me to know, there was no way I could help I-I-I..." I trailed off clenching the flowers and shutting my eyes as tears fell "I couldn't be your hero! I failed you and- and you all had to pay MY price! I let you down PLEASE JUST STOP YOUR SCREAMING!!!" I yelled into the storm brewing. I took a few minutes to compose myself and looked up to see a light coming through the clouds of gray, yet it was still pouring and gusts of wind shoving me,
"What the..." I felt the last tear fall as the light started shinning more, the sun was breaking through. I felt the wind settle more. It was more quiet yet their were still clouds, and it was pouring but not as windy and I looked up saying in disbelief
"Do...you all forgive me? Forgive me for the fact I couldn't save you and your lives were stolen?" I waited as if I would get a reply and sighed taking the flowers out, they were a bit damp and crumpled. I undid the little thread holding it together and smiled a bit, finally feeling the voices in me come to whispers and stop. I sighed, this time in relief and threw the flowers up in the air and a smile on my face "I forgive myself. And I know... I know you forgive me too. And I KNOW that your faith in me is restored, I will be there next time- no. Wait, there WONT be a next time, I swear to you and to God, I will never fail my country or my people again!" I feel the rain stop till it was only sprinkling and it was windy still but the flowers were flying and the petals flew, the sun coming out more showing a rainbow.
"I cant believe it...heh just like the movies." I smile seeing the giant rainbow before me and the colors, it reminded me that no ones perfect, and to get a rainbow... you have to shed a few tears. I closed my eyes as one teardrop fell matching mine
"The people we lost on 9/11 will never be forgotten and we will miss them dearly. They will forever be carved into our hearts... we miss you all, but we will live on, live strong, and live smiling for you. Because we know that's what you want," I open my eyes and say the last part in my old confident tone winking at the sky where I imagine my people looking down smiling back, "we know you want us to be happy for you, and we will. May you all rest in peace... and thank you all for everything you've done."
I, Alfred Foster Jones swear this on my life... I will live and make everyday better than the last, for you who were stolen from us to be proud of.