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A Nightmare Double Feature

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By Elizabeth Huber
Posted Sep 10, 2011 in World
It felt so real. The clarity, the emotions. They felt so real but then I woke up and got ready for school. It was such an emotionally disturbing dream I told my best friend and my mother about it, and also wrote the details I could remember in a journal.
I remember being in an office, my own office with a desk, a big window, and a computer. I was extremely well dressed and feeling very proud of myself and optimistic about my future. My computer was facing the entrance to my office and one by one these people that I seemed to know but had never seen before would stand in the door way and tell me increasingly horrific news. The first person that appears in the doorway tells me something that I cannot remember, but I do remember that I was surprised but went on about my business. A little while later the same person appears in the doorway and tells me something that knocks the wind out of me. I start crying and calling family. I was overwhelmed and filled with dread, terror, and uncertainty. A third time somebody different appears in the doorway. Again I seemed to know this person because I know that I didn't care for them much, but I had never seen them before in my life. The news I was given rendered me speechless. I was left in a state of shock, confusion and fear even after waking up.
Two years later...
I wake up late and rush off to work. I walk into my office and have this strange deja vu feeling, but I have a lot of work to do so I get to it. About a half hour later the deja vu moment hits again when James the blender comes to my office door and tells me that a plane just crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings. He states that the news has reported that a small passenger plane had crashed into it, but the hole in the building didn't look very small. He says "you need to pull up the news on that there computer of yours." This was horrible news, but an accident right? I knew that my mom had started working in one of the buildings when she was younger and that my uncle, who was a steam fitter, helped build the towers. I knew they would be upset but shit happens. I would call them later, I had work to do.
Not much later James comes back in the door and asks if I had the news on yet. He tells me that the other building was hit by a second plane and that the news said it was a possible terrorist attack. He said that there were a few planes "unaccounted for" and they believed there were more targets. In utter disbelief I try desperately to log onto my predecessor's AOL account via dial-up, because in those days my company did not use the Internet. I can't breath, I can't get my family on the phone, I can't get a streaming news station, I'm in tears and deja vu hits again.
Then Bill the Chemist (who is kind of creepy) shows up at my door asking if I saw the news. I told him that James was telling me about the planes hitting the World Trade Centers. He tells me that one of the buildings had already collapsed and that the other was about to do the same even though the news said it probably wouldn't. He also told me that another plane hit the Pentagon, and there was another plane crash in Pennsylvania that was just too coincidental even though it crashed in a field. I completely shut down. I had so much work to do, but I could not do anything. I was in shock.
It was too much for me to take in like that. I didn't want to believe the things I was being told. I wanted it to be a horrible nightmare that I would wake up from. Life as I knew it would never be the same and indeed, it hasn't.
I was not physically affected by this tragedy, but it has severely altered my outlook on life. My optimism for my future has never really recovered. I knew back then that other countries encounter senseless tragedies like this everyday. I have had friends from all over the world tell me stories about the things that go on in their countries and how wonderful it is to finally be safe in the United States. On September 11, 2001 I felt sad for the people who died that day, the families who were missing loved ones, the pets that were left behind, and the people who believed that they were safe from this type of atrocity in this country.
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This article is part of Digital Journal's project to remember September 11. If you have a story to tell, join us on Facebook and Twitter, and post your memories to Digital Journal. Full details on how to participate can be found here. You can also read other submissions on our September 11 Anniversary page.

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