6 a.m. alarm clock beeping as I slowly drudge out of bed, alone still me, and my house I Nate still lonely 23 unmarried no family get ready for work, todays the big pitch as I work for an Bank trying to build a new location. I drag into the shower slower than ever and wait for the warm water to heat up. As I wash I start to wake up prepared for the day I grow nervous. This could make or break the bank; I could get fired if this doesn’t go well. When I dry off and dress it’s already 6:30 I’m going to be late, as I grab my cup of coffee I am out the door as I wait for the bus. I see cars transverse and people walking as the bus pulls up I get on and take my seat with my briefcase. The bus has a certain aroma of sweat and cologne mixed, and I try to ignore it. As we pull up to Liberty Street & Church Street I get off and walk in. As I jump into the elevator I shoot up to the 32nd floor and enter my office its 7:45 I start to prepared when my boss Mr. Hicks comes and tells me the meeting is delayed till 8:45, I have one hour till I have to pitch my idea. I decide to go walk around the building, as I see one of my good friends Katelyn I say “morning how’s it going.” She says
“Pretty fine I’m pretty nervous for today.”
I say “You’re nervous? I have to pitch the idea not you.”
She says “Oh so now you got attitude?” with a smirk
Then I say “Come on let’s get going.” And we start walking to the conference room, it was 8:43. As we enter the room everyone’s eating breakfast and Katelyn sits down as I make my way to the front of the room with my graphs and slides ready the presentation begins. Not soon into it I can tell no one’s listening. I nervously check my watch 8:51 then in slow motion as the clock hits 8:52 the floor shakes and my ears go ringing as the shaking knocks me and many of my other things and I immediately hear screaming. I get up and panic shoots in my head what’s going on? I grab Katelyn’s hand and walk out the door people are dashing every which way bumping into each other and yelling. As I hear more creaking and rumbling above, then I smell smoke and burning items. I yell to Katelyn “follow me.” And we run to a TV and fear shoots inside me and makes a home as I see the footage of the news outside showing our building burning damaged. I hide Katelyn from seeing the TV so she doesn’t panic my main task help Katelyn as I secretly have loved Katelyn for 2 years now. More creaking then I hear a shriek and a long bang the ceiling starts to collapse. I hear blood curdling screams from the scene as I run for a stairwell but completely crowded there is no way I can get down. I check my watch its 9:03 and I hear another crash and metal screeching as I hear more screams I begin to grow filled with panic. I hear more screaming and Katelyn begins to grow scared to. I run back the other way and I see people stuck under the debris yelling for help. I maneuver Katelyn around it so she doesn’t see those poor people trapped gasping for their last breathes off air in this cruel way of falling out of this world. I run to the elevator but there’s no way I can get through the thick crowd. As Katelyn gets sick of running back and forth she pulls me over and demands to know what’s going on. I sigh and say “It’s too hard to explain.” But demanding to know again I tell her what I know of the story which as of right now isn’t that much. As tears swell in her eyes I wipe them away and with a look of distress I say “we must keep going.” As we make our way into the busy line to get down the stairs I hear fire crackling people screaming and the building making strange noises. Before I know it we are already down 2 stories. Then when we round the corner into the 30th floor I see the building collapsed in one big pile people groaning for help stuck under piles of concrete and metal loved ones standing bye sobbing for help as I narrow our way around the horrific sights on the 30th floor I can’t keep Katelyn from seeing it as she breaks down into a frantic state. As I pull her to the side I tell her “your with me everything is going to be okay.” At the same time as saying this I doubt myself, what if everything isn’t ok? This is when I begin to lose my cool. Down another flight of stairs, on the 29th floor some of the debris has falling through beginning to take the floor down with it. We must move faster if we want to make it out alive. Down 3 more stories now making good pace, the smoke begins to circulate in the building and it isn’t pretty, people coughing and hacking everywhere, I give Katelyn my outer jacket to cuff over her nose, and mouth. As we make it down farther and farther the sights we see get worse and worse, from people just jumping out of the building, to people suffocating in the thick clouds of smoke, I can’t get the horrific sights out of my head now, as pain begins to grow inside me. I think why does this have to happen, why? We make it all the way to the tenth floor now. As we navigate through the terror I see a man standing on an edge I run over to the man, and say “what are you doing? You’re almost out?”
He replies by saying “this will never leave my head I’ll never be happy man never.”
And with that the most disturbing thing happens as he jumps as I reach for his jacket. I almost break down but I have to attend to saving Katelyn first that’s the priority. As we make it down to the ground level the building has already collapsed in many ways, by sheer luck we have navigated through 32 floors of hell on earth and I feel blessed. On the ground level we see ambulances, fire trucks, and volunteer helpers trying to find any survivors. Upon leaving the building I feel on last shake, and I feel a sharp pain in my lower body I fall to the ground with force as and the only place I can see light is out of a little hole, as Katelyn falls to her knees screaming for help. I reach my hand out and grab hers, in a faded state as the world begins to grow light I tell her of how I loved her all this time, how I’m happy she’s going to be alright I say
“Katelyn don’t cry everything is going to be okay, you’re going to live on a happy wonderful life, I’m happy with the time I got to spend with you, I feel as if this was meant to happen, me saving you…I…I love you.” As tear roll down my face I begin to grow numb, the world fading the last sight I see is Katelyn’s gorgeous face fading on this horrific day and like that I experience the last fading feeling of Katelyn on my numb hands, as she begins to grow hysterical, a police officer carries her to safety.
5 years later
As it turns out Katelyn did turn out to move on after losing her best friend and true love, as she is now married and has one kid, on a visit to NYC they visit the ground zero memorial, and Katelyn makes her way to the very spot Nate died on as she falls to her knees she begins to cry and says the words she never got to say back “I love you too.”
© Copyright 2016 bville26. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Historical Fiction
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