15 Years Later

11 Sep

I was 13 years old.

Tuesday morning, 8th grade at Garaway High School in Sugarcreek, OH.

The halls are lined with cream-colored lockers. Pictures and stickers are on the inside of the locker doors, one shelf holds books. There is a hook on the left where I hung my coat and a hook on the right where I hung my backpack. In a few months I will put my muddy snow boots in the bottom and wear tennis shoes the rest of the day.

This morning I’m joking with my friends. Worried about my homework and the new zit on my chin.  Classes are changing and I round a corner and head to Mrs. L.’s science class. The hall is crammed with my peers. The students who left the history classroom with Mr. M. are upset.

Something is wrong.

I see R. crying… something about a family member in New York.

Whats wrong?

We only have three minutes between class, one is not late to Mrs. L.’s class. 2015-05-25-08-36-26

Something in going on.

We do science anyway. 45 minutes in the dark.

By the time I get to history class the second plane has hit. We don’t know what’s going on.

Is this real?

What’s going on?

My mom picks me up in the little purple Geo Tracker.

Something must be wrong. I ride the bus.

We drive to get my little sister from elementary, listening to the radio.

What is happening? I don’t understand. This can’t be real.


It was real.

15 years later I’m 28 years old. I live and teach in Florida. I have students who weren’t even alive when this happened. It’s so real for me, I see pictures and feel a lump in my throat form instantly. What is so real for me is already just…history to them.


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