Aboard Flight #93
Alyson, Age 13, Seth, WV

I was pulling into the airport garage when my stomach started to feel like butterflies. I have never flown before. I am destined for California, to see my best friend. Her name is LeeNae. We have been close friends since high school. After her mother died last year, we lost our connection. Her father, Larry, is sick, and I am going to California for two months. I will stay with her until her father wakes up from his coma. Her father was in a terrible car accident in June, and was left in a coma. His doctor said he would wake up soon. LeeNae has mourned and cried since June, fearing her father would perish too. She thinks that if I go there, she will feel better with someone else.

"Flight 93 to California will be boarding passengers in five minutes," a voice said over the intercom. I knew I should hurry. "HEY!" a woman yelled at me, "WATCH WHERE YOU'RE GOING!" "Sorry, I'm so terribly sorry," I explained. Apparently I had run right into her without noticing. I started toward the tunnel to the plane.

I noticed there were a lot of people that were Non-American. "Oh, well," I thought, "They're just going to a meeting with important people." I started to walk up the ramp. As I walked onto the plane, I felt like passing out. It was so big inside. I took my seat, and they gave us ten minutes to make brief calls on cell phones. I called LeeNae to tell her I was leaving the airport. She said she would meet me at gate 9 to pick me up. She also said she would be in a red Volkswagen. I told her ok, and that I had to go.

The pilot came on the intercom and told us to put our seatbelts on, and prepare for takeoff. I took one last glimpse at Boston, Massachusetts. I felt so safe here at home. I didn't want to leave. I closed my eyes, and tried to imagine I was standing in a grassy meadow with flowers surrounding me.

I awoke to yelling, and screaming. I was terrified. I should have stayed home. I should have not come. I heard a gunshot, and I heard someone yell, "OH MY GOSH! HE'S DEAD!" My first thought was a passenger was having a heart attack. At that time, I would rather it be a passenger. I heard even more yelling, and it sounded like it was coming from the cockpit. My brain felt like it was going to burst out of my head. My heart pounded. It almost exploded. I was terrified. I thought about calling LeeNae and telling her I was in trouble. I knew I shouldn't worry her because she's already been through so much in the past. Then, I tried calling up the police, but that didn't work. I heard someone talking about the White House, and then the plane turned around. Now we were headed back the other way! A lot of people were yelling.

I wasn't going to let this get in the way of my birthday. I was born twenty-eight years ago today. It was September 11. My husband had taken our kids to my mother's house, because he had a business meeting. My mother is used to keeping the kids for weekends at a time.

I felt the plane tipping downward, and my heart was pounding even harder. I heard someone say, "We're gonna crash!" I knew then that my life was going to change forever. We were getting closer, and closer, and closer, and even closer. Then I felt a big jolt.

I woke up in a HUGE hole, and I couldn't move. I knew at that moment I was going to die. My body was aching, and it was beginning to weaken. I tried to stand up, but I failed. I was on my knees, and then prayed. My body was falling. I saw no one else moving. As I fell to the ground, my head was telling my body to hold on just a few more minutes, but I couldn't. I saw my life flash before me. I clutched the locket around my neck with a family portrait in it. I thought about LeeNae, and how much she would cry. I couldn't help what was happening, but I knew somewhere in the world, someone did.


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