One minute before my alarm, as usual.
Taking a deep breath, I push the floral comforter off my body and pour myself out of bed. Clicking the alarm off, my roommate sleeps peacefully. Onto the floor I fall, a large yawn overtakes my body, as I quickly pull on my sweats. The big blue parka hangs off my desk chair. Offering warmth, I quickly cuddle inside as I zip it up. I slip on my sneakers, grab my wallet & key and head out the door. Throwing on my hood as I step out the door.
Rounding the corner, I notice fire trucks lining the drive. A usual fixture at school as the freshman dorm is notorious for fire drills at all hours of the day and night. I have little hesitation as I walk in to the pool deck.
The blue parkas file in behind, crossing the pool deck and descending the stairs to the locker room.
Emerging minutes before 6:00, we all dress alike, bathing suit, cap, and goggles.
I notice a few freshmen missing, and attribute it to faulty alarm clocks. They'll have to make up the yardage later, I think.
Into the water we jump, the first of a double for the day.
It has been about twenty minutes when I notice between breaths, figures walking on deck. The big parka easily recognizable.
My feet touch the ground as the water calms around me.
I can only hear bits of her conversation:
Leaving the rec center, I set across campus. I pull the blue parka tight against the January morning winds as I exit the side door. The whirling sound hits me first. Looking up, two helicopters circle the area. I walk with a purpose across the sidewalk, as a stream of ambulance and firetrucks line the drive.
I am only thinking that I need to find my teammates.
I enter the cafeteria to a sea of faces.
Someone has turned the televisions on to the local news stations.
The image shows the devastation a few feet away. Groups are huddle together, as I make my way through.
Then I see what I need,
two big blue parkas.
My girls are fine.
It is through them, I hear the horror of what is happening, as they live a floor below.
We focus our glance to the television as the newscaster reports. At the bottom of the screen a ticker emerges, "fatalities presumed" crawls across the screen.
An audible gasp fills the room as I feel the tears in my eyes.
Things will never be the same.
|The ribbon is a symbol that we remember those lost and share a sense of hope with all those who continue to heal. Ribbons are worn each year on campus and around the country by alumni who remember. |
We remember January 19, 2000.
Hazard Zet Forward my friends.