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  • I remember playing in the streets. It had been a generally warm day but there was a slight chill blowing down the road. My friends and I had been playing jump rope, but, double dutch wasn’t exactly the best idea, for five year olds in New York City. For some reason though, all the cars that usually bustled down the street from Times Square were nowhere to be seen. It seemed almost as barren as a horror movie. It was weird, no one had even yelled at us to get out of the street yet either. Where is everyone? I thought to myself, taking in all the empty places on the side walk that the parents usually stood.
    We looked down the street to where the canopies of the trees couldn’t shade the side walk or the road. The adults weren’t all too far, so it didn’t take very long to reach them. For some reason more adults had joined our mothers outside and they all seemed to be staring up into the sky. We followed their eyes to see what they were held on… There were what seemed like billions of paper flying through the sky, some looked as if they had been through flames. A panic set through my body as I tugged at my Mom’s shirt. “What’s going on?” I said nervously, tears flowing into my eyes. I didn’t know why I was crying, but I was terrified.
    Mom explained something about the Twin Towers and how a plane crashed. At the time I had no idea how to process that. The only thing I really understood was that it was very bad and that my dad worked next to the Twin Towers. My eyes watered and tears spilled over the edges of my eye lids, despite my mother saying it was all going to be okay. “Where’s Daddy?” I asked her, but she gave me no answer. She probably didn’t know either. I felt hot tears race down my face, hoping that he was okay… I couldn’t help how many tears fell. I was only 5 and one of the biggest Daddy’s girls ever. We were so close that it hurt to think of anything changing between my father and me.
    The crowd got bigger as minutes passed, and the chorus of adult chatter echoed throughout the street. It had been around 20 minutes now, and my crying had died down. The girl who lived across the street kept my attention, making sure that I wouldn’t go back to crying. She said something about collecting the burnt bits of paper, like some older children had been doing. With a sigh, I agreed. What else could I have done? I didn’t want to cry anymore, and my eyes were seriously starting to sting. I already had a massive headache.
    My friend raced inside her house grabbing two thin plastic bags to fill with what we found. Though it wasn’t much, we both filled our bags with about three pieces of destroyed paper. Some of the papers stuck out to me, seeing as they had names of the people who were probably in the building at the time. I felt my heart ache again. I hope Daddy is okay…Get home soon… My friend looked at me in concern. She smiled gently, taking my hand and running down the street where the adults stood in front of my house. “C’mon! I’m sure your Dad is back by now!” She cheered, but my mind was clouded with too many happy memories that seemed to go up in flames to really consider that he was ok. What if he wasn’t there? What if he never came back?
    I could barely choke out any words as I looked through the loud crowd of adults. My eyes scanned the scene, and caught the sight of the one I had been missing for what seemed like hours. My Dad was safe. I couldn’t help but cry once again and run to him, hugging his leg like only a little kid could. He picked me up and smiled saying everything was fine and that he had gotten out thirty minutes before the disaster. The only reason he had taken so long was because all the streets had closed down during the incident. Late or not though, he was safe. Never once have I ever been so grateful to have my dad back, more then I had been then.
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