March 27, 2008
By Joe Costello, Kernersville, NC

Bill Smith was average. He had and average job, a secretary for the CEO of Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center. He drove an average car, a 1999 Toyota Camry that was in desperate need of a tune up and a paint job. And he lived in an average house, well no it was more like an average apartment with one bedroom and one bathroom. But Bill Smith was not only average, he was a creature of habit. Everyday he woke up at exactly 7:30; he then took a shower for thirteen minutes, no more, no less. After his shower he ate his normal meal consisting of exactly two eggs, two pieces of lightly buttered toast, one sausage, and three pieces of bacon. He always left his home at 8:15 and arrived at work at precisely 8:35; exactly ten minutes early. At work he followed every order, took every callers message, finished every piece of paperwork, and he sharpened his wooden pencil every hour, on the hour. Bill was a very hard worker so he didn't take lunch breaks. Instead he snacked on granola bars and water all day long. He left his office at 6:00 everyday and arrived home at 6:20. Once home he went strait to his room, laid down on his bed, and took a nap fully clothed and with his shoes still on. At 7:00 he woke up, went to the kitchen, and prepared himself a dinner that consisted of one eight ounce steak which was quite dry and slightly crunchy, two scoops of green beans, and one heavily buttered roll. For dessert he made himself a cup of coffee, and at 8:00 he took it with to the living room and watched his television until 9:30, no later. After this he got ready for bed. He changed, used the bathroom, and brushed his teeth. At 9:45 he got into bed, turned off the lights, and went to sleep. This was Bill Smiths schedule, every day, every week, every month of his existence. Never did he do one thing different nor did he intend to, but that would soon change''

'Ring''Ring''Ring', the alarm clock was ringing furiously on the bedside table. Bill Smith reached over to the table and pressed his finger on the exact spot where he knew the snooze button was, and sure enough the alarm fell silent. Bill dragged himself out of bed and began to prepare for his day. Nothing abnormal happened in the morning, Bill ate his usual breakfast and made his normal commute to work. But at as he arrived at work and parked in his assigned spot, he felt a strange, foreboding feeling in the pit of his stomach, but he decided it was nothing. He got out of his car and walked into his office. Bill strolled through the lobby and to the elevator, where he stood with his co-workers as they awaited the opening of the elevator doors. When they did finally slide open Bill walked in along with eight others and the doors clanged shut. Up the traveled, then suddenly an ear-splitting blast ripped through the silence. Then the elevator began to tremble then the floor crumbled beneath his feet. Down they fell, and as Bill hit the floor he blacked out.
When he woke up, Bill felt dizzy and he couldn't move his arms or legs. As his eyes became accustomed to the darkness he was able to see that he was covered under many layers of dust and pieces of the elevator. But that's not all he saw, as he looked around he counted seven bodies with blank, staring eyes, and shocked looks on all of their faces. Tears filled his eyes as he realized he was the only survivor. He choked back his tears because he needed to concentrate to find a way out. He struggled to free himself, but no matter what he tried he could not shake himself loose. So he finally allowed his body to relax and then go limp. Then he began to wonder if anyone knew where he was, and even if they did know where he was, would they be able to get him out before he died. Then he began to think about his own death, and how long he had to live before he died from a lack of water or food. He figured he had about two days before he died from a lack of water, but he didn't want to think about that so he slipped back to sleep.
Hours later he awakened, only feeling two things, hunger and thirst. As he lay there in the complete darkness, he listened to his beating heart, as if each beat was another second that was ticking off his life. And now he thought about his life, his average life, and as he thought about this he realized all of the things he hadn't done and would now never get to do. He imagined the wife, children, and friends that he would now never have. He also thought about his forty-two years on this planet. After thinking for awhile he realized that not once in his life did he break from the norm, not once did he do anything different. And as these feelings and emotions overwhelmed him, he wished
that he had done things differently and not taken his life for granted. And this was how Bill Smith died, alone, crying in the darkness'..

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