Alice's Guilt

January 19, 2011
I wonder what would have happened if I turned around and went to help him. Would we have gotten out together? Would I have not made it through? None of that matters because when he called and pleaded for help I ignored him. I was only thinking about myself .He was just some stranger. Little did I no that this one man would make me feel the most disgusting emotions about myself, my life, my whole world.

Work was pretty usual. I never enjoyed my job. When I was younger I dreamed of New York City and all the wonders it had. To me New York was this magical city where nothing could go wrong. I saved all my money to live here. I didn’t realize I would end up as an insurance agent in the world trade center. I was bored. It was like I was sinking into quicksand just getting deeper and deeper but never hitting the bottom.


Then on September 11 something different happened. I was sitting at my cubicle, staring not at a specific thing but beyond my dull life. Somewhere else but here I though. This city full of wonder was turning into my average reality. But then, my manager stormed in his face pink, he looked as if he was going to burst into tears.

“A plane crashed into the North Tower. We need to wait for the police to tell us when to evacuate. Sit tight and do not panic,” he said.


But panic was exactly what was creeping through my body. I didn’t no how to cope with this fear inside me so I went to the window. The view was surreal. Flames everywhere, smoke, broken windows.


Crash! It felt like a giant earthquake. My coworkers and I ran to the window. The panic only increased because the hit was so close to us. Our manger can back only this time he was sobbing uncontrollably.


“We’ve been hit! Everyone needs to get the hell out of here. But we need to stick together. Now! Let’s go,” he said,

Right then my emotions would be described as sheer terror. I bolted out the door. Without thinking twice I sprinted down the stairs. Wait they called to me but I did not listen. I was only thinking of me. Me getting out, not them. Right then my dull life seemed much more important than theirs.


As I was passing the floor where the plane hit, I heard someone call my name.


“Alice! Alice, help me I’m stuck under this desk!! Lift it! Please, please help me!
I’m fine just moving the desk, I’m begging you,” he said.


It was unclear to me who was asking me to help them. I looked around and saw that it was Anthony Cozzarin, a mail delivery boy at my company. He could not have been older than twenty- five. He was a rather good looking person. Well groomed. He had chocolaty brown hair and sun kissed skin. Anthony dressed instead of a delivery boy like he was the head he was the CEO of the whole building. Every time I saw him there was a great big grin on his face. He attended Columbia in hopes to be a journalist. Anthony was going to have such a bright future. But at that moment none of that mattered to me. Time was running out, I could feel the flames moving closer and closer. Instead of helping him, instead of being this great hero, I turned and ran the other way.


“Wait! Please! Come back,” He called.


The rest of the way down felt like forever. Like I wasn’t going to get out in time. Beads of sweat were dripping down my face. My face was contorted with fear. The stairs were flooded with people pushing and shoving to get out before the building comes tumbling down. We were so desperate to get out. But I managed to get through.


Strangely the first though I had was not that I made it out alive but did Anthony get out, did someone help him? My next thought was to go home get as far away from here as possible. I started to run again.

By the time I got to my apartment the tower came tumbling down. I was sure Anthony did not make it. It was not possible to make it out of that. Just then I started to cry. Not just any crying, tears pouring down my face, it was getting hard to breathe. I stayed like that for an hour.
My life seemed so important when I was running out that building. As I looked around my tiny apartment I realized I had nothing that was truly special to me. I had nothing. Anthony had everything to look forward to. Graduating, getting a very high paying job, easily finding a girlfriend. What did I have that was more important than him? Nothing. The answer was nothing.

I could have helped him. That desk could have easily been lifted. After I got the desk off him we could have ran down and both have made it. But I didn’t and now Anthony is dead. And it’s my entire fault. I’m the reason he didn’t get out in time. It was me. It was all me.

Does this make me a killer too? Am I now as low and dirty as the terrorist that crashed into the buildings in the first place? I am guilty of letting this poor man die. Me. I should be in jail.

After lying on the floor in my house, I got up and looked in the mirror. I did not like what I saw. Bags under my mud brown eyes, my skin almost a dull yellow, lips chapped and small. My ugly dish water blond colored hair stuck to my face. I didn’t know what to do.

I can still hear him calling me. I see his face everywhere. I closed my eyes; there he is begging me to help him. Even when I am awake I still see him. I couldn’t think straight. He occupied my whole mind. My guilt took over my whole life. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I ignore every phone call I got. My answering machine was filled with messages from my worried mother and boss making sure I wasn’t dead. But I really should have been dead.

I had to do something. My guilt was eating me alive. I decided I was going to find his family. I was going to find them and tell them of the terrible thing I did to their son. It turns out his parents lived right next to Central Park. As I was walking over there I thought about how they were going to react to my not so funny little story.

As I got there I had thoughts of turning back. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t live this hopeless life guilt. I needed to end. This pain had to end. I needed to do it for Anthony. I marched over to the door, pounded on it and waited do for a response. After waiting there for a bit the door finally opens.


A very heavyhearted woman answered the door. She looked about sixty years old. Her eyes were red from crying. I asked her if she was Anthony’s mother. When she agreed I broke down in tears. How did you know Anthony she asked me? By then I snapped.

“PLEASE FORGIVE ME! I AM THE REASON YOUR SON IS DEAD. IT’S ALL MY FAULT,”


Her only reply was “It’s time for you to go now,”





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