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Molly was sitting on the couch watching the news. Every September 11 she watches the towers fall even though it makes her cry. She lost her father that terrible day. He was a brave fire fighter who was one of the first ones to show up at the scene. She has been wishing that her father had not left that day to go to work, and the way they said good-bye that morning would have been different. She would not exactly call it a good-bye; it was more like an argument that ended with him storming out the door and her mom just looking at her with a you-should-have-known-better look. That was how it was in their house at the time. It seemed like her father and Molly could not even have a simple conversation without a major argument in the process. Her mom just stood on the sidelines never taking sides, but always willing to talk it out with them. They were both too stubborn.
Molly remembers Tuesday, September 11, 2001 like none other. She remembers it as the day she lost her dad. She was sitting at her desk in Room 109 reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. She had on a blue tank top, a jean mini-skirt, and comfortable shoes. She had her hair up in pigtail braids and had natural make-up on. She never really needed it, but she thought a touch of color here and there would not hurt anything. She was reading, and over the intercom came the statement she will never forget, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain calm and go down to the basement for an important announcement about what has just happened.” All the kids were thinking about the announcement as to what some other kid had done, or maybe another stupid assembly, but this announcement changed many kids lives, including Molly’s, and most of them were not for the better.
Once the news was shared about what had happened, all the kids looked around the gym, and thought, “What happened to our parents? What happened to our family? What is going to happen now?”
Molly never thought that her father would be out there. Most kids’ parents worked in those towers, but she was lucky, so she thought. Some kids broke down and cried when they heard the news, and others just sat in shock. Then, parents began to show up (all the ones that were not at the Twin Towers still.) Molly’s mom was one of the first parents there, and when Molly saw her mom with tears streaming down her face, she knew that something happened with her father…
Molly flinched as she realized her mom was yelling at her to hurry up and go outside for the school bus. She changed the channel so her mom would not have to watch it happen again. Molly slowly got up from the couch, and walked over to the window. She gazed up at the sky, and wished with all her might that she could relive that day to change how things happened. She could tell her father that she loved him, and maybe convince him to stay home from work that day. She knew it sounded selfish, but she wanted her father back so much it was almost unbearable. She picked up her bag and opened the door…
Whoosh….Whoosh….The wind was pushing and pulling Molly in different directions. She did not know what was happening. The world was spinning faster and faster, but no one could tell that this was happening. She was time traveling.
She closed her eyes in the midst of this, and when she opened them she knew where she was, but could not tell what the date was. She was in her living room on the couch, but the usual American flag was not folded up with a picture of her father by it, to be exact nothing about her father’s death was here. She sat thinking about whether this was a dream or not when she heard her father yelling for her to get ready for the school bus. She shot up from her seat and looked around knowing that she had heard his voice. Once again her father yelled for her to get ready, but Molly never answered because she was in shock! Molly sat back down, and her father walked past the living room, and went to go up the stairs to get her to come down when he saw her sitting on the couch all ready to go. He looked shocked, and when he checked his watch, he just shook his head and said, “Well, well, why are you ready so early this morning?”
Molly gazed up at her father, and he gave her an odd look. She ran over to him, and gave him a hug. He just had a look of surprise, and finally hugged her back. When she let go she had tears forming in her eyes, and that really got her dad wondering what was going on. “Molly, what is up with you today? It is not like I have not seen you for eight years.”
“It feels like it. I actually want to apologize for the way I have been acting lately. It has not been very nice of me, and I wanted to say I love you.” she said as she smiled up at him.
He looked down upon his daughter, took her face in his hands, and said, “I understand being a teenager. It is fine. I love you, too.”
She went into his arms and he held her for awhile. “Dad, what is the date today? I forget.”
“It is September 11, 2001. Ha, you did not need to know the year, but knowing you, you probably did,” he chuckled to himself.
What he would never know was how badly she did need to know the year. This was the day. She had to think of something to keep him from going and had to think of it quickly. Her mother walked into the living room to find the two of them hugging each other. She just looked at them with raised eyebrows, which caused both of them to laugh. Her mom came over and said, “I take it you two are alright right now?”
“Yes, we are. Hey, Dad, can we go out today? You know a family trip? It has been a long time since we have been able to because we have been very busy lately.” Molly asked.
Her mother looked over at her and could tell she really wanted to be with them. Her father could also see that. They nodded in agreement, and her mother went into the kitchen to make a few sandwiches. Her father and Molly walked with their arms around each other to the garage to get their fishing poles out of the case.
While they were walking Molly could not help but have this guilty feeling in the pit of her stomach that she knew was about taking her father away from one of the few things he knew best, how to be a hero. She slowed down her pace, and her father looked at her questionably. She gave the excuse that she felt dizzy all of a sudden but that she was alright again. He just nodded, but she could tell there were a million questions flying through his head.
Once they were packed up and in their vehicle they were headed off. Molly sat in the backseat just gazing out the window, but something drew her to look at her father. He was smiling again, and holding her mother’s hand. They were happy. She felt as if she were tearing something away from reality. Her father turned on the radio after they had finally gotten out of New York City, and instantly tensed up when he heard the news over the radio, “Plane runs into North Tower in New York. Firefighters and ambulance are showing up at the scene.”
Her mother started to tense up also, but not nearly as bad as her father. “Honey, we cannot go back. That could put all of us into danger. Please, keep driving?” her mother pleaded.
“Holly, I cannot leave my fellow men out there by themselves. If something should happen to them, I would never be able to forgive myself.” he said back.
Molly knew this was how her father felt. Her father looked back at her, and pleaded with his eyes to join his side. “Daddy, what would happen if you got hurt? You would leave me and Mom all by ourselves …”
“I would not get hurt or anything like that. I swear to you that if it gets ugly out there I will back out.” her father said.
“I trust you, but please give it time before we head back. I have a feeling this is not over yet.” Molly said.
“Okay, I will wait...” her father said.
“Honey, if you get hurt I swear!” her mother said as tears were forming.
Her father grabbed her hand and kissed it gently. That was enough for her mother.
All of a sudden more news came on the radio, “The second tower has been hit. I repeat the second tower has been hit!” the radio announcer yelled.
“Oh my goodness…” was all that anybody said in the car.
Her mother gave him the nod, and he quickly turned the car around and sped towards the towers. It took awhile to get close enough to the city, and then the family looked out the window as the South Tower fell. Molly covered her eyes and started to cry. Her mother just hid her face in her hands. Her father, the one who would have been there, just stared. None of them knew what to do.
They arrived at their house, and Molly hugged her father and said, “I love you Daddy, and never forget that.” She was crying as she hugged him. Her father held her tight and whispered in her ear that he loved her too.
Her mother went up to her father, hugged him closely, and they kissed. This was a kiss that showed that no matter what happens they will always love each other.
He waved back at them as he left the house that day. Molly knew she made the right choice to let her father go, but was happy God gave her the chance to heal her relationship with him. She would never be thankful enough.
Her father never came home from Ground Zero, but he was able to save many lives including his fellow firefighters. Molly and her mother were sad, but it was different this time because they knew they ended this right. Molly has visited the site where the terrorists’ evil plot took many people’s lives, and one was her brave father that chose to serve his country while protecting his family.