My September 11th Meaning

February 10, 2011
I wish this story could’ve been the fairytale that keeps girls up at night wishing for moments like these, one that this was about to be. I wish that loss didn’t play apart in love, friendships, or mainly just life. I just wish that I didn’t lose my best friend, my true love, and my heart all on one day. But September 11, 2001 wasn’t a day that everybody got what he or she wished for.
I was sitting in Washington Dc airport waiting for my plane to arrive to take me back to Miami, Florida so I could finish up my law classes for that fall. I was visiting with my fourteen-year-old sister; she’s ten years younger than me. So it was nice to get reunited with the sisterly bond. The only things I took to see her were my suitcase full of clothes I didn’t need, my Ipod that was my lifesaver for when the airport clock wouldn’t stop going off, my book to pretend like I was actually enthralled in something so no one would try and make conversation, and my passport that simply read my name, Cassidy Tayler, my age twenty-four years old, my hair and eye color brown hair and brown eyes. And my date of birth September 8, 1986. The main things that get you through this world were what I carried in my purse that day.
Occasionally I would stare out the window looking at the planes take off and land. And occasionally I would catch the cute guy sitting right across the way doing the same. And occasionally he’d look at me too. He was your typical business college student. Blonde gelled hair, with the perfect darkened skin tone, and the most amazing crystallized color of baby blue eyes. He was my new definition of amazing.
Being the respectful person I was though, I realized it wasn’t right to stare so I turned back to my book. Than two minutes would go by and my book didn’t seem so interesting anymore. So I would look up again to see if the man was starring at me. And of course he would never disappoint, he always was.
Than an hour went by of us gazing at each other and sharing smiles when we caught the other in embarrassment. Then I looked down at my watch realizing I had only an hour till my plane took off and then would I realize that this guy in the airport was just some coincidence, nothing like fate.
But then I started to second-guess myself because I felt an arm brush against mine, and a hand appeared in my vision. It was that hand of the nicely toned skin man.
And as he laid his hand out he stated, “I’m Shane.”
“I’m Cassidy,” I smiled accepting his handshake.
“It’s nice to see your smile up close. From far away I just feel like I’m stalking you,” He laughed.
Man his laugh just added to the things I loved about him. It was as if everything about this guy was perfect.
“So where are you flying too?” I asked,
“San Diego, My flight leaves at noon but they said to be here early. It may get rescheduled. I got classes to finish signing up for in the fall,” He said.
“Same here, except my classes are in Miami,” That was my attempt at humor, but I got no laugh out of him. So embarrassing.
“What are you studying?” He asked
“Law…I’m—“
He cut me off, “Me too!”
Now was the time I started picturing our future together. Our children, our jobs, our holidays, how much we could love each other. Everything played out perfect in my head. Except the fact that I just met him and this feeling I experienced I had never had before. I mean I didn’t even know the simple things about him.
So while he was in mid conversation about what law firms he was looking at, I blurted out, like an idiot, “What’s your favorite color?”
He laughed, and with that embarrassing look he had seen before I smiled.
“Green,” he replied, “My favorite band is Metallica but I love every type of music. I love surfing but football is my main sport to watch on the weekends. I love all foods besides sushi and tacos are my weakness.”



There was an awkward silence because he just told me everything I wanted to know and more. And than he smiled and triggered his vocal chords and this beautiful voice asked me a question, “What about you? What could you tell me about Cassidy Tayler?”

“I would tell you but than I would have to kill you,” I laughed my evil but cute laugh.

He smiled, “That’s not fair.”

“Life isn’t fair,” yet another cute evil laugh came out of me.

“I’ll make you a deal,” He said, “I’ll tell you everything about me, and keep you company till your plane gets here but after I’m done with my life story you have to tell me what I want to know about you.” And once I looked displeased with his barging tool he kept going, “And I’ll buy you a muffin and a nice latte.” I still said nothing but he wasn’t giving up, “Come on it’s seven thirty in the morning, coffee will make you more awake.” So I ended up giving in.



I grabbed his hand and we both headed down to the coffee shop where we discussed his family, friends that he went to college with, high school incidents or ex girlfriends that still haunt him, or still hold a memory in his heart. We discussed vacations, pets and what our biggest fears were.



When it came time to me telling him what he wanted to know about me his flight got rescheduled and mine got delayed so he had to leave in only fifteen minutes. And I was going to have to let my fairytale guy go. We then exchanged phone numbers and addresses and emails. And then reality set in and his row number got called for boarding.

“Well that’s me,” he said.

“It was nice meeting you,” I smiled.

“Sorry I broke my promise of staying with you till your plane got here,” He said.

“It’s okay, I’m just happy I was able to spend the time I did in a café with you. I’m sorry I didn’t answer any of your questions though,” I replied.

He chuckled, “You just did.”

“How?” I asked.

“I just wanted to make your day, and my only question I had is if you had a good time. And you just said you did,” He smiled as I did. And I got on my tiptoes to kiss his cheek and give him a hug.

“Goodbye Shane, call me when you get home safely and we’ll make planes for our next visit,” I said.

“My last question now answered!” He smiled yet again. And he leaned down and kissed my forehead and whispered, “Goodbye Cassidy.”



I watched as he got on the plane. I watched as the gate closed. I watched as the plane took off and than I watched the empty seat that was once occupied by him. Then every two minutes I would smile thinking of the sound of the phone ringing and his voice at the end of the receiver. That thought would give me the chills, but the good kind.



But the thing I didn’t know was today was September 11, 2001. Today was a marking in my life but I didn’t know it was a marking in history too. And the thing I didn’t realize was that 9-1-1 would have a whole new meaning.





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