ESCAPEE – male or female
Lights come up on ESCAPEE.
My office was in the South Tower. Even so, we could feel the impact of the first collision as if it were our own building. For a moment people were too stunned to move, but just as curiosity drove people to the windows, reason instantaneously drove them to the stairwells. Little more than fifteen minutes later, our building was hit.
Those who had survived the terrorist attack in ’93, we were relatively calm. Many figured we had been bombed, but trusted the superior quality of the towers to keep us safe despite whatever danger there might be. Lights went out, and water mains spilled gallons of water into the crowded stairwells but we continued in the most orderly fashion allowable to the bottom of the tower and out into the air.
What greeted us outside was far more terrifying than we could have imagined. We saw the gaping hole left by a terrorist airplane. People were running in absolute mayhem, and we were left to the instructions of bold but incredibly scared civil servants.
The towers collapsed. In that moment I finally understood the severity of what we had lived through. Dodging office equipment and building material I ran with all I had. Smoke hung on my clothes and dust settled into every crevice of my body. I was hit with debris and I could sense blood dripping down my shoulder but there was no time to stop. I ran until I could run no more and collapsed in the doorway of a building. I was one of the lucky ones to be spotted by an emergency worker. When I woke up I was being cared for in a makeshift hospital-warehouse. Everywhere I looked I saw broken, bruised people, and at one end of the factory I saw the EMS zipping body bags. I was one of the fortunate ones to escape. I thanked God for His mercy, and then I covered my face and sobbed.
Lights fade on ESCAPEE. ESCAPEE exits.