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The Falling Man

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The Falling Man 'DING!' 'The doors are now opening' I stepped out onto the 108th floor of the World Trade Centre. Although it was only 8:30am the office was very much awake and very much alive. I made my way to my desk and put my lunch in my drawer. 'Claire, Claire!' It was my apprentice calling me from across the room. 'Claire!' 'Yes, Pete' I sighed. Pete had come to work for us just as an apprentice but he was looking for a permanent job. In an attempt to make a good impression he often came in early to do more work, which appeared to be annoying me. I made my way across the room to him. His desk was near the window; he had a lovely view of the city. It was a beautiful autumn day. I could see a few trees, their leaves glowing gold in the morning sun. The windows on the other buildings were glittering like a million diamonds had been scattered on the city. People on the street below were scurrying like ants trying to reach work on time. ...read more.


I wondered if she was phoning for help, but this call was much more important. 'I'm stuck in my office, I can't get out!... I love you too, tell Johnny and Sam that I love them... You promise they'll get us out?... I've got to go, I love you so much' The reason for her hanging up the phone so soon was that the room was being consumed by smoke. It was getting harder and harder to breathe. 'SMASH!' There were shards of glass everywhere. Someone had smashed a window in an attempt to get some clean air. But as a result the fire was becoming all-consuming. We could hear the screams coming from below as the flames brought people to the end of their existence on earth. Pete had smashed the window in front of us and we, just for a second, were overwhelmed by how good something as simple as breathing could be. I gazed down from the hellish heavens that were once a haven of happiness. The street directly below was empty, but beyond this there was a mass of what I assumed were people, but from this height they looked like nothing more than the static from your TV. ...read more.


I was scared. There was no going back. I took a deep breath. I wanted to jump but at the same time I couldn't. I thought of my fianc�, we were getting married in the spring. He worked in the south tower. Sometimes we could see each other through the windows. He was probably out of the building, in the crowd below, looking up at me worried. I think we were probably sharing the same feelings, fear apprehension and terror. All too soon my right foot had left the ledge. I was falling. It seemed like years, it felt like I was flying. It wasn't exactly nice, but it wasn't bad. And then there was nothing. My fianc� didn't get out; he died when the building collapsed. But at least we're together. I didn't think anyone will ever forget that day. I never thought when I got up that morning that it would be my last morning. I am now full of regret, wishing I'd savoured my breakfast, phoned my mum instead of watching that documentary. But I suppose that's the way it is. Pete's here with me now, still as annoying but I don't let that bother me. One day it might be the last day. One day will be the last day. ...read more.

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