Amherst, MA: The Day it All Fell Down

It was a blue-sky afternoon. An eleven-year-old girl boarded a yellow school bus and leaned her forehead against the glass of the window, watching the school vanish with distance.

Her long, light brown eyelashes fluttered as she struggled to keep her eyes open. Riding the bus always made her tired, but she knew that if she gave in, if she allowed sleep to overtake her, she would miss her stop. And no one really knew where the buses slept at night. At least, no one she knew.

The yellow bus ambled to a stop in front of a yellow house, and she exited.

When she got inside, the TV was turned to the news. They kept re-playing the same thing. Two buildings collapsing in a cloud of dust.

“Some bad peope flew two airplanes into those skyscrapers this morning, baby. They collapsed. There were a lot of people still inside.” Her grandmother said softly, eyes wet. The girl couldn’t ever remember seeing her cry.

“Is there going to be a war?” the girl whispered.

“I don’t know, baby. I just don’t know.”

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