A Short Story Concerning a Jewish Company and September Eleven.
–Bye, Mom! See you at noon. –Elanor slammed the door and started her car. She turned to the main road and left the suburbs. Soon she entered low Manhattan. The traffic was flowing since it was still early morning. She tuned to some morning news.
Until now all was normal, terribly ordinary. But, no, the rest of the day was to be one of the darkest days not only of her life but also for the whole country, for that day was the eleventh of September.
She parked the car and entered tower one of the twin towers in World Trade Center. She went in the elevator. –Hello! Elanor! –A workmate smiled a pile of papers in her arms.
–Oh, good morning, Mrs. Kaiman.
–She went to her desk and sat she began working at her computer. Her eyes rested on the clock; 8:00 a.m. Elanor started filling files, and making orders. The sun rose above a small building and the red light reflected in the windows of tower two then bounced from the monitor to her face. With a sight, she turned in her chair, and went to the window to close the curtain. A young guard stood shaking his head
–Oh, good day, Chuck, that sun doesn't let me work. –she said apologetically, for he had just opened it. He was about to reply when his face turned suddently white. He then swooped over the screaming Elanor and both landed under a desk. A big piece of metal had crashed inside the big windows.
–What on earth? –she cried pushing him off. A blast of fire with a deafening noise made all the staff to scurry to the stairs.
–There was an explosion in tower two! –Chuck roared, pulling her to her feet. He whisked his phone out and was dialing hurriedly, when his radio cackled,
–All security guards begin organizing the people for an evacuation. This is an emergency level one. Level one.–
He sighed and began giving instructions.
–Oh Lord, what have we done?–wailed Elanor as she helped her boss, Mr. Jacobs, a man finishing his sixties, to step down.
–We? We did nothing darling; it's those Arabs who want us dead. –the man gasped.
–Arabs? Want you dead? What does that have to do with the towers? Why do you say Arabs?–
–Elanor, you're a Christian, you know Israel's old war with Ishmael.–
–Well, yes, but this is the U.S.A.! Not Israel or Palestine!–
The man took a little cloth circle and placed it in his head.
–I'm not orthodox but I still hope in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.–
–Amen– came in Chuck's voice.
–You're a Jew too? –Elanor turned briskly to the stocky guard.
–Yes, a complete Jew. I believe in Jesus. –he panted.
–Chuck Riders! I didn't know that! –Mr. Jacobs burst angrily,
–Oh! I thought you were a faithful… well, what does it matter now? We'll all die here. –he had just spoken when all of them staggered and nearly fell. The whole building seemed to sway with the impact. Chuck Rider's radio cackled,
–What happened? –
–We don't know! Ugh! I smell combustible!–
–Wait…receiving news…it was an airplane!–
–What?– the entire crowd swirled around the shocked guard; his radio slipped and was trampled beyond repair.
–All right! Reassume walking! We have to hurry! Look for a cloth and cover your mouth and nose.– hollered Chuck professionally. The walls creaked. Mr. Jacobs tripped and nearly fell headlong. Chuck clutched his arm.
–No! Don't touch me! Gohim! Heretic! Apostate! You've abandoned the faith of our fathers! You´re probably the couse of this punishment!– Nancy saw the terror in his face,
–Jesus is the Messiah! Oh, Mr. Jacobs, will you believe now? We may be staring at death itself… I have been telling you time after time, He is our only hope!– she stopped gasping for breath. A big cloud of smoke filtered at every door and window and the air began to heat. They passed floor forty-four.
–Blasphemies! He is nothing but an impostor. You keep saying I crucified Him! Ha, ha! I wasn't even born! Romans did it and it was good of them, to finish Him off.– The old man continued to fume breathlessly.
–We have seen all the prophecies; you have to know it is all true! Oh! What can have you blind?– Elanor cried tearfully. Mr. Jacobs looked at her face and embarrassment shone for a second, but the stubborn look returned swiftly. He was really out of arguments now, and he began to curse all he saw. The building was groaning and debris rained on their heads.
–Hurry! The tower is collapsing!– some men roared as they trotted down the stairs. Elanor tightened her steps. Sudently, out of the corner of her eye, she saw a beam get lose, swinging with force toward her boss.
–Mr. Jacobs!– she shrieked.
All the people ducked and threw themselves to the ground. The old man just couldn't move. He stared at the steel. Just as it neared him, he felt a pair of powerful arms push him down and he rolled safely away. In the floor, he turned thankfully to his benefactor.
–Chuck!– he cried as the beam crashed the lad to a wall. The crowd panicked as they saw Chuck's bloody body, they made a stampede stepping over the crouching ones. Elanor scrambled to her employer and held his arm pressing to the wall.
–Why, why did he do it?– he mused aloud, fighting his way to him.
–You're not ready to die.– Elanor screamed in his ears.
–Do you finally see? Do you see what Jesus did for you? He did it because you alone couldn't save yourself!– A new light of understanding shone in his eyes
–Oh Ellie, I understand now! He was no impostor! He was a Savior; he wanted to free us from our sins. Oh, Yeshua! Forgive me. You died for my transgressions.– Mr. Jacobs knelt in the middle of the rush and let his tears flow freely. They finally reached Chuck. A hoarse moan escaped his swollen, bleeding lips:
-But, we still need to get you out of here, and Chuck is badly wounded, oh Lord! Help! –cried Elanor to the sky.
In that very instant, a pack of firemen appeared at the corner, saw the hurt young man and ran to him, giving first aids and remedies.
-Lady, are you are right? Where do you hurt? –one of them asked Elanor, for she was crying and was streaked with blood from head to toe.
-It's not my blood; it's his. I'm all right, I only feel a little weak about the legs. Thank you Lord!-
The man gave her an inquisitive look but took her anyway and carried her in arms the rest of the way, another one was helping the boss, so she relaxed and waited.
Down, down, down the interminable flights of stairs.
But suddenly, when they were almost at the end, the floor started to tremble violently.
-It's coming down! It's coming down! –the fireman screeched horrified. The glass doors of the Wall Trade Center were all smashed to smithereens. A terrifying rumbling noise was heard, getting nosier all the time and nearer, coming from above; the tower was indeed collapsing! With loud hollers, Elanor, her fireman, Chuck, his two escorts, their boss and a little crowd, flashed through the door. One woman, just coming out, gazed upwardly and fainted dead.
-Here, here! –shouted the men carrying Chuck on the stretcher. An ambulance neared a bit and they hurriedly dropped him in. In the very next second, they turned on their heels and headed back.
But the building came down, the man carrying Elanor tripped, and he fell, they rolled a bit. –Come, crawl with me! –he yelled. They slipped under a fire truck and it was instantly covered with debris, and metals and concrete.
-Mr. Jacobs! Mr. Jacobs! –wailed Elanor coughing and trying to get out.
-It's all right; it's all right, calm down. –the fireman tried hold her back.
-No! It's not all right! My boss is out there! He'll die! He'll never make it, oh, God, God…
The fireman stopped his talk but still did not let go of her, least she'd run into the danger.
The truck swayed, the chassis creaked, threatening to break apart every minute. The upper part scraped the top of their heads.
-Thank you Lord that Mr. Jacobs made it. Thanks for making him understand your truth. Say good bye to him for me, Amen.
-Amen –whispered the fireman.
-Ah, Mr. Fireman, I think I'm passing out, when we get out of here, could you tell me where Chuck was sent? –she breathed faintly.
-Sure I will –he promised.
She crept a little closer and closed her eyes.
They staid there, for a long time and finally, the next day, they were dug out, amid cameras and reporters. Elanor as soon as waken went over to Chuck's hospital. He had just regained consciousness but was able to whisper a little and rejoice with her the sweet-sour news: Mr. Jacobs was in Heaven.