A/N: Although I haven't lost any family or friends in this tragedy, this was something that I decided I had to write as some way to come to terms with what has happened. I send all of my condolences and support to all the victims and their families and friends, and whatever little bits of comfort it can give.

It can't be real. I feel as if it's all a clouded misunderstanding...a black and white reality that will go away when I wake up tomorrow morning and head off to another monotonous day of school. It's so surreal...I've been living in a nightmare since 9:33 Tueday morning, when I was sitting in Algebra 2 and my principal announced that hijacked planes had flown into the World Trade Center. The rest of the day was a blur of unending newscasts, sympathetic teachers, and forgotten homework assignments. By seventh hour, I didn't want to see the towers collapse again, to hear how I'm now living through something that has been said to pale the tragedy of Pearl Harbor. I sat with my friend on the floor of an empty classroom and we cried. We cried because we're afraid of war, angry at whomever could be so heartless and cruel and deranged as to kill 20,000 innocent people and destroy symbols of our nation, and feeling the horror, frustration, and sadness of an entire country.
What makes it so hard is that we all want to feel safe. Our country is vulnerable, the people are vulnerable and we're all hopelessly searching for some sort of sanctuary, some comfort from anyone...and the hardest part is, neither can be offered right now, and probably won't be available for a long while. We all live with uncertainty day to day, but this kind of uncertainty, the kind of uncertainty when you don't know if tomorrow will bring more attacks, or worse, war, the kind of uncertainty when you don't know the future of your country--your life--it's something that many people are finding truly terrifying.
It's not a movie; 9/11/01 is going to be a day we all remember where we were when we heard the news and tell our children and grandchildren that we lived through this. My parents tell me about how they survived the Cold War when they were around my age...now I, unfortunately, have something of the same nature to tell my children, when, and if, I have any. For me, the best thing that could happen is to wake up and realize this is some kind of horrible nightmare, and that it will all end. And yet, there is the definite knowledge, the physical proof, that this isn't a nightmare, but a terrifying sort of surreal reality.