Thursday, September 15, 2011

Nothing New Under the Sun

Nancy put the phone down, leaning back in her chair.  ‘Well, it has happened again…’  Looking at the wall covered with her many awards for psychology and counseling, credentials for teaching, Nancy saw nothing, felt nothing.  ‘I didn’t think it could…’

Her mind blank and emotions distorted, Nancy paced around her office.  She saw the calendar, and circled tomorrow.  “…a middle school at 10, and then that big high school on Grand at 1 pm,” she murmured, amazed as she saw her fingers writing.  They were still shaking. She clenched her hands together tightly.  “I can help those kids!  I will help them through this!”

Shaking herself, Nancy shouldered her leather case, feeling the weight of tomorrow and all the following days.  “It’s gonna be a long month, a long year…” she mumbled as she turned the off the light, shutting the door quietly. ‘Please, I don’t want to talk right now…’

But it was too late.  Angela burst out her office door.  “Did you hear?  Did you see the Twin Towers fall this morning?” 

But Nancy was already down the hall and thinking of getting home.  Home was safe.  Home, she could control.

Walking into the quiet dark house that had been her parents’ home, Nancy slipped off her shoes, tossed the keys onto the table, and stared at the family photo wall. 

She could see them, feel them: her trip with them to Niagara Falls, where they were all covered with mist.   Her mother and father on their trip to London, but Nancy didn’t go with them.  They called from London before they boarded the plane that would bring them home.  They would be home before Christmas in 1988. 

They went to Lockerbie, Scotland, instead, and never came home.

‘…and now, it has happened again…is there nothing new under the sun?'  
Nancy hung her head, and let herself weep, this time.


  1. Aw that's so sad! Lockerbie was another tragedy that people should never forget.

  2. This story left me breathless. I felt that my heart had paused in remembrance of all those who died so tragically on that flight.

    I think Nancy must be a psychologist who visits schools and helps children deal with the shock and grief and incomprehension of these happenings.

    This is powerful writing. You are, indeed, gifted, Susan.

    Thank you for your words of understanding in your comment on my Tuesday posting. And also for my your comment about my writing. That a writer such as yourself thinks I write well both delights and humbles me.


  3. Susan--thank you for your comment on my posting yesterday. The phrase you used "sliced from her heart " resonated with me. I think you're right about my grandmother. Thank you for being so perceptive.


  4. Such a BEAUTIFUL tribute! You have an amazing gift with words. I clung to every detail.


Go won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!