All I could think about in that moment was getting home. As fast as possible.
I'd been sitting in my Tuesday morning graphic design class in the basement of Carroll Hall when some journalism student ran past shouting something about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.
Silly undergrads, I thought. Those kids will do anything for attention.
And then I could hear the news coverage suddenly playing live on the big screen in the classroom next door. Not a joke at all. Not even close.
A quick check of my email showed a message from my almost-husband sending me to CNN's website, but by the time I clicked the link the internet had screeched to a halt along with the rest of the watching nation.
Home. If I can just get home, I said to myself, I'll be okay.
As classes ended abruptly across campus, I stepped outside into the bright blue day and called P to come get me. I didn't think I could walk the mile back to our house.
Looking back on that moment, I'm struck by how many people just wanted to be home at that same instant and weren't able to call someone to come get get them. How many people were waiting by the phone to get that call, but it didn't ring.
P and I spent the rest of that day hugging each other and watching the news and cleaning our house, as if eliminating the dust bunnies from our hardwood floors would somehow eliminate the threat of terrorism in our country.
Then four days later, we got married.
It's a strange thing to share the week of my wedding anniversary with a day of national terror and destruction. But it's also a powerful reminder of how blessed and lucky I am to have been able to call my true love that day and have him scoop me up and take me safely home.
Sending prayers for all those who are missing loved ones from their homes today.