September 2001....WARNING this is just a story...yes I used the WTC in my story...it is just a story I've had in my head for a long time. I apologize and I do not mean in harm toward those close to...
I’m Trying to Tell You Just How Much You Mean to Me
Monday, September 10, 2001
It had been three long months since I had stayed with Gerard. That was hard for me to stay away from him for so long. He was having major problems with Kat and he called me to see if I would hang with him. We both had to be in New York City really early the next morning. Gerard agreed to drive me there, so I was more than happy to stay with him. I was interviewing one of my college professor’s colleagues for a business paper. My interview was at eight-thirty in the morning on the hundred and third floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Gerard had a pitch interview with the Cartoon Network on the island.
I packed a bag and skipped down the stairs of my house. I went out the door and walked down the street to the Way house. I walked down the stairs to the door of the basement. I held my breath as I knocked.
The door opened to Gerard’s smiling face and him saying, “Why are you knocking? This is your second home…” He wasn’t lying. Why was I knocking?
I smiled and hugged him awkwardly, “Sorry…it’s been a while…” Too long.
“Yea it has. I’ve missed you…” Gerard said while letting go of me and closing the door.
We separated from each other and smiled awkwardly at each other. See it’s too awkward for us now. We will never be the same.
“How have you been?” I asked while tossing my bag onto the couch like I had never left.
“Well to be completely honest…I have been lonely…I missed my best friend…”Gerard answered. I feel so guilty now.
“I’ve missed you too…” I replied to him and I reached out and patted his arm. He smiled and did the same. God kill me with the awkwardness in this room. I hate this.
“I’m glad you’re here…Are you ready for your interview?” Gerard asked while sitting on the couch with me.
“I’m actually really fucking nervous. I’ve never interviewed such a successful person before. You know, with a really high paying job…” I explained and played with my hair.
“I’m sure you will be just fine. What time do you have to be there?” Gerard asked trying to make small talk.
“I want to be there at eight in the morning…I hope that’s ok,” I replied.
“That’s fine. I will drop you off and then I will go over to the island by ferry and after I will pick you up and we’ll get some lunch.” Gerard had the day planned already.
“Sounds fantastic to me,” I replied happy to be with him.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
“Why does New York City have such horrible traffic like this?” I asked feeling frustrated. “I’m gonna be late…” I announced while looking around for a better route.
“Calm down, you aren’t gonna be late…Look there’s the World Trade Center…” Gerard pointed in front of the car.
“Wow…I always forget how huge this city really is. It’s amazing…so different from New Jersey…Ok how do I look,” I went on. I was wearing a pair of tight black pin striped pants with black ballerina flats and a white button up shirt with a half black vest that tied in the back. My hair was parted extremely to the side and put up in a ponytail.
Gerard smiled and said, “You look gorgeous…”
“Aw thank you…” I flushed. He’s never called me gorgeous before.
Gerard stopped right in front of the North Tower and I grabbed my small black bag and went to get out when I felt Gerard touch my left arm. I turned around and hugged him tightly like I wouldn’t see him again. I don’t know what it was that made me hug him like that, but I didn’t care at that moment.
“Good luck with your pitch,” I told him.
“Have a good interview. I’ll see you in a couple hours,” Gerard kissed my cheek. I got out of the car and he waved as he drove away. Goddammit why must you do this to me again?
I took a deep breath and went through the doors to the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
I walked up to the front desk and I received a visitor pass and was directed to the nearest elevators. I got into the elevator and pushed the button for the hundred and third floor. Wow I’d never been that high before in my life.
I finally reached my destination and the elevator doors opened to a frantic frenzy of people at desks, people walking around and talking, and people taking phone calls.
I walked up to the front desk and said, “Hi. I’m Tristan Iero and I’m here to see Mr. Hobbs for an interview for my college business class.” I smiled.
“Oh honey, Mr. Hobbs isn’t here just yet. You can have a seat over there.” She pointed to a small room with chairs and a flat screen television. I sat down in a chair and looked up at the clock…it was eight in the morning.
At eight-thirty the secretary gestured for me to come over to her desk. “Miss Iero, Mr. Hobbs is on his way. He was caught in traffic and he wants to send his apologies for being late.” The secretary said to me.
“That’s fine. I’m in no hurry. Thank you,” I smiled.
“I’m Rose, sweetheart, if you need anything…let me know,” She smiled right back.
“Why thank you very much, Rose. You are so sweet,” I replied and she smiled even bigger. She was probably close to thirty and she was married. I saw her family portrait behind her on the wall. She had a beautiful family.
I went back to the small room and sat there nervously for quite some time until around eight-forty-five when I felt the building shake violently and a massive explosion was heard. What the hell was that?
I hit the ground and felt the warmth through the floor. I waited a couple minutes before I got up to look out the window. There was a lot of black smoke billowing up from directly below us. Why is there smoke? What has happened? What is going on?
“What is going on?” I asked while looking over at Rose. She was now standing next to me at the window. The fire alarms were going off.
“I don’t know, hon,” She replied looking scared.
We both stared out the window toward the South Tower. We could see in the reflection of the windows that the floors below us were on fire.
-Meanwhile on a ferry across the water-
Gerard stared up at the black smoke that was pouring off the very tall building in front of him.
“Which tower is that?” Gerard managed to choke out.
“North Tower,” a man answered next to him.
“Are you positive?” Gerard struggled to ask.
“Yes. I’ve lived here my entire life. Why…do you know someone that is in there?” The man asked.
“Yes…my best friend…” Gerard answered.
“Did you see what happened?” The man asked.
“An airplane hit the building…” Gerard said while still staring at the damaged building.
“Wait…look over there….is that….is that another airplane?” the man asked while pointing at the sky.
“What the fuck is going on?” Gerard watched as the plane hit the South Tower.
“Was that an airplane?” I asked feeling completely overwhelmed with shock. What the fuck was going on?
Rose ran to her desk and tried to call her husband on her desk phone. No luck, so she tried her cell phone. I heard her crying to him that she was scared.
We tried to evacuate like the rest of the building, but we were trapped. A couple floors down were completely gone because of the explosion. I tried to remain calm.
“No no no…oh come on…” Rose threw her cell phone at the wall. It broke into a few pieces.
“Stupid cell phone…what good are you…?”
“Did he know what’s going on?” I asked feeling desperate for news.
“He said the news is saying it’s a terrorist attack, but that’s all they know right now. I guess that’s all we’ll know for a while until signal is back or we are rescued,” Rose stood with me at the window, watching the other tower burn.
There were several other people on the floor with us, but they were huddled up into several groups watching out the other windows.
Suddenly something rushed past the window. “Was that a person?” I asked still trying to see what it had been. Then I saw another and another…What was going on? Why would people jump? I felt sick to my stomach and Rose’s eyes grew wider when she saw what I did.
I tried to think happy thoughts…
I kept thinking about Gerard and how I wanted to be with him.
“How old are you?” Rose was trying to get my mind off what I had just witnessed.
“Fifteen. I’ll be sixteen on Halloween…” I tried to smile. Why am I here?
“Wow you are so young…how are you in college already?” Rose asked still trying to forget what she’d just seen.
“I skipped a few grades and took night classes. I just wanted to get it done quickly…Are you married?” I asked already knowing the answer to the question.
“Yes for ten wonderful years and we have two little boys…what about you…is there a special someone?” Rose asked.
“Actually there is…but I don’t know where it’s gonna go. He’s my best friend, but he is also eight years older than me…” I sighed.
“I’m sure you’ll see him again…” Rose patted my arm in reassurance.
We watched the South Tower again.
Then without warning the South Tower began to collapse at nearly ten that morning. My eyes flashed in horror as I watched the South Tower disappear several hundred feet below me into a cloud of dust.
My mouth gaped open and I couldn’t believe what was going on right in front of my face. Was this really happening? Was our tower gonna collapse too?
-Next to the Ferry Port-
“The South Tower is falling!” A woman cried next to Gerard.
He watched as the South Tower crumbled to the ground.
People were running all around him and they were all covered in ash and covered in glass.
Gerard still managed to watch the North Tower…that was still standing, hoping it would remain standing.
“Why…why…why…did it fall?” Rose was starting to lose her grip on reality.
“I don’t know…please calm down…we’re gonna be fine…it’s gonna be ok…you’re not in this alone…” I tried to keep my composure, but it was hard. I was so scared myself. I walked up to the window and looked out with my hand on the glass. Was this it? Would I ever get to be with Gerard? Was I gonna die this way? Why would this be happening? This can’t be it…I haven’t even begun to live…I just finished high school. I’ve never loved…well least not out in the open…I’ve never traveled. I haven’t done anything. This can’t be it. I kept thinking this over and over.
My heart sank when I felt the building shift which sent me spiraling to the floor.
Rose was near me, but far enough away that I was in that small visitor room alone. The building shifted again and I was on my back watching the ceiling.
I felt the floor move beneath me. I knew the building was falling. It felt like a long period of time, but in all reality it was a matter of seconds.
-Next to the Ferry Port-
“TRISTAN! OH MY GOD?” Gerard screamed as he watched the North Tower collapse. Was this really happening? This had to be a dream…no a nightmare…he thought.
The dust finally settled to a catastrophe.
The iconic World Trade Center Towers that made the New York City skyline what is was were gone. The city sky was now broken and the New York City Police didn’t know where to go from here.
Steel corpses stretch out toward an ending sun…scorched and black. Gerard couldn’t believe what he was seeing…could he still reclaim his innocence after seeing what he saw.
The New York City Police then made those who didn’t live in the city to leave immediately. Gerard didn’t want to leave because Tristan was still in the rubble, but his hands were tied, so he set out for New Jersey in the worst traffic ever.
Mikey watched as his mother, Donna worked in the kitchen. His stomach growled, nagging him for food. Donna had already told him for the fifth time that dinner was going to be ready soon, and he was afraid to ask for it again.
He felt a bit insensitive. His mother was clearly shaken up from earlier events. It was the night of September 11, 2001 --- a day that would go down in history as one of the greatest massacres of all time. In addition to this, his brother Gerard and best friend, Tristan, had not returned home. They did not even see them when they left that morning. They were both worried, but Mikey felt worrying while on an empty stomach didn't help anyone. Tristan and Gerard were probably celebrating or getting together. Mikey giggled to himself at that thought. Anyway, it was far too early to call it out of the ordinary.
Finally, a meal of spaghetti & meatballs, with a basket of garlic bread was set down on the table. Mikey's mouth watered, but just as he grabbed a fork to serve himself a helping, the back door opened.
"Gerard...” Donna said as she looked up at her son.
Gerard had come in, looking pale and upset. He did not make eye contact with either Donna or Mikey and seemed to just want to go down to his room.
"Well aren't you going to have something to eat?" Donna prodded. Mikey shot her a warning look. “Where’s Tristan?”
Gerard had always been prone to sudden states of depression. There were times where he simply wanted to be left alone. Mikey already knew this was one of those times. Yet Donna never seemed to understand him. Mikey understood. Mikey understood because unknown to any of them, there were times where he would feel like that too.
"I'm not hungry...” Gerard muttered as he walked past them.
"I made one of your favo --" Donna started, but was interrupted.
"I SAID I'M NOT HUNGRY!" Gerard shrieked suddenly, practically running to his room as though someone were trying to grab him.
“What is going on?” Donna was scared as she looked to Mikey to console Gerard.
Mikey jumped in his seat. While he was familiar with Gerard's depression, he had never seen him snap like that before. Especially not at their mother. While he shied away from others, Gerard was always very sweet and kind to their mother. He opened up to her.
Had something happened? Of course there were the attacks this morning. Yet why would Gerard react in such an angry manner? He tried to think of where Gerard might have been today, and only then did he remember Gerard mentioning something about the internship at Cartoon Network. The Cartoon Network headquarters that was located in New York. Tristan had an interview with someone in New York in the…World…Trade…Center. Mikey put down his fork, having suddenly lost his appetite.
Mikey went down the stairs to the basement and quietly made his way to Gerard’s door. His brother was upset. There was no doubting that, as Mikey heard Gerard thrashing things about in his room. Mikey debated going over to him. On one hand, Gerard might be difficult to talk to given his current state. But on the other, he seemed rather violent at the moment, and Mikey didn't want to risk Gee hurting himself.
He didn't bother knock, he knew Gerard wasn't going to tell him whether or not to come in. He just barged in. When he did, the first thing he saw was paper. There were papers everywhere, ripped and torn apart on the ground. He bent down and picked one up. He saw the shreds of paper were from Gerard's drawings.
Mikey felt more crushed than he expected to see all these pieces of art destroyed. He always thought he brother was an excellent artist --- he had a collection of his own favorite Gerard drawings. He looked up to see his brother tearing down more pictures from his walls, he hadn't even given any indication that he had heard Mikey come in.
Mikey ran to him, pulling him away from the wall and grabbing him by the wrists.
"STOP!" Mikey yelled at him, completely unsure as to what else he could say.
"IT’S ALL A FUCKING WASTE!" Gerard screamed as he struggled against Mikey's grasp. "IT’S ALL ONE BIG FUCKING WASTE!"
Mikey could see that Gerard's eyes were bloodshot, the area around the eye ball puffy and red. He was sniffling as though holding back tears. Gerard was definitely having some sort of breakdown, but Mikey knew he could get through to him.
"YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS GERARD! I KNOW YOU'RE UPSET BUT YOUR ART SHOULDN'T HAVE TO TAKE THE HIT!" Mikey tried to match his screaming volume in order to achieve more of an effect.
"IT’S NOT FUCKING ART! IT’S USELESS FUCKING SCRIBBLES! OH MY GOD TRISTAN! WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?! I COULDN’T SAVE HER!" Gerard bawled.
"WHAT HAPPENED TO TRISTAN? WHERE IS SHE?! GERARD PLEASE JUST CALM DOWN!"
Mikey's eyes grew wide as Gerard started to hyperventilate. Tears were streaming down his face.
"...USELESS ....IT’S ALL USELESS....THERE WAS NOTHING I COULD DO FOR HER…SHE’S GONE…" Gerard sputtered repeatedly.
Mikey wasn't sure what to do. Should he call their mom, or their grandma? No, none of them would be able to help Gerard because neither of them knew him like Mikey did. Yet Mikey felt lost himself. It seemed simple... he just wanted Gerard to calm down and tell him what was going on. Where was Tristan? Mikey grabbed Gerard and pulled him into what would be the first of many "breakdown hugs". He held him to him, and Gerard fought. He struggled against Mikey, trying to pull away. Yet Mikey stood his ground. Gerard was bigger than him, so it was a bit hard, but Mikey was also taller than him, so he was able to hold Gerard's head tightly to his chest.
"Shhh... you're okay Gee....shhh..." and Mikey could feel Gerard begin to go limp; surrendering to the embrace.”...that right... its okay..."
Gerard's breathing slowed. Soon enough all Mikey could hear was a sniffle here and there, and he knew Gerard had returned to him.
“Gerard…where is Tristan?”
“….gone…she was in the North Tower when it collapsed,” Gerard quietly said through his silent sobs.
-In the collapsed North Tower-
Screams…in the distance…
Screams near my general vicinity…
People yelling for help…
People crying out in pain and agony…
Dust filled the air…
The building had collapsed…I knew that much.
I was buried under tons of concrete and steel. I tried to move, but my left leg was pinned and broken. I cried out in pain when I tried to move it…how was I gonna get out of here…I was starting to grow scared. I tried to move my upper body…my arms were free, but my right side had a steel rod through it and I was bleeding profusely. I was stuck and I was sure I was gonna die. I stayed still for a while, and then I moved my head to look around. All I saw was rubble all around me and the air was saturated with dust.
“Rose…?” I said a loud, hoping she would answer.
“Tristan? Is that you?” I heard come from my left side. She was pretty far away.
“Are you okay?” I asked her and concern laced my tone.
“Yea…I’m just stuck…are you ok? Can you move? Are you hurt?” Rose asked calmly.
“My leg is broken and I have a steel rod through my side…I’m bleeding…but I’ll be fine,” I tried to sound hopeful. It wasn’t very effective.
“I hope so…” Rose said sounding skeptical.
“We’ll be fine…they will rescue us as soon as they can…” I tried to reassure her, but in my heart I knew we were in trouble and I also knew if we weren’t found soon…I would bleed out. I was going to die.
“How did this happen? Why? I don’t understand who could have done this…this is…is…insane…” Rose was starting panic.
“Calm down, Rose. You can’t think like that…especially right now. Think happy thoughts…” I didn’t know what else to do to calm her down. I mean I was a fifteen year old girl trying to go to college and I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Timing is everything…
I could hear Rose sobbing…”Rose; please don’t cry…please…” I begged her to stop, but she kept crying.
I just let her continue to sob to herself and I thought about Gerard. Where was he now? Did he see this happen? Does he know I won’t be there to meet him for lunch? I wished he was here or that I was with him at this very moment.
“She said I don’t know if I’ve ever been good enough…I’m a little bit rusty and I think my head is caving in…I don’t know if I’ve ever been really loved by hands that have touched me and I feel like something’s gonna give and I’m a little bit angry, well this ain’t over, no not here, not while I still need you around...” I sang softly and it seemed to calm Rose down. She stopped crying after a few verses.
“That was so beautiful…”Rose finally said after I finished the song.
“Thank you…” I replied weakly. My head was starting to feel light and blackness consumed me.
-Meanwhile in New Jersey-
The Way house was in a frenzy of packing and yelling.
“Hurry the fuck up, Mikey!” Gerard yelled from the front door of the house.
“Calm down, Gerard…I called in a hotel room for you guys near the city…for the next couple days. Gerard…honey…it’s under your name…” Donna spoke from the couch.
“Thank you mom…HURRY UP MIKEY!” Gerard was frustrated and worried. His emotions were not under control and he could feel tears struggling to get free from his eyes.
“Ok…I’m ready…” Mikey had a bag over his shoulder.
“We gotta pick up Frank before we leave town…” Gerard said while walking with Mikey to the car. Gerard’s voice was shaky and Mikey could tell he wasn’t alright.
“Gerard…she’s gonna be fine…Tristan is gonna be fine…” Mikey finally spoke as he got into the car.
Gerard closed his car door after he got in and put his head in his hands, “I hope you are right, Mikey…what would I do without her? She doesn’t know how much she means to me…why did I never tell her…?” Gerard then started the car and pulled off down the road toward the Iero home.
He then pulled into the driveway and Frank ran to the car and got into the backseat.
“Our mom got us a hotel room outside of New York City…” Mikey turned toward the backseat and said to Frank.
“Oh thank God. Hey have we heard anything yet?” Frank asked.
Gerard drove out of Belleville and headed toward New York City.
Mikey and Gerard just shook their heads no. All the news offered was videos of the airplanes hitting the twin towers over and over and over. They stopped watching it hours ago. The car stayed quiet the entire ride to the hotel. They were staying close just in case Tristan was found, but as of right now everyone that was in the buildings during the collapse were assumed dead. They tried to stay hopeful and think that the news was wrong. They couldn’t believe Tristan was dead.
-Collapsed North Tower-
Night September 11, 2001
It was even darker down the deep hole I found myself in…
The screams had ceased hours ago…
I could hear machines now…when were we gonna be rescued…
My eyes scanned all around me…I could see…nothing.
“Rose…” I half asked.
“Oh Tristan…what happened to you?” I could hear the concern in her voice.
“I was…asleep…” I lied, “Sorry if I worried you…”
“It’s okay…how are you feeling?” Rose asked.
“I’m fine…” I lied again. I was growing weaker and cold by each passing minute. I was scared. The fear was settling in that I was gonna die here.
We stayed very quiet throughout the night. I passed out again and didn’t wake till the next afternoon.
September 12, 2001
“Tristan…Tristan…” Rose called.
“Yea…” I answered weakly.
“Are you ok?” Rose asked, her voice was shaky.
“I’m fine…” I answered trying to convince myself and convince Rose that I was fine.
“I know you aren’t fine…you are sleeping too much or passing out from blood loss. I can hear you breathing and it’s shallow and very weak…” Rose was starting to freak out and cry as she spoke.
“I’m…fine…” I choked out before coughing into my hand. I felt warm liquid in the palm of my hand. I managed to see that it was, in fact, blood.
“Tristan…” Rose called my name as I coughed.
“Yea…Rose…” I replied while trying to wipe away the blood.
“Do you think we will ever see our families again?” Rose asked with a strange tone.
“I sure…hope so…” I answered, knowing that I most likely wouldn’t be.
“Me too…little Adam and Chester…and my husband, Ted…I wonder what they are doing at this very moment…” Rose thought out loud.
I thought of my family, but my mind kept going back to one person…Gerard. What was he doing? Did he care that I may be dead soon or assumed dead?
-Meanwhile in a hotel outside of New York City-
“Turn that shit off…” Gerard spoke from the table as he was scribbling down a song that he had in his head.
“Gee…it’s just the news…we need to know what’s going on…” Mikey said while turning the volume down on the television.
Frank was sitting on one bed while Mikey was on the other. They both had taken over the television all day and all they watched was the news and it was driving Gerard insane.
“I’m sorry…I just can’t listen to it anymore…they haven’t found many people alive…” Gerard tried not to think of the worst thing he could think of…why didn’t I tell her how much she meant to me? Gerard shook his head and went on writing.
This broken city sky like butane on my skin, stolen from my eyes…hello angel…tell me where are you…
“They are gonna find her…” Frank tried to sound hopeful, but he was dying on the inside. His little sister was all he had in the world and he couldn’t protect her from this.
-Collapsed North Tower-
September 13, 2001, really early in the morning…
My eyes fluttered open to the darkness of my coffin like hole. Would I ever get out of here alive? My body was going numb and it was difficult to breathe. My body was constantly shaking as if I were cold, but I couldn’t feel anything anymore.
“Rose…are you awake?” I called to her.
“Yes…” Rose spoke softly.
“How are you?” I asked.
“I’m fine, sweetheart…how are you?” Rose sounded like a concerned mother.
“I’m…fine…” I lied once again. I wasn’t fine at all, but I didn’t want to alarm her. I needed her to remain calm, so I would too.
“I hope so…wait…hold on…I hear someone above me…” Rose sounded hopeful.
“What is it…what do you hear?” I was hoping it was someone to rescue us.
“Hello…is anyone down here?” We both heard a man’s voice yell down toward us.
“Yes…yes there is…” Rose answered excitedly.
“Hi, ma’am my name is Mike and I’m with the New York Fire Department. What’s your name?” Mike asked with a hand outreached and shaking Rose’s hand.
“I’m Rosetta Via-Mosby and my friend over there is Tristan Iero.” Rose answered with a big grin on her face because she was happy to see a face that was there to save her.
“Nice to meet you ladies…” Mike smiled warmly, “Are either of you hurt?”
“Yes…Tristan is badly injured. She has a broken leg and a steel rod through her side…she keeps passing out. I’m fine…just a few bumps and bruises.” Rose answered with major concern lacing her tone.
“Miss Tristan…are you bleeding a lot?” Mike asked.
“…yes…” I breathe through trembling lips and I truthfully answered.
“Ok ladies we are gonna get you out of here right away. Rose do you have any one you want me to call to come up here?” Mike asked.
“Yes, my husband, Ted…he works on Wall Street...” Rose went on with a phone number.
“Miss Tristan…do you have anyone you would like us to contact?” Mike asked.
“…yes…Gerard Way…my best friend…I need him…please…I want Gerard…” I went on with a phone number. I didn’t know how much longer I had before…
“I will get these calls made and Rose you should be out of there within the hour. Tristan, we are working on your side too, but it may be a little while…just hang on for me. Ok?” Mike sounded genuinely concerned and we heard him leave and we could hear a lot of people up above us.
“Ok…thank you…” I weakly replied knowing that they wouldn’t get to me in time.
-Meanwhile in a hotel outside of New York City-
The phone was ringing and Frank picked it up as Gerard and Mikey watched him, “Hello…oh my God…are you serious? How is she? They didn’t tell you…she wants who? Gerard…where do we need to go? Ok…ok…ok…Thank you Donna…we will…ok…bye…” Frank hung up the phone and stared at Gerard.
“What was that about it?” Mikey asked.
“The New York City Fire Department called your mother because they found Tristan. She’s alive, but in bad shape. They didn’t really go into detail about her condition, but they asked her who she wanted to see and she said Gerard. So we gotta go into the city right now…” Frank was frantic and running around the run grabbing his stuff. Gerard was dumbfounded and stayed still for a moment.
“She wanted…me?” Gerard asked still letting all of this sink in.
“Yes…we gotta get a move on…your mom is calling my dad and they are gonna meet us in the city,” Frank vanished out the door to the car, Mikey behind him and so was Gerard.
Mikey decided to drive and let Gerard sit and think about what was going on.
-Collapsed North Tower-
“Hang in there, Tristan…they will have you out of there soon.” Rose said before she was pulled out of the hole she had been in for nearly three days.
A few minutes later Mike was down at my face…he crawled toward me and handed me a water.
“Here, miss, you need to drink this…” He said to me with a smile on his face.
“Thank you…” I said while taking the water from his hand.
“You’re gonna be fine…I promise,” Mike smiled again and took my hand and squeezed it.
“I hope you’re right…” I smiled weakly and drank some of my water. My world was going in and out. I felt weak and numb and I’m sure that wasn’t a good thing to be feeling. I just wanted to hold on long enough to see Gerard one more time.
Mike crawled back up out of the hole and I didn’t see him for an hour or so…I couldn’t really tell you to be honest.
“Tristan…?” Mike called from above me.
“Yea...” I answered weakly.
“We have Gerard up here…we are gonna send him down to you…ok?” Mike stated and I could hear him speaking to someone else.
“Ok…” I answered and I passed out again.
-At the entrance of the hole where they found Tristan-
“Ok…” Tristan answered weakly.
Gerard never thought he would ever hear Tristan’s voice again. He looked over at Mikey and Frank, who were standing way off against a makeshift fence. They were talking to many fire fighters and volunteers. He then turned back toward the hole.
“Alright, Gerard…is your harness all attached and ready?” Mike asked.
“Yes…ummm what….” Gerard started.
“You want to know what to expect when you get down there?” Mike asked while looking in to Gerard’s haunted hazel eyes. Gerard nodded. “She’s in really bad shape…I’m not gonna lie to you…she’s in lots of pain and passes in and out of consciousness. She has a steel rod through her side and she is bleeding quite a bit from there. Her left leg is also broken. She has cuts and bruises all over her body, including her face, but in all that she still smiles. And right now she wants you. We are only allowing you to go down there to her right now because of the shape she is in. I’m not trying to scare you, but I thought I would let you know. She asked for you, Gerard.” Mike finished while making sure the harness was nice and tight.
“Thank you…for this…” Gerard replied while looking down into the hole.
Mike nodded and then said, “We are gonna send some medical care down to her, but she is refusing pain medication….”
“She can’t have any of that stuff…she’s highly allergic to all pain medication…” Gerard explained.
“Oh…wow then I will just make sure she gets looked at by a doctor,” Mike said and then showed Gerard how he wanted him to climb down. Tristan was about twenty feet down. The workers were working on the other side of her, trying to figure out how to get her out.
Gerard started down the hole with Mike helping him propel down with the harness.
“Oh oh stop right there…ok now look to your right…you should be able to see her…” Mike spoke from above him.
Gerard looked to his right and saw long dark hair and Tristan’s bloody left arm. “Yea I see her now…”
“Ok you will have to crawl up into that hole to get closer…when you get there let me know and I will tie you off. When you are tied off don’t move from your spot until you want to be brought up…” Mike yelled down.
“Ok…” Gerard said as he swung up on the ledge and crawled forward till he was within reaching distance of Tristan. “Ok…I’m here.”
“You’re tied off now…let me know when you want up…” Mike replied.
Gerard looked in front of him at Tristan. Her small, dainty body was smashed under a lot of steel and concrete. Her face was bloody and her eyes were sunken in. Her eyes were closed and her breathing was erratic and shallow. He reached out and took her left hand. It was cold yet still alive. He could feel her faint heartbeat through her hand. He watched her breathe slowly and his eyes traced her body. How was she still alive? How did she survive? He was so happy she was alive though. He reached out with his other hand and brushed the hair out of her face. He then kissed her left hand and tears escaped from his eyes.
-Collapsed North Tower-
I awoke slowly and looked over to my left to see the most beautiful man in the world. His hazel eyes met mine and I felt tears fall down my cheeks.
“Oh, Tristan…please don’t cry…” Gerard said as he reached up and brushed the tears away.
I smiled and said, “I’m so happy to see you…”
“You have no idea how happy I am to see you…Tristan…I can’t believe you survived, but I didn’t give up on you…” Gerard said while holding my left hand and kissing it.
“How bad is it up there?” I asked trying to change the subject.
“You don’t want to know, Tristan. Don’t worry about that right now. We just need to keep thinking positive about getting out of here…” Gerard replied.
“Do you really…think I’m gonna…get out of here…alive?” I asked through uneven breaths. I knew in my heart I was gonna die and it was sooner rather than later.
“Don’t say that…Tristan, you’re gonna be fine…they’re trying to get you out of here as quick as possible…” Gerard held tightly to my hand. I squeezed his hand in reassurance that I understood what he was saying.
“Please…don’t…leave…me…” I slowly said to him. His face lit up in the knowledge that I wanted him to stay there with me. The look on his face tugged at my heart strings and made me want to live as long as I had him next to me.
“I’m not going anywhere…I’ll never let them hurt you…I promise,” Gerard half smiled.
“No…no…no…Tristan…please…wake up!” I heard Gerard beg as I fell back into darkness.
-Where Gerard was located next to Tristan-
“No…no…no…Tristan…please…wake up! Don’t go!” Gerard begged, but Tristan had lost consciousness again. Would she survive this?
Gerard stayed in silence for the next few hours as he listened to Tristan’s shallow breathing.
The afternoon hours turned to the night as workers were trying to figure out how to get her out without hurting her any further or killing her in the process. They were having some issues, but they were removing debris from above her, trying to open up the area to remove her from the hole. They were also arguing about what to do with the steel rod through her body.
“Tristan…I need to tell you how much you mean to me…I should have told you a long time ago…” Gerard started and kissed Tristan’s hand gently and took a deep breath and said, “Tristan…I…love…you…” Gerard sighed because he knew Tristan had not heard what he had said and he knew he should have the guts to tell her when she was awake, but he knew he wouldn’t.
A little while later the doctor came down and looked at Tristan while she was still out. He said she didn’t look good and she needs some major medical attention and fast. Gerard didn’t like how that sounded. The doctor wrapped Tristan’s leg in a temporary cast and then went up out of the hole. Gerard kept praying that everything would be alright very soon. She had to live…she just had to because he did love her. Gerard was scowling while thinking of how much of a pansy he was for not telling her how he really felt.
“Don’t make that face…” Tristan finally said after several hours of sleeping.
“Oh Tristan…you’re awake…thank God….” Gerard sighed and smiled sweetly at her. She smiled a weak smile right back.
-Collapsed North Tower-
“How long was I out?” I asked while watching Gerard’s worried face.
“Five hours…it’s dark now, but they are still working above us. When they move all the debris that is on top of you, they are gonna saw the steel rod and lift you out of here…I hope it happens soon…” Gerard explained with concern lacing his tone.
“Me too…” I tried to remain positive about the situation. Gerard smiled and caressed my face. “Thank you for staying with me…”
“I told you I wouldn’t leave, remember I promised,” Gerard smiled at me and leaned forward to kiss my forehead.
“Gerard?” Mike yelled from above.
“Yea?!” Gerard answered.
“We are gonna start the saw on Tristan in a minute. We will bring you up with her when they finish…does that sound ok?” Mike asked.
“Yes…I want to stay with her…” Gerard answered while looking into my eyes.
We watched as many people came to my right side and they told me that when they cut the rod that the pressure that was on my wound will be gone and they will have to pull me out quickly. I nodded and held Gerard’s hand. He looked hopeful.
The paramedics put a straight board under my body and the fire fighters started work on the debris around me. Then two mean held the steel rod steady and started cutting underneath my back. They kept a wet towel against my body to keep it cool around it. The sound was almost unbearable, but I just kept looking into Gerard’s eyes.
“Just hold on, Tristan…it’ll be over soon…” Gerard tried to comfort me.
“Don’t leave me…oooww it hurts so much…” the vibrations from the saw were hurting me and I felt even more blood escape from my body.
“You’re gonna be fine…just hold on…” Gerard held my hand and pressed his lips to my head.
They finished with the bottom of the rod and started on the top. It wasn’t long before they had that cut, but they didn’t pull it loose just yet.
Mike came down and got on my right side and said, “Ok we are gonna pull you out in a minute. Try not to move your right side. We need to keep it stable. Gerard back up a little and don’t move. On three…” Mike went on and I nodded.
“One…two…three…” Mike pulled a bit as the guys above us lifted the concrete up and out of the way.
My right side lit on fire on the inside and I cried out in pain. Tears streamed down my face and I screamed in pain. The pressure was off the side and I screamed, “GERARD! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME!”
“JUST HOLD ON TRISTAN…I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE!” Gerard cried back. He had horror in his eyes.
The paramedics lifted the straight board up into the air and I couldn’t take the pain anymore and I felt my last breath escape my lungs…