September 11th, 2001

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It’s September 11th, 2001. It’s a normal morning. I’m in art class, it’s already 3rd period, and I’m feeling like a stranger, as always. This isn’t my country, but I was born here, and that isn’t my mom, but I still have to listen to her, because she’s my teacher.

The announcement system goes off, we are all ordered to drop whatever we are doing and quietly follow our professors to the auditorium. I’m eleven years old, and I turn to the teacher to comment: “Is this about another kidnapper in town?”

“No, Marija. It’s something much more serious.”

What could be more serious? And why was she suddenly so serious, she seemed fine up until now.

We walked into the auditorium, the whole school was slowly pouring in, taking seats in the comfortable, burgundy-colored chairs under the dim light. Then, the principal spoke. The World Trade Center has been attacked. Planes have been hijacked. People are dying. New York City, and the rest of America, is in danger.

Half of the auditorium starts panicking, crying, screaming, the other half is quiet.

Me? I don’t even know what the World Trade Center is.

-Marija

Jedanaesti rujna je, 2001. Sasvim je normalan dan. Treci sat, imamo likovni. Osjecam se pomalo kao stranac, kao i obicno. Ovo nije moja zemlja, ali sam rodena tu. Ona nije moja mama, ali ju svejedno moram slusati, jer mi je uciteljica.

Preko razglasa nam je naredeno da zaustavimo sve sto radimo i da se u tisini uz pratnju profesora uputimo prema velikoj dvorani. Imam jedanaest godina, okrenem se prema uciteljici i komentiram: “Opet je neki otmicar u gradu?”
“Ne, Marija. Nesto se puno ozbiljnije dogodilo.”

Sto bi moglo biti ozbiljnije? I zasto je ona odjednom tako ozbiljna, cinila se u redu cijeli sat.

Usli smo u dvoranu, cijela skola je polako ulazila, pod prigusenim svijetlom smo svi sjedali na udobna, tamnocrvena sjedala. Onda je ravnatelj progovorio. Svjetski trgovacki centar je napadnut. Oteti su avioni. Ljudi umiru. U opasnosti je New York, pa i ostatak Amerike.

Pola dvorane krene panicariti, plakati, vristati, a druga polovica je tiho.

A ja? Ja ne znam niti sto je Svjetski trgovacki centar.

Perceptive. Detailed. Impatient. Curious. Eager. Believer. Leo. marija@lestandart.com

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