Molly H. Mrs. Abernethy


By: Molly H.

My Book is Dedicated To: The Victims of the September 11th Tragedy

My name is Melissa Parker. I’m 11 years old and a straight A student in the 5th grade. I have great friends, a mother who writes books, and a father who is a janitor on the 5th and 6th floors in one of the Twin Towers. I have a one year old baby sister named Mary, a big apartment, and if you look out the window of my room you can see the tops of both the Twin Towers. Every Friday after school my parents take Sarah (my best friend who lives two floors below us) and I to the park. Dad plays catch or something like that with Sarah and I while my mom watches Mary play in the sandbox. My life is great! At least it was until September 11, 2001. September 11th was a normal Tuesday, just like any other. We were doing math when another teacher came into our classroom, and told my teacher to turn on the T.V. My teacher walked over to the T.V., and turned it on. On the T.V., my class and I saw a plane crash into a building. Then a news reporter came on and said, ”Terrorists have attacked the Twin Towers!” Later that day when I got home from school, I couldn’t find my mom! “Mom!” I yelled, “Where are you!” Page 1

I found my mom in my room holding Mary, looking out my window. Mom never came into my room except to say goodnight. ”Are you alright?” I asked. She nodded her head, but didn’t speak. I walked over to the window where my mom was standing, and looked out. I couldn’t see the Twin Towers anymore…just smoke. I looked up at my mom. She was fighting back tears in her eyes. I knew if I made her speak she would cry. So I didn’t ask any questions. Suddenly, it hit me. Where was Dad? Today was his day off! “Where is dad?” I asked my mother. Her eyes filled up to the brim with tears. “Where’s Dad?” I repeated. She let a single tear roll down her cheek. “Where Is DAD?” I asked for the 3rd and final time. Even though, I already knew where he was in my heart. Now the tears were flooding out of my mom’s eyes. “We’ll talk in a minute.” Mom sobbed. With Mary in her arms she left my room and went into Mary’s room. I saw my mom put Mary in her crib. My mom came back into my room with a tissue, and was dabbing her eyes with it. I was not crying. It was too much of a shock. Page 3

“There was an emergency where your father worked in the Twin Towers,” my mom said. “He was the janitor of two floors. What happened? Was there a synchronized coffee spill on both floors?” I asked sarcastically, but in an angry tone. “Your father isn’t a janitor.” “What?” “Wait here. I’ll be right back”, she said holding back more tears. She went into her room, and came out with an envelope in her hand. I saw her cry a little more, but she wiped the tears away before reentering my room. She handed me the envelope and said, “Your father and I had decided to give this to you when you were 12, but I think you’re ready now.” She walked out of my room, and closed my door behind her. After she left I opened the envelope. It was from my dad! It read:

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August 5,1990 Dear Melissa, The reason I’m writing this letter to you and not telling you in person is because a letter is more official. You cannot tell anyone what I am about to tell you. I’m not a janitor. I’m an F.B.I agent. I wish I could have told you sooner, but I needed to be sure you were old enough to keep this big secret. I love you, but I have to go. Love, Dad P.S. Happy birthday! I realized that he wrote it the day I was born, and planned to give it to me on my 12th birthday. I put the letter back in the envelope, and put the envelope in my dresser drawer where I keep all my important things. I went into the kitchen where my mom was making two microwave dinners. “Is it true?” I asked. Page 7

“Yes,” She said. “But there is hope that he’s still alive.” School was closed the rest of the week. On Friday, someone called. Mom talked for what seemed like hours. She hung-up. “I have to go out. I think they found your father’s body.” She gulped, holding back tears. ”Watch Mary for me.” Then she left. Mary started to cry, so I went into her room, picked her up, and walked into my room. She stopped crying when I set her down on the floor to play with her ball. I looked out my window and began to cry. “Dad is alive!” I kept saying to myself. “They don’t know if it’s him yet. They just think it’s him.” I made myself stop crying, put Mary back in her crib, went into the family room, and turned on the T.V. There was nothing on, except pictures of the Twin Towers and what they look like now. “I don’t need to see this on T.V. I can see this in real life.” I thought sadly. Page 9

I put in a tape called Miss Congeniality, but when there were funny parts I couldn’t laugh. All my feelings felt blurred together. I felt sad, mad, surprised, afraid, but mad the most, I guess. I was mad at the people who did this! I couldn’t help but let all my feelings out. I started to cry again for a little while, but then I made myself stop again. “Waah!” Mary cried. I went into her room. “Waah!” I picked her up. She stopped crying. I took her into our family room, laid her down on the couch and piled pillows around her so she wouldn’t fall off. I lay down on the couch too, and at three o’clock I fell asleep. At five my mom came home. “Melissa we have to talk.” She picked up Mary and sat down. “Your father is truly gone.” She cried. “No, he can’t be! He just can’t!” I cried. I ran into my room, lay on my bed and cried. All the emotions that I had been trying to hide came out. My mom came in, crying a little, and sat down on my bed. “How could this have happened?” I sobbed.

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“He went back in to save a family. I’ve arranged for us to meet the family that he saved on Sunday.” “I don’t want to meet them! I’d rather have Dad than them!” “I know, but they’re very nice people, and I want you to meet them.” “Alright, but I won’t like it one bit!” I cried. Soon, Sunday came and I was getting ready to meet the family. Ding-dong! It was the doorbell. My mom opened it. There was a lady with a baby in a baby carrier with a blanket over it. “Come in. Sit down ” Mom said. “Thank you,” said the lady. “My name is Linda, and this is Kathleen. She held up the baby carrier, but I couldn’t see Kathleen. She sat down on the couch beside me. I was holding Mary. My mom came in and sat down in a chair. “Please, Linda tell us what happened,” Mom said.

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“Well, normally my husband goes to work by himself, but on Tuesday I went with him so that he could show all his coworkers our new five month old little girl. I talked for a little while, but just when I was about to leave there was a big shake and the ceiling caved in around us!” “There was a tiny opening where we could see out. It was only about three square inches. We screamed, ‘Help us,’ but everyone was too busy running down the hallway to help us. Then your father came over to us and said that he would help us!” “He started to dig through the rubble, until there was a hole big enough for us to crawl out. We were running to the stairs when a beam fell on his leg! We tried to lift it off but it was too heavy. ‘Go!’ he said. ‘I’ll be fine! Just tell my family that I love them!’ “We didn’t want to leave him, but the building started shaking, so we bolted down the steps! We got out just in time! The building started to crumble just as we got out! My husband found an unlocked car and we all jumped in! Then there was smoke. We didn’t get out of the car for another hour.

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“When we did get out of the car, we went to the closest hospital and got checked to make sure that we were all okay. And ever since then we’ve been trying to find you.” I couldn’t see why my dad had risked his life just to save theirs! “Waah!” Linda’s baby began to cry. Linda took the baby out of the carrier, and when I looked into Kathleen’s eyes I knew the reason why my dad risked his life to save them! Then I had a feeling that I cannot explain. By then everyone was crying. Linda and Kathleen stayed for supper. After they left I asked my mom, “When are we going to tell Mary what really happened?” “When she’s twelve,” she said “Why not now?” “She needs to be old enough to keep a secret,” she explained. “Why does it have to be a secret now?” I asked. Page 17

“So that no one will try to hurt us to try and make us tell any F.B.I. secrets,” she answered “But we don’t know any F.B.I. secrets,” I whined. “Yes, but other people don’t know that. Until Mary is twelve, all she must know is that her father was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Right?” “Right!” I agreed. The next Tuesday was my dad’s funeral. Linda, Kathleen, and Linda’s husband, Jake were there.
That night in bed, I thought, “Some people knew my dad as a janitor. To others he was an F.B.I. agent. But to me, he was a hero!”

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