It was raining, again, so the little girl had made sure to throw on something to keep the rain at bay as a she scurried off to school. It was still raining on the way back home too, but it was better than before. She hurriedly took off her rain boots before entering her house. Her small fingers tugged at the bright yellow buttons of her equally bright and well-worn raincoat. “Mommy, I’m home,” she called out towards the kitchen of her house where her mother could usually be found making the standard after school snack. She knew something was wrong the moment she heard no reply. Worried, the blonde scrambled into the house, completely forgetting about her half open jacket that was threatening to fall of her tiny shoulders.
She found her mother sitting on the couch, the TV’s flickering lights illuminating a blank look on her normally smiling face. “Mommy?” the girl asked tentatively. Her innocent and confused voice broke the adult out of her stupor; she unsteadily rose to her feet, kneeled down to become eye-level with her daughter, and then embraced her petite body so tightly the girl made a small noise of pain. “Mommy?” the girl tried again to get a response but was unsuccessful. “Cheer up Mommy. Daddy’s coming home today!” At those words the woman’s body stiffened before beginning to shake. Over her mother’s shaking shoulders the little girl caught a glimpse of the TV screen; the words “September 11” repeatedly flashed across it.