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Silence
Carrie, 16

Silence, what I heard on Sept. 11 and the day to follow.

Silence. The unbearable sound that can rip a heart to shreds. What you hear just a before an orchestra starts playing, or a in the few seconds before the next song on a c.d. I heard silence a lot on this day, whether in a class that listened to a radio news report, and even after being switched off no one could come up with the strength, or even the words to talk; or watching the news after school that day...

Buzz. The sound of a bad radio connection in the basement of the school. 22 students and one teacher crowded around a small, one speaker Sony sound system. All staring blankly into space, half of them listening to an NPR radio broadcaster listing facts of the crash. The other half running over questions in their mind: "Why did this happen?" "Who would do this?" "Is my family okay"...

Click-Click. The sound of an air-conditioner while we had time to reflect at the end of the day...

Ruffle. The sound of clothes as students move to a new position... Ring. The sound of the 1st bell releasing us to out first period class... Silence. Silence in classrooms, silence in the hallways. Silence on the faces of High School students asking "What's going to happen next?"... Silence. You walk outside, there are no planes. Marching band is outside, no lights ahead...

The world is silent, waiting, waiting...

Silence. Buzz. Click. Ruffle. Ring. SILENCE...Silence...silence...