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Ana Kovatcheva writes a short story that is about 9/11 by not being about 9/11 at all. Instead it’s a story of what should have been, what could have been if not for the sudden collision between building and plane. September is the love story between Joshua, an insurance worker, and Isabelle. The story travels through their first meeting in February to what was nearly their final goodbye in September. But in actuality their meeting and goodbye last only a moment. There is no love story, and many lives are changed.

9/11 likes to make that point. People die. Heroes, firefighters, insurance workers… die. Lives are changed. Families are torn apart. 9/11 shines light on this. In a matter of minutes I watched, at eight years old curled up in my mom’s bed, as the two towers crumbled down to the ground. My mom was on the phone sobbing to my college attending sister saying, “No,” over and over again. A broken record on repeat. There were counseling sessions at school and support for the girl whose dad was on a plane flying out of New York that morning. He landed safely at his destination, but you can bet he never got on a plane again. People die, lives change.

For Joshua and Isabelle the future comes to an end. But if this shocking event had not happened, the two could have lived out a happy life.

“They build a relationship on laughing through miserable experiences: out-of-the-blue rainstorms on day trips to the shore, failed experiments with new sexual positions, missed dates they blame on daylight savings, passionate arguments springing from the most mundane subjects. (For instance, Joshua believes it is criminal to use actual utensils in order to eat Chinese takeout. Isabelle is a devotee of real plates and an enemy of disposable chopsticks. This fight almost destroys their fantasy before planes and skyscrapers ever get the chance.)” (Ana Kovatcheva, September)

I find this quote so interesting because the foundation of their relationship is based on laughing through the bad times. 9/11 was a bad time, and while there’s not much to laugh about, there were some positives to come out of the tragic event.There’s now a terror watch list, Homeland Security, and a different hierarchy of law enforcement in such cases. There was also an increase in patriotism, national pride, and unity. As a country we were willing to join together to help recover from the losses after 9/11. There is a positive side to every situation, you just have to look.

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