Those were the only words Tskui Phillips could say as the events unfolded on her television screen. She sank to her knees and watched helplessly when the second plane crashed into the second tower of the World Trade Center. Over and over again the news flashed the explosion. The airplanes seemed too small compared to the massive structures of the twin towers. Far too small to cause their massive frames to collapse, but that is what they did next. As the towers fell, so did her heart; right into her stomach. The people fled from the great cloud of dust in droves, mouths opened in a silent scream.
Tskui's hand was covering her mouth to muffle the sobs wracking her body. Her face was streaked with tears. All those people inside.. all those people.
Tskui's husband chose that moment to enter the room. His red hair was tousled into a boyish mess from sleep. But when he saw the look on Tskui's grief stricken face, all the traces of sleepiness left him. He leaned over to pick up his wife and he set her on the couch, enfolding her in his sturdy frame. It felt odd being the steady one. Normally Tskui was so strong.
He stroked her black hair away from her damp cheeks and looked into her eyes. In them, he saw haunting shadows lurking behind the tears.
"'Kui, what's wrong?"
Tskui closed her eyes to block the pain as she held out one hand, pointing to the television screen. It was then that Aidan saw the towers fall in a replay for the hundredth time. Understanding and horror dawned in his green eyes. He wrapped his arms more tightly around his precious wife with his eyes still glued to the screen. He tried to keep the tears back, if only for Tskui's sake but he failed when one slid down his cheek. But her face was buried in his shoulder, and she did not see.
"My God," he whispered. "Tengai... Tengai was in there"