My lunch break was about to end like every other lunch break I’ve ever had until I heard the words, “suspicious package” uttered from a few cubicles away. With only two minutes to get back to my class, I decided to pursue my curiosity and head over to get the latest news. Two minutes later, I walked into class at the precise time I hung up the phone with my wife. I had called to say, “I love you” and to share what little info about the package I knew, to which she replied, “That’s not funny.” I didn’t mean it to be funny, it was just this compelling feeling I had where I wanted to talk to her. I don’t even remember making the conscious choice to dial her number. But just as the name ‘my hot wife’ faded from the screen on my phone, I was faced with a new scenario and a flood ofnew thoughts and emotions.
Suddenly, I felt responsible for the lives of all those in the classroom. And all of my actions from that point on were decided almost as if I was outside of my body evaluating what I did after the situation had ended. Did I save lives? Or did my decisions cause some to be trapped and left behind?
I kept quiet, just to keep everyone calm, and also to wait until I knew something more. All I knew at that point, was that the bomb squad had arrived and they were investigating. I stepped outside of the room briefly after I heard a quiet knock at the door. There, the floor warden told me a building evacuation would start soon and I asked if I should tell everyone or just wait for the announcement over the PA system. ..
As I walked back into class, I felt as if my facial expression was giving away how scared I was inside, but I casually walked past the emergency evacuation plan posted on the bulletin board next to the door and noted the alternate route. Moments later the PA speaker was blaring with dings and buzzers and a woman’s voice telling us they are beginning a building evacuation. The plan was to evacuate three floors at a time, every five minutes. This made the next few moments tense as some made comments about how they felt we should all just head to the stairs and get out as soon as possible. Comparisons to another fateful day were made. All the while I stood in front of the room, having to make the call. We would stay put and wait for our floor to be called. I felt weird even saying it. And I was only about fifty percent sure that it was the right decision to make. It would be about another half hour before our floor would be called and we could cram into the elevator to rush out the revolving doors. But as fate would have it, no sooner did we get out of the building than the ‘All Clear’ was given and we were to return to class.
What did this day teach me? Every moment is precious. Enjoy each day to the fullest. Tell the ones you love how important they are to you. You never know what a day will bring.