The Year: 1997
She put on pretty baby pink panties with a silvery white lace edging. She stood in front of the mirror, examining herself quietly. She was young and radiant – A beautiful 19 year old with a peachy pink and white skin. She had wavy ash blonde hair. Her hips were well grown and she had small dark pink nipples and her breasts were firm and round, perfectly proportionate to her slender torso. She thought maybe her breasts have become a little larger in the last few days, maybe not. She put on a casual white T shirt and slipped into skinny blue denims. The radio in the other room was playing Tasmin Archer, “Sleeping Satellite”. She put on a pair of gray camouflage converse, laces untied. She looked outside the window, it had just stopped snowing. It was cold, but she didn’t yet feel it in her room.
She brushed her hair, highlighted and outlined her soft pink lips with a dark electric cherry pink lipstick plus a glitter maroon lip gloss and outlined her eyes with dark kohl. Her feet were either consistently tapping to the drums or her entire body moved subtly with the rhythm. She put on a combination of colours, bright greens, reds, blacks, yellow and blues on her beautifully shaped nails, blowing at them through her sexy pink mouth to dry them quickly. She put on a pair of large shiny silver loop earrings. She walked out of the bathroom to her closet and started looking through her jackets and sweatshirts. It was going to be cold, too cold she thought.
She got down on her knees, opened a drawer from the lower half of the closet and brought out a waist pouch cum bag carefully. It was an ugly worn-out black leather pouch with an odd strap stitched around it with a clip and a buckle. The radio was now playing Bobby Vinton, “Sealed with a kiss”. There was something bulky inside the pouch. She stood up, and looked at herself in the mirror while carefully strapping on the black leather pouch right below her breasts. The pouch tight and firm in place she turned around and took an over sized white San Francisco sweatshirt. She carefully put it on while slowly lowering it over the black leather pouch strapped on to her, cautious not to disturb the contents inside. She looked up at the mirror; no one could tell that something was hidden under that sweatshirt. She put on a navy blue cap with the letters stitched ‘NYC’ in bold white on top. She looked stunning.
She stepped out of her small apartment, without switching off the radio; into the moderately sunny afternoon. It was cold and breezy but the sun was raining soft sunlight which made it pleasantly warm. She started walking. Her destination was not far away. She had to see Denise at the new international shopping and entertainment mega convention center which was just few blocks down the lane. They even had a helipad on the terrace, they said. “Wow, I would love to see that”, she thought. Despite the weather being snowy and overcast over the weekend; it had not dampened the spirits of families, children and young lovers. The street was just as crowded as it would be on any other weekend. The convention center would be crowded with international and national tourists, she thought with dismay. It would be even more difficult to spot Denise now.
She entered the convention center by a back gate with comparatively low security cover. She had to jump a few fences of course and she emerged from the parking lot as confidently as someone who had just parked her expensive sports car. She walked with a determined stride and looked calm as she slipped into the crowded convention center. She went up the escalators to the third floor, which had a massive video game lounge. Children were making a cacophony.
She loved children and was delighted to see toddlers running around, little boys chasing little girls and happy single mothers with their babies and children.
Fathers trying to fly remote controlled airplanes for their soon to be illustrious sons, children spilling popcorn and relishing brownies and muffins, some crying over fallen ice cream and ice candies filled the confined space in her vision.
It all began to seem a blur and everything looked as if in slow motion and all the sounds were echoes. Then she heard another echo, “Nicole”. She started looking around in a daze but could not know who called out her name. Everything was a blur even the person standing right in front of her. “Nicole”, this time was louder and sharper, she snapped out of her daze, it was Denise. She could see clearly now. Denise was a natural red head, slightly over dressed in a long over coat, a skirt, a soft white shirt and a cap which looked like it could be from the 1950’s. She wasn’t wearing any make up, but she wore a smile and tears.
Nicole smiled, holding back the water welled up in her eyes and they embraced each other with great love. Both Nicole and Denise pulled each other closer as the moments passed by. Tightening their embrace, it looked as if they would fuse into one another and become a single living creature if they held on to each other any longer. They closed their eyes.
Their wish was about to be granted, when their embrace was tight enough, the switches in their respective concealed black leather pouches sparked the C4 charges. The explosion was deafening and blinding. It killed everyone on the third floor instantly. The beautiful children, babies, mothers, fathers, the toys and projection screens with the festoons, even Nicole and Denise were shreds now. The cracking walls and the floor were covered in black blood while the air held the acrid and putrid stench of burning bodies.
A cloud of thick dark smoke continuously descended onto the deafened survivors on the mezzanine floor below. The survivors were too stunned even to panic or run for cover. They tried to move their own numbed bodies aimlessly, when the entire third floor collapsed pulling down the ceiling of the convention center with its prestigious helipad and a small helicopter. Large blocks of dislocated concrete crashed onto the people crushing them instantaneously and fatally. The helicopter followed too.
The survivors ran out of the building screaming in horror and agony, women holding onto their children dearly with tears streaming down their face. The fire department and rescue teams were racing toward the remains of the conventions center. Several were killed, the body count went up in hundreds as rescue and survey operations were carried out.
The sun was hidden by dark clouds and soon the dark gray skies began to cry and down came snow; seemed more like ashes.
Nicole and Denise were brainwashed and forced to swear themselves into a fanatic religious terrorist faction on their tour to Israel last winter. They were not American by blood. They were suicide bombers.
27th May, 2009.