The Longest Wait of My Life


Justine with her parents and young brother. Picture taken in Florida during the sugar sand contest.

Justine Rey, Reporter

October 31  

8: 05 a.m.

I woke up just like I do every morning. Chelsey, my host mom, dropped me off at school for a normal day, but I didn’t know what was going to happen. 

My parents, Aurore and Jerome, and my brother, Thomas, were on a trip in Ney York City for one week.  

4:30 p.m. 

I was about to call my parents when I got home but I heard from Chelsey’s mom that a terrorist attack happened near the Memorial, where the Twin Towers used to be. At that moment I didn’t understand.  

I was shocked by the act, and then it hit me: My parents and my older brother were in New York City, and they planned to visit the Memorial. 

I wanted to cry, I wanted to shout. I didn’t know what to do. Chelsey told me to check on them, and I ran to my room to grab my phone. 

No notifications. They hadn’t called. 

Back in the living room, I jumped on the sofa.  I tried several times to call them. No one answered.  

Changing tactics I decided to text in the family group that we have on Messenger.  


An hour and a half since the attack and nothing. 

I imagined the worst thing that could have happened to my family. They were on a trip to visit the beautiful city that New York is. How could this have happened? 

I was lost. I didn’t know what to do, what to say. I was waiting, waiting, waiting. The minutes felt like hours, days. 

I needed to talk to someone else from my family, so I called my young brother who stayed alone in France at our house. When I told him what he happened, he ran to his room to check his computer to learn more about it. He read that the attack was a car which drove on people. I didn’t know any of this yet because I had business management and I don’t have any service in that class.   

5:15 p.m. 

I was scared, really scared… 

My brother sent more messages, but nobody answered.  


We were together on the phone for 15 minutes when suddenly, we received a message from our old brother. 

“Don’t worry, we are safe,” Thomas said. “We are in the One World Observatory. We saw everything that happened. The NYPD cars are crowding the streets, the roads are blocked.”  

It was the most beautiful moment of my life. The reason why we had to wait: our parents and brother didn’t have battery anymore on their phones. 

After this story, I realized how much I love them and how much life is important. Now, I know that whatever the situation, we should all tell people we love them.  

Justine’s oldest brother who was with her parents on the attack’s day.
Justine with her parents and young brother. Picture taken in Florida during the sugar sand contest.