Until now, nearly 9 hours after the deadly twin bombings killing three people and injuring more than 140 others near the finish line of the Boston marathon, I still find it hard to believe such an act of terror occurred in the heart of the beloved city of mine and so many other people.
It happened on the Patriots Day, a state holiday in Massachusetts which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution at Concord and Lexington in 1775.
It happened just one day before several Fulbright friends of mine will come to Boston for a conference at Simmons College.
It happened as my days in Boston are numbered and I tend to spend more time on foot to enjoy seeing the beauty of Boston.
It happened as I planned to spend the last days of my journey in America to explore every corner of the global city.
Just yesterday, I still felt enjoyable when strolling along Morrissey Boulavard on which The Boston Globe and Boston College High School are located when the darkness fell in Boston.
Though deadly shootings sometimes happened here and there in America, I feel confident staying in Boston and often assured my people in Vietnam that Boston is one of the safest places in the United States so “please no worries.”
All of a sudden, a peaceful city becomes a focus of the world’s media.
All of a sudden, Boston is on high alert and implements a no-fly zone.
All of a sudden, I feel scared to go out.
The dual bombings happened on Boylston Street where Emerson College is situated, less than one mile away from my school and just about 15 minutes walking from my internship place, The Christian Science Monitor.
According to updates from my school, among those injured, there are seven students from Emerson College and luckily all their injuries are minor. Due to the bombings, Emerson College will be closed tomorrow, April 16.
And today I feel so guilty for making my friends worried for me. I got the news of the attack from an IIE representative about 3:15 p.m. I posted a link from the email on my Facebook without letting my friends know where I was then. Then I went offline.
After two hours in the kitchen to prepare my late lunch, I returned to my room and couldn’t believe in my eyes when seeing my phone and my inbox. So many calls, voice mails and text messages, and emails from my friends who asked if I was okay. I nearly burst into tears when reading messages and listening to voice mails. One of these is “I am thankful you did not go to The Monitor today.”
Today I should have gone to the newsroom after more than a week of focusing on my thesis. But my sickness kept me sleep until noon so I decided to stay home finishing the last part of my 60-page work. All I wrote today was less than a page because my eyes kept watching CNN and Google News for updates of the Boston bombings.
Like other people, I do hope no more deaths due to injuries caused by the attack. Tonight, I cross my fingers for Boston.
A tough day for Bostonians and for me, too.
(Boston, April 15, 2013)