Today I can’t even think about writing about food or drinks. Fitness or fun. Fashion, product reviews, or anything else. Today I just want to take a minute and share what happened in Boston yesterday. Yes, you have already seen the news and know how horrific of a day it was at the marathon. But I can’t help but share how crazy the timing was for me.
I tracked my friend’s progress all morning on the marathon website, based on her bib number, to decide when to venture into the area. At 2:28 pm, I wrote to my friend who had plans to meet up with me, saying “I just got to the Back Bay!” I continuously wrote to her, trying to find a spot to meet up with her and our other friend. They were coming from the opposite direction, walking from the Red Sox game and we wrote to each other and decided to keep walking until we met up around the finish line.
The bombs went off on Boylston Street at the finish line between Dartmouth and Exeter Streets at 2:50 pm. For those that do not know, the streets are alphabetical in that area. At 2:38 pm, I was passing Dartmouth Street, admiring the finish line and squeezing myself amongst the crowds to keep on walking, while taking in a bit of the runners happily and tiredly making their way over the finish line. At 2:43 pm I excitedly wrote to my friends that I was by the finish line near Exeter Street and all the action and wondered if I should stay put so we could see our friend cross the line or keep walking towards where the girls I was meeting were. I tracked my friends bib once again and I knew we had at least 20 minutes to spare before getting a peek at her run into the area, so I kept walking away from the finish line.
By 2:46 pm, I had texted that I was now in between Exeter and Fairfield Street and I was just going to stay put there, a decision that looking back changed EVERYTHING. My friends arrive by 2:47 pm, so I was glad to no longer be alone amongst the chaos and crowds. “What do you think? Should we make our way back down to Dartmouth and Exeter to the finish line to see our friend??!!” said one of my friends. “Nah, I said. I was just down there and it is pretty crazy.”
That is the understatement of the year, based on what happened just MINUTES later. We found a spot close to the railing to try to scope out our friend running, just a block from the finish line. We heard a boom a few minutes after meeting up and finding our spot close to the runners, and just looked at each other confused. A canon going off in celebration? I thought. A transformer accidentally blowing up by Copley Square? And then the second boom occurred and pure panic set in. We did not even turn our heads fully to look back because out of the corner of our eyes we saw people running and smoke quickly approaching. It felt like slow motion but we kept it together, the three of us held hands, and we ran as fast as we could up Boylston Street and down Fairfield Street, until we got a few blocks away from the incident.
Needless to say we were shaken up. But we are amongst the lucky ones that day. We obsessively watched the news, stalked our friend who was running to make sure she was fine (she was safe thank goodness) and spent time together at my friends apartment. Constant updates on social media sites and conversations with friends and family filled the day. But all I keep doing is replaying it in my head. I keep thinking about all the what if’s and I just can’t seem to shake the feeling that time was on my side yesterday. I even did a mapquest to see how far I was from the bombings, compared to where we were standing. It was 1/10th of a mile; or around 500 feet, and on the map, 0.1 miles, or just one block. No matter how I think of it, it was too close for comfort and was where I was JUST standing alone. For those that do not have the same story of getting away unharmed, I sit here with a heavy heart and teary eyes and send along my deepest sympathy for any injuries and deaths that have affected the runners and spectators and their families thus far.