Summary: This is just a one-shot on Mac's thoughts on the tenth anniversary of the 911 attacks, and how his life has turned out in these ten years.
This is dedicated to all the people who had families and friends who lost their lives in the 911 attacks, as well as those who were injured or died in the attack 10 years ago.
It has been ten years. Ten years since I last saw Claire, ten years since I was able to walk past this place without crying, ten years since Stella started taking care of me. In these ten years, I had plunged into the deepest hole, unable to make it out on my own. Without Stella, I probably would never have made it back out. She took care of me, made sure that I was not killing myself, and was always there whenever I needed her.
I walked around the area of Ground Zero, mourning the loss of all those people who were unable to make it out of the twin towers alive. I had always wondered what would have happened if Claire had not been taken away from me, how life would have been for the past ten years.
I held onto the metal fence that surrounded Ground Zero, looking at the remains of what used to be the twin towers. Claire's body was never found; I was never given the closure that I so desperately needed. I had often hoped that she had made it out, that she was going to walk through the door any second, with that large smile of hers upon her face, but I was sorely disappointed every day. I leaned my head against the metal fence, memories from the past few years surfacing.
7 years after the attack, I thought I had moved on. I was able to be in a relationship with Peyton. I wanted to make it work so badly that I did all I could, but my attempts were futile, and she broke up with me when I returned to New York. It was at that moment when I thought that all hope was gone.
I pushed everyone away from me, knowing that if someone that I cared about left me again, I would not be able to bear it, but Stella never left me. No matter how hard I tried to push her away, she would not budge. Our friendship gradually blossomed into something else. We both took another step to our relationship cautiously, overcoming all the obstacles that were hurled into our direction.
A year after we took our relationship to another level, Stella gave me the best present that it was possible, our precious baby girl, Isabella Claire Taylor. Being a sensitive young child, Isabella could always tell when I am upset. She would toddle wobbly in my direction, look at me with those large blue-green eyes of hers and wipe all traces of my troubles and sorrows away.
I looked into the area of Ground Zero again. The wounds inside my heart will never truly heal, but I know that Claire would approve of Stella as well, since Stella and Claire were absolute best friends when she was still here.
I felt the gentle night breeze brush against my cheek. In my heart, I know that it was Claire, telling me that it was time to go back to my wife and daughter, who were waiting for me a short distance away, under a tree. Stella knew that I wanted to be alone after the ceremony; therefore, she took Isabella with her to sit under the shade and allow me to have some time alone. I looked up at the sky, where the daylight was rapidly fading and revealing the soft twinkle of the stars.
'Goodbye, Claire,' I whispered. 'You will always be in my heart.'
I walked to the tree where Stella and Isabella were waiting patiently. We all went out of the area together, hand in hand, with a sense of comfort that one can only find in families.
Up above the stars, Claire Conrad-Taylor smiled. She was glad that Mac had been able to move on and had chosen Stella to be with him till death do them part. She would now be able to rest in peace.
A/N: I really hope you all like it. I wanted to do this for all the people who were affected by the attack 10 years ago. I hope this lives up to your expectations.
Please review. All criticisms are much appreciated but no flamers please.
I have never been to New York, so I have absolutely no idea how was it like there. So if there are any errors, I'm sorry.