Beretti had arrived early to work that fateful day, around seven
AM. He passed the usual security personnel and service workers who
were just coming on shift as he headed for the elevator. There were
some items he wanted to get an early start on. Legal contracts needed
to be finished today if he wanted to continue to succeed and move
up in the prestigious law firm where he was presently employed.
the one-hundreth floor button after entering one of the South Tower
The elevator didn’t stop at any other floors since the bustle of
the daytime activity hadn’t begun yet.
the elevator and headed for his office. As he walked down the hallway
on the way to his office he passed Lucy Pavorini in her secretarial
cubicle. Wow…didn’t realize she came in this early! Luckily he had
landed an office space with a window facing east which let him see
some of the city and the water beyond. A great view like that sometimes
helped put things in perspective.
the office door and proceeded to set his satchel by his desk and
shed his overcoat, placing it on the chair in the corner. He was
just about to get out the work that required immediate attention
when his cell phone rang. It was in his overcoat pocket, and he
had to rush over to grab it out. Flipping it open automatically
answered the call.
Alan said, “Who is this?” He hadn’t checked the caller ID before
Alan”, the voice on the phone said. “You have to get out quickly.”
Who is this? And how do you know my name?” Alan answered in a puzzled
“All I can
tell you is that you have less than two hours to get out
of that building or you will die. I know it for a fact. You
only have time to grab your laptop and satchel on the floor by your
desk. Then get out quickly…in fact, get on the subway and get out
of Manhattan altogether…you live far enough away to be safe.”
getting chilled now…how had the stranger on the phone known those
I trust you?” Alan asked. “This could be a crank call.” There was
something peculiar about the voice on the phone. He could hear a
strange background hiss along with a slight echo…as if both speakers
were at opposing ends of a tunnel made of tin.
give you one minute to verify that I know what I’m talking about.
I know a secret about you that only you know…you’ve shared it with
no one else.” The voice shared the secret to Alan.
felt faint…no one else could have possibly known what the stranger
had shared! “You see Alan…I’m you…no one else could have known what
I just told you. I’m you calling from about six months in the future.”
“Don’t faint Alan…I felt the same way when I received this very
same phone call six months ago.”
on the phone continued. “After the turmoil of that day was over,
I started to wonder…how exactly do communication transmissions work?
Is it possible that they may cross over to another dimension, time,
or existence? So I tried to call my own cell phone number at 7AM
every morning, but wasn’t able to make a connection until now. I
knew that I would eventually get through…because I am still alive
today in the future. I’m not sure if it will ever be possible again.
But I will keep trying. I may be able to reach you again.”
too much time talking!” the future Alan said, “Get out and away
the phone closed. He was shaking. If all this was true and it really
was himself on the phone…then he must move quickly. He left
everything as it was except for grabbing his satchel, overcoat,
and of course, his cell phone. He left the office, walking hurriedly
down the hallway past Lucy’s cube…Wait!!
Alan tried to keep calm as to not cause her to be overly nervous.
“You have to get out of the building and as far away as possible
now! It’s not safe!” “Why?” Lucy asked. “Everything seems OK.” But
he had to try to get her out! “Could have sworn I heard a fire alarm.”
Alan lied. Hopefully she took his advice. “No Alan, I’m not going
to leave! Maybe you’re having a panic attack about work or something.”
OK…Alan thought. I guess there was no convincing her.
into the elevator and punched for the ground level. He rushed out
into the lobby walking as fast as he could while trying to warn
everyone he encountered that the building wasn’t safe and they should
get out now.
at his watch, he realized that fifteen minutes had passed! He hurriedly
found the nearest subway entrance and boarded a subway car heading
towards his apartment near Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn.
home, he quickly found a vantage point and used his binoculars to
watch towards the World Trade Center. He watched in horror as the
planes exploded into the two buildings and their ultimate collapse.
He had averted disaster thanks to his future self. But he was deeply
saddened at the loss of life in the attacks. Some of the people
he had warned must have survived to tell the tale of the strange
man warning of disaster, for he was eventually questioned and cleared
by the FBI. He had no ties to any terrorist organizations.
was never heard from again…she was counted among the missing. How
he wished she would have left also. Alan should have been a hero
and forced her out.
didn’t know if the future Alan Beretti would ever be able to reach
him again. But from that day forward he always made a point to try
his own cell phone number occasionally…especially at seven AM. Words
of wisdom can come down from the future. Alan made it a point to
always check his voicemail.