The first period I got in my entire life was when I was 10 years old. The date was September 11th, 2001, the day the World Trade Center was attacked. It was a Tuesday and I had just gotten to school, and about an hour into first-block math class the telephone on the wall rang and the teacher’s aid picked it up. Shock rang white in her face and she beckoned to my teacher with a limp finger. Hanging up the phone, she whispered into his ear and suddenly his expression matched hers.
“Students, go to your lockers and get ready to go home.” He said, completely monotone. “Two planes have just crashed in New York City and your parents are coming to pick you up.”
I was ten, I didn’t fully understand what was going on. Planes crashed all the time, what was so different about these two?
The youngest sixth-grader, I walked to my locker completely unaware of what was going on. All I knew was that I was going home, which seemed nice at the time because I had belly cramps and a headache. On my way to the main office I saw my friend Stacia crying. I asked her what was wrong.
“Didn’t you hear?” She said. “Those planes just hit a building! My uncle worked there!”
Before I knew it I was in my mother’s SUV heading home. She had tears in her eyes but I refrained from asking any questions.
When I walked inside my family’s apartment the television was turned on and my dad was parked in front of it, mouth agape. Suddenly I had to pee. Before I got a chance to glance at the carnage on CNN, I was off to the bathroom with a bad urge to go. I pulled down my pants and underwear and sat down, enjoying the relief when I spotted a bright red stain in the middle if my panties. Immediately I knew what it was.
“Mom!” I yelled from the bathroom. “Come quick!”
She rushed as fast as she could and as soon as she walked in and saw me on the can we both knew what was going on.
“You got your period.” She said. I nodded.
“Pads are in the cabinet. Congratulations Amy.”
— Amy Burdick, United States
Amy is a student at Southern Vermont College. She is working on a book and works at a daycare center part-time.