69 pages • 2 hours readWendy Mills
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Alia experiences terror as the elevator drops and sparks from the shaft stream through a gap in the door. She prays for help and thinks, “Mama, Ayah, I love you, I love you, I love you” (128). Travis, known to Alia mentally only as “Hip-Hop Boy,” makes a futile effort to control the elevator by pushing buttons on the panel, but eventually it comes to a crashing halt and sways within the shaft. Travis speculates that perhaps a bomb has been detonated, such as the event that occurred in the Towers in 1993. He explains that his grandfather had worked in the Towers and had told him the story of the bombing. He advises that they should “[…] sit tight and wait” (130).
Alia begins to cry, and Travis sits next to her. He urges her to stop crying, explaining that the emergency brake caught them and that help will arrive eventually. They introduce themselves and wait to be rescued.
Jesse is sentenced to perform community-service hours at the Islam Peace Center after having been arrested for defacing the building with graffiti. She dreads doing so, but is grateful to have avoided the Juvenile Detention Center to which