I was at the marathon today, my brother was one of the runners. I spent all day today- can't believe it was today!- walking up and down the streets there. I met my brother on Boylston street right after he finished. We were sitting down when we heard the explosions booming down the street. Nobody panicked, though, because it sounded like a cannon shot, like maybe it was part of the festivities.
Then we saw police officers running in a bee line down the sidewalk. A moment later, a girl came sprinting down the sidewalk in a panic, pushing people out of her way. That's when we knew something was wrong, but no one had the faintest idea what happened.
We left to find something to eat, heading toward the train station he was going to take home. Sirens filled the air. Obviously something bad had happened, but the news wasn't traveling. I walked into a restaurant in Copley Square to see if they could seat us and the place was jamming, the TVs still showing baseball highlights. That's when I started getting texts from my ex-girlfriend ("Are you okay? I'm watching the news now!") followed by the picture of the bloody sidewalk that was only a few blocks away.
At that point my brother insisted on getting to the train, even as I asked him if it was safe to take a train. We walked past the streets as they were being closed down without any idea about what had happened. The trains out of Copley were still running so he hopped on, and I walked back outside. By that point, there were screaming ambulances everywhere and a helicopter overhead.
I walked out of Copley and toward downtown, grabbing a slice of pizza on the way, and for the first time I saw the footage on TV. My phone was blowing up at this point saying it was confirmed as a terrorist attack, that other explosives had been found, and to stay away from mailboxes and trains. It was surreal, walking through the crowded sidewalks of downtown Boston and eating a slice of pizza like everything was normal, while wondering if the city was under attack and another bomb was about to go off, or if the city was about to get locked down and I'd be stuck there for awhile.
To my relief, my train left without any issue. I wasn't a hero today, sad to say. I didn't run to the hospital to offer to give blood. I was really confused, more than anything else. I went down there today to celebrate my birthday and watch my brother cross the finish line. Hell of a birthday! I'm glad my brother didn't slack off out there today, he crossed the finish line about half an hour before the explosions.