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Freedom | 2013


 

At 6:45 AM Abdulaziz al-Omari and Mohammed Atta arrive at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

 

Omari is famished. “Did you have breakfast? What do you think? Au Bon Pain? Micky D’s?,” he suggests as the pair roll their luggage through the Food Court.

 

But a bleary-eyed Atta isn’t responding. Perhaps exhausted from the early flight from Maine, he moves through Terminal B automatically, his head bobbing gently to the rhythm of George Michael’s “Freedom ‘90” buzzing from the intercom.

 

…I won’t let you down / so please don’t give me up / ‘cause I would really, really love to stick around…

 

Omari tries again, “I suppose we could do better. How about Wolfgang Puck?”

 

But the plastic wheels of Atta’s battered black Samsonite roll on, uninterrupted by Omari’s growing frustration.

 

…Heaven knows I was just a young boy / Didn’t know what I wanted to be…

 

Omari adjusts the shoulder strap of his additional carry-on, “I just need something simple, just something to tide me over.” He looks at his watch, “Cosi?”

 

But today the way I play the game is not

 

A static voice interrupts the music –“MARWAN AL-SHEHHI. MARWAN AL-SHEHHI. PLEASE REPORT TO GATE C FOR A PHONE CALL. MARWAN AL SHEH–“

 

Atta’s wheels stop abruptly. He turns to face his hungry companion, “I think there’s something you should know.”

 

Excited by Atta’s utterance, if perplexed by its meaning, Omari presses, “It looks like Dunkin’ Donuts is the only thing open anyway. Any interest? We board in half an hour.”

 

But Atta is already wheeling toward the gate.

 

…All we have to do now / is take these lies and make them true somehow…

 

Omari sighs to himself with resignation, “I’ll just get something on the plane.” He is re-adjusting the shoulder strap of his additional carry-on when he sees it –

 

“FUDDRUCKERS!”