September 17, 2001, started as a normal day, and I expected it to end as one. There was no reason for me to suspect that anything was out of the ordinary at all. Every facet of my life seemed to be just as comfortably mundane as it always was, so completely dull that it was nearly impossible to differentiate that day from the previous one.
Looking back, it is difficult to conjure many of the details of my life before that day. I no longer remember the name of the rude old lady who ordered mac and cheese every day and always demanded back every bit of her change. I do not remember the sound of Dory the Waitress’s laugh, nor the exact temperature Lucas the Boss demanded we kept the thermostat set to. In fact, if you asked me to walk into Mulligan’s Restaurant today, I would probably notice a thousand things that I had forgotten.
The reason behind this is simple: nothing really mattered before September the seventeenth. It was on September 17 – and only September 17 – that my life changed.
There is a good reason as to why the story I am about to tell starts on that day. To me, that day will always stand out as a start. In many ways, that was exactly what it was. It was the start of the month, the start of the week, the start of the Mulligan’s Monday discount. However, those things were unimportant in comparison to one start in particular.
September 17, 2001 was the day I truly started living. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the next twenty two days would be the most interesting ones I had ever lived through, toeing the line between the best and worst, but always remaining the wildest.
That day began the biggest journey I had ever embarked on, the journey that created the story I am about to tell.
On that very day, I, April Fielding, saved a man’s life, thus changing my own.
On September 17, 2001, I met a man named Grant.