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I was at the Prudential Center's...

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This story was collected by the Boston Globe in the days immediately following the Boston Marathon Bombing. GlobeLab collected these anonymous stories on the Boston.com website and donated them to the Our Marathon Archive. We are grateful for this contribution, which gives insight into how Bostonians and visitors to the city understood the bombing events in their immediate aftermath.

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I was at the Prudential Center's outdoor plaza, near Hynes Convention Center watching the runners, when the explosions occurred. I had come down to Boston to cheer on my housemate, who was running with the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge Team.

I had walked over to Boston from Cambridge and was at the Pru less than 5 minutes before the blasts.

At 2:47pm, I called a friend to check where she was. Soon after I was standing on a raised flowerbed, when I suddenly heard a loud boom coming from the direction of the finish line. It sounded like a canon. Initially I thought some part of the grandstand had collapsed or a confetti canon. Others around me suggested that it might be related to construction works.

Our curiosity soon turned to fear and panic, when a second explosion occurred. It was closer to us and louder. I turned and saw a large cloud of white smoke. Something was clearly wrong. I prayed for it not to be bomb, but had a sinking feeling in my gut.

Spectators and runners alike began started running towards the Pru and the Hynes. I tried running into the Towne restaurant, but couldn't get into the door. I vividly recall a woman next to me, she was wailing as she grasped the hands of two young children. I held the door open for her and ran into a nearby alcove.

A few other women cowered there with me. We frozen, unsure of what to do. Some men had yelled out to get down and get out of the way. I wasn't sure whether I was safe outdoors, or if it was safe to run into the Pru food court. At this point I managed to call my friends and told them to turn around and leave the building. I also texted my sister and fiancé to let them know I was okay, but was unable to make any calls after this.

The plaza was now filled with people, dazed and confused. Some walked around in disbelief, others were crying hysterically. I ran to the North Terrace, and joined others as we watched the first responders race down Boylston St. There was no time to think, and it wasn't clear what exactly had happened.

Confused and in mild panic, I wandered into the food court. It looked almost post-apocalyptic; chairs were overturned and food hastily discarded on the floors and table. I started to realize the gravity of what happened. The Pru no longer seemed safe. As I tried to return outside, a security officer told us all to evacuate the plaza. Crowds began to run through the Pru; grief-stricken families and children wailing ran along side me. I heard another officer tell a man to evacuate the Pru to Huntington Ave, and began running in that direction.

As I stood outside the Christian Science Center, my heart was gripped with fear. How if the Pru would explode? Was something else going to happen? Where were my friends? I began calling everyone I knew, and looking for Dana Farber runners but the lines were jammed. It soon became clear to me that my housemate was far away during the explosions.

I made my way through the crowds and retraced my steps to Cambridge, where my fiancé had agreed to meet. The people around me had no idea what happened, many said "I think there were blasts". A man who had been at the Red Sox game asked about what happened, when he heard my story he was stunned and felt bad that he had complained about the green line being shut.

As I crossed the Harvard Bridge, I was able to reach friends on the phone. One was close to Heartbreak Hill and was thinking of heading to the finish line, instead he turned back and picked up runners, sending them home.

I turned to look back at my beautiful city by the Charles. There was no visible sign of the terror that had just occurred. The sky was blue, the sun shone brightly as it should for Marathon Monday. For a moment you couldn't see the helicopters hovering above, and the sirens disappeared into the wind. It was hard to believe what my sister was saying, how could there be people blown up and bloodied on these streets?!

My heart is heavy for Boston, for the victims and their families. I pray for peace and healing, and I believe in this city. I'm proud to live here and know we will recover.

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