The details are vivid yet hazy...
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.
The details are vivid yet hazy and deafening yet silent. It's hard to process everything now, even a few days later. I was standing with my boyfriend and his roommate's family directly in front of Lord and Taylor, up front against the road-blocking barricades, internally complaining about how I wished we were on the other side of the road in the sunlight where I could freely walk in to get coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin. We had just seen our friend run by and now had our attention focused toward the west to spot my boyfriend's roommate, watching the BAA website tracker and waiting for it to hit 40KM so we could start timing her approach to the finish line. The first explosion went off just as our first friend was crossing the finish line. When we turned from the west, I knew something was wrong and said "oh no." The sound and feel of the explosion was similar to the largest 4th of July firework that I've ever seen. I started to worry about our friend, but there wasn't much time to think about it before we turned our heads as the second bomb was going off. I yelled "no no no," pushed the barricade down, and remember hearing absolutely no sound. No screaming, no sirens, no footsteps, but not because my ears had been damaged. I just don't remember hearing a thing. My boyfriend and I started to run over to where the first explosion happened but were met before we could get there by a man holding a woman in a white shirt who had her right leg nearly severed, shoe still attached to her foot, barely attached to the rest of her. I told them that I was an EMT and directed him to put her on the ground to get her prepared for a turniquet. We both started taking off our clothes to use as tourniquets as my boyfriend said "use your belt," so I pulled it off, and he applied it. If you didn't have a glimpse of her from the waist down, you would have thought she was totally fine. She was very pretty, good color, permed hair, eyes shut, and breathing. I remember thinking to myself "please open your eyes, please open your eyes." A doctor set down right next to us and asked if the tourniquet was tight, then told us to leave, which we did, as a group. The details after are interesting, but inconsqential, though I feel a tremendous sense of guilt for not turning around to help others. We got home that night and immediately went to sleep knowing that everyone we knew was still alive and unhurt. We woke Tuesday morning in a fog and stepped into the shower where under hot water we could smell nothing but the odor of the air after the second explosion leave our hair.