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As everyone is at the Boston...

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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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As everyone is at the Boston Marathon, I felt surrounded by the beautiful spirit of support and solidarity. My roommate, who had been training for months, was about 15 minutes from the finish line and all I could think of was how amazing it would be to see him run by.

When I heard the first explosion it shook the ground, but I thought it was somehow part of the event, like balloons being launched or something. A few seconds later I heard the second blast from behind me and I knew something was wrong. At that point I could see the smoke from the first explosion. A mother behind me picked up her daughter and started running away and people all around started pushing down the barricades. My stomach immediately started twisting into knots as all the joy and excitement I was feeling turned into a sick mix of fear and panic. My first thought was that I was going to get trampled in all of the confusion.

I was alone because my friends had gone to find something to eat and I didn't know what to do. I called them and told them to come back to where we parted ways and I stood there waiting. Then, someone noticed a black backpack on the ground and started yelling and the people that were still in the area started running away. I called my friends, told them to meet me in the family meeting area and left.

Over the next few hours, I tried to reconnect with both the friends I was watching with and my roommate who was running the marathon. I knew he wasn't injured in the explosions because he was too far back, but I didn't know how I would ever find him. My phone was quickly dying and his was dead. Through the kindness of strangers who lent him their phones (which I'm sure were dying as well), and a friend who came into town to drive us around looking for him we were finally able to be reunited. When I saw him, he started running towards me as best as he could and broke down crying when we finally hugged.

For the rest of the night I felt kind of numb. I was so happy to be reunited with my friends and know that everyone was safe, but I felt that I couldn't really process what had happened. I still can't. I sit on the T and picture what it would feel like if a bomb went off. I see planes in the sky and think "those seem like they're too low. Maybe something is going to happen." Or I hear sirens pass my apartment and think simply "Something else happened."

After it all though, I felt compelled to go out and enjoy this city. To show everyone that Boston isn't afraid. That the love that came from all sides, both from strangers and friends and family, after the blast outweighs the hate in the hearts of the perpetrators. That in the end, you can't pervert the Boston Marathon because there's too much good there. I feel incredibly thankful that I wasn't a block to either side and that my friends and family are safe and my heart goes out to those that were not as lucky as me.

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