Alright finally restarting the story, after some delays. Make sure to read or reread Chapter 1, which is like 5 days back, so that you understand WTF is going on.
As Rachel looked at the mantle, she saw the photograph of her with her parents from when she was a little kid, ice skating together as was their Christmas tradition, and wondered if this would finally be the Christmas season when she would have that special someone to skating in Central Park on Christmas Eve with. As the Knicks waltzed closed the first quarter trailing 25-19, she dazed off into memories of the day 8 years ago that changed her life forever.
September 11, 2001
Rachel and Charlie were both in their final year of their undergraduate careers at NYU, both majoring in sports marketing, and looking to work their way up the corporate chain and become sports agents someday. They had a "friends with benefits" type relationship, with Charlie making it perfectly clear that long-term relationships weren't his thing. Having been friends with him for practically her whole life, Rachel had grown fond of Charlie, they had always been best of friends, but she hoped to change him, as she eventually wanted to settle down and have kids. But for the time being, their current relationship would have to suffice. At 10:00 am, she got the fateful call, that the World Trade Center (where both of her parents worked) had been hit, and was on fire.
They quickly hopped into Charlie's Camaro and rushed downtown towards lower Manhattan, but encountered a monsoon of people trying to leave the scene, and emergency personnel trying to enter the scene. They stalled, and continued to try and reach her parents, but to no avail. When the towers fell, Rachel feared the worst.
"Ohh my God, they're gone." she cried out
"No I'm sure they made it out in time Rach. Have some faith, everything's going to be okay, we're going to find them" he replied.
Rachel and Charlie spent the rest of the day calling and trying to reach all the local hospitals which were beyond chaotic, trying to locate her parents, as Manhattan was for all intensive purposes a warzone.
A week later, after frantic searching, posting missing person's posters around the city, she gave up hope. In the aftermath and further investigation of the incident, it was determined that her parents had been trapped in the 105th floor of the North Tower, and did not survive the attack. She had lost the two most important people in her life, and having no siblings, and having lost her grandparents at an early age, she now had no one but Charlie and her other friends left.
At first devastated, Rachel decided that rather than letting this tragedy be the end of her, she wanted to use it as a positive, and rededicated her life to helping others, hence her entry into the nursing profession. Shortly thereafter, her and Charlie decided to "just be friends", as she wanted more than just a fling, and wanted to make herself available for her prince charming to come and sweep her off her feet.