... walking across the tile floor of Pamplin Hall. As I approach the door, there is a crowd of people gathered inside the atrium. I could tell that these people didn't belong in Pamplin, they did not seem to have anywhere to go. Instead they huddled together near the entrance. I can sense that something isn't normal, but my cynicism prevails and I head outside, muttering underneath my breath.
I immediately notice that there is something different about the campus. Something just doesn't feel right. It is strangely quiet. The calm before the storm. The overcast sky mirrors my heart and I start walking towards the parking lot. Screaming comes from the drill field. I hasten my step. A girl is walking toward me, a door opens up and someone tells her to get inside quickly.
Something is wrong.
I figure that as long as I am going away from the commotion, I am OK. The parking lot is unnusually crowded. I get in Babe and proceed to dial the Virginia Tech emergency number.
"There is a gunman on campus."
Numbness in my fingers
The message then relays that we should stay off campus if possible or secure ourselves inside a building. What? Is this really happening? Here?
I return to my house and am glued to the internet and radio for the rest of the afternoon. The toll rises:
It's too much and I find sanctuary in a friend's dorm at Radford. I don't set foot on campus for 7 days.