Kevin Oliver / Story Corps
Editor's Note: This story contains a language that some may find offensive.
On the morning of April 20, 1999, 16-year-old sophomore Lauren Cartaya quickly fled Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. After two students opened the fire, the fire started.
Lauren's older brother Zach, who was 17 at the time, hid in an empty classroom with his classmates for three hours. The armed men killed 13 people and themselves, which was then considered the largest mass shooting at a high school.
At StoryCorps last month in Colorado, Lauren and Zach remembered this tragic day.
"When you stack 60 17-year-olds – together in a small space, you will go over what everyone would expect: fear and tears and prayers," said Zach, now 37.
It was a serious situation, but she were still teenagers.  "When the minutes go by for hours, you start becoming a 17-year-old again, whether you like it or not," he said. "One of my friends laughed and was scared she would die as a virgin, a girl peed in Mr. Andre's thermos, and we never told him about it, we took off the ceiling tiles and we signed if we wanted to die."
Lauren, now 36, remembers waiting for her brother to come home. "They walked right past me as if I were a ghost," she said.
" I was a ghost," he said. "I was in shock right now."
Then came the wrath.
"This summer, Columbine passed, I was playing softball all the time," Lauren said. "And I was so angry – I chewed so much chewing gum, I had 10 cavities."
Zach and Lauren struggled to find a healthy outlet for their emotions. "There's no really good way to express your anger," Zach said, "and it comes out in the craziest places."
"I remember smoking cigarettes in the men's room and a Jefferson County police man coming in and he is like smoking a jug? & # 39; – and we looked at him with dead eyes and said, "What the hell do you want to do about it?" And he turned and walked out of the door.
The shootout wiped out most of Zach's memory from his school year in 1999. Lauren recalled similar amnesia.
"After the shootout, I definitely blocked a lot of life before that," she said.
This The scare has stayed with Lauren, who now has to send three of her own children to school. " This year it's just … I have those dreams that are so alive that I have to. Tell parents that their children will not come out while I hold mine in my hand, "she said. It never goes away, "said Zach.
" Never, "said Lauren.
The road to healing is long but necessary, Zach said. 19659010" Recovery is a marathon and not a race, and you just have to "he said, remembering the words of his former director, Frank DeAngelis." So over 20 years I had to let go of my anger. Because if you do not let go of this anger, it will consume you. And too many of us have been used up.
But, Lauren said, they are grateful that they support each other.
"It's always good to have a brother who can relate. They definitely gave me the power to heal, "she told Zach.
Today, Zach co-founded the Rebels Project, an organization that collaborates with survivors of mass shootings.
Audio produced for Morning Warren
StoryCorps is a national nonprofit organization that allows people to interview friends and relatives about their lives, and these conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress Participants can leave a legacy for future generations. For more information on interviewing someone in your life, see StoryCorps.org .