A WOMAN's broken engagement had allowed her to cheat death after she changed career plans that would have seen her working in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

On September 11, 2001, a terrorist attack from members of Osama bin Laden's terror network Al Qaeda claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 Americans.

Most of these deaths happened in Manhattan when two hijacked planes hit the Twin Towers.

Crystal Brown-Tatum, then 29, was working as a receptionist in Texas when news broke of the Twin Towers getting hit.

Like many others at the time, Crystal thought the first plane going into the North Tower was an accident — until the second plane hit the South Tower.

"I remember just the look of disbelief and horror on everyone's face as we really begin to soak in like I think we're under terrorist attack," Crystal, who is now 51, told The U.S. Sun in an exclusive interview.

Crystal's building was evacuated and on the drive home, she reflected on how her life could have drastically changed if she had been in the South Tower that day.

She thought to herself at the time: "Oh my God, I was supposed to be in World Trade Tower Two had there not been that strange and painful twist of fate."

Crystal got engaged in the fall of 2000 and was set to be married in May 2001.

"I was looking for a residence. I had secured a job offer with Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center Two," Crystal said.

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"And so things were looking pretty bright and optimistic. You know, a Texas girl moving to the big city — I was excited and I was nervous," she recalled.

"I really fell in love with New York City. I loved the whole energy, the buzz of it."

Crystal had her whole future planned out until she made a disturbing discovery.

"I discovered my fiancé had been unfaithful and I called off the wedding," she said.

Crystal broke off her engagement in March 2001 and came back to Texas with her eight-year-old daughter where they were safe from the terrorist attack that would unknowingly come in the following months.

Speaking of her failed engagement, Crystal said: "I was nursing a broken heart. I was in counseling for it. It was just devastating to call off a wedding."

However, "at some point, the tragedy of September 11 might've changed to relief for me. Like, wow, that could have been me.

"And it kind of unveiled a lifelong philosophy that I had — when bad things happen to you, at that time, in that moment, you will not understand, 'Oh my God, why is this happening to me?'

"But in time something will be revealed that will provide you some comfort that that needed to happen to you for you to grow or even for you to be whole," she said.

Crystal is also a breast cancer survivor.

"I hate to say I've cheated death twice, but you can't help but reflect on what I call survivor's guilt," Crystal said.

She continued: "I always hold that very deep in my heart and I'm grateful to still be here, but there's always that kind of burden of guilt that my life could have changed that day as well."

Crystal is currently a Human Resource director and an army wife. Her daughter is now the same age Crystal was when 9/11 happened.

"My life has kind of come full circle — career-wise, personal-wise. I'm in a good place," she said.

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Crystal was able to find love again after reconnecting with a man she met in college when she was 25 years old.

"It was great because by the time I connected with my husband, I was emotionally healed from that setback and I was open and ready to love again," Crystal said.

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