It’s one of the hardest things to watch someone you love hurting. Especially when you know that there’s really not much you can do to make it go away, except for being there and trying to ease the pain.
When the news hit Oslo about the London Bridge terror, I was out having a few drinks with colleagues. At first we didn’t really know what was going on, and we hoped that it wasn’t as bad as we feared. Knowing we couldn’t do anything from the distance away that we were, we tried not to obsess over the news and continue on with our pleasant night out. It is safe to say that it wasn’t an easy task, but we managed to steer the conversation to other subjects and so the night went on. I left central Oslo to go home earlier than I planned. My party spirit had left the building.
Sitting on the bus on my way home, surrounded by drunks and lovers, I started reading the news once again. What met me on the screen made my insides twist and my heart ache.
Oh London, my sweet dear London, haven’t you hurt enough by now? Not only have you been struck several times, but your nearest and dearest that surrounds you was struck as well.
I got home and fell into a restless sleep, but have no recollection of my dreams. Maybe it is just as well.
The next morning I hurried out the door to catch my bus down to my hometown to visit family. I watched the news as I sat there on my way to the people I love. One news reporter after the other talked into their cameras from the same spots, and the blood drained from my face. I knew that spot. Borough Market, why hadn’t I recognised the name the night before? It is right next to the hostel that I stayed in when I traveled to London both in February and when I got stranded because of the British Airways disruption. I walked passed that market several times a day, just under a week before this happened.
“You never know. It could have just as easily have been you.”
My mom said to me as we talked about what had happened. And she was right. We never know when something like this will happen. It could just as easily happen to you or me, as anyone else.
“You shouldn’t go back for a while.”
This is where we disagreed! I will admit that every time something like this happens, I get angry. I get confused by how someone could find it in their hearts to justify something like this. But most of all, I get scared.
No matter how scared though, I will not let them take travelling away from me. I will not let them take London away from me. London has always felt like a home away from home, and I won’t let them take my home away from me.
In times like this, we need to focus on the love and not the hate or the fear. And this is why I promise you, my sweet dear London, that I will be back soon!
I love you London, and even though I’m far away, my heart and thoughts are with you and with everyone else who holds you dear.