Pray for Paris

1:35 PM Imke 23 Comments

I was scanning through old books, happily talking to my friend about all things nice, and reliving childhood memories while typing away on the vintage typewriter in Shakespeare & Company when one of the bookstore's vendors rushed upstairs, and announced the following: "There are terrorist attacks all over Paris going on right now, we're evacuating the building this instant, the shop is closing. Please go home immediately, unless you live in the north or the east, then do ask friends or family to host you. Be safe, this is serious...". I can't describe how I felt at that moment, only that my heart started racing like crazy, and the few people left in the store, my friend and I looked at each-other uncomprehenisvely - how could this have happened? How could my safe haven yet again be the victim of terrorists? 

We rushed home as soon as we could, surrounded by the constant sound of sirens, while calls from my family started to come in. I'll never forget the sound of the voice of my Mum when I picked up my phone; it still gives me goosebumps whenever I think of how lucky I was this night of terror. So many innocent people were killed, full of joy while enjoying a concert, or a glass of wine on their Friday night. I saw so many young faces pass by my Facebook wall, their relatives begging to let them know if anyone had seen or heard these people, and how so many of these messages had the saddest update possible a few hours after posting the picture of the person they couldn't reach ever since the attacks started. 

I tear up while writing this, knowing I've been to Bataclan, spent great times there, and how I wandered the very same Parisian streets that were covered in bodies and raging with panic last Friday. It's unfair how so many people were taken from their family & friends, for no reason at all. People my age, who still had an entire life before them, their lives cut short by brain-washed killing machines. 

I'm grateful to be safely inside, blessed to be surrounded by people who love me, and by the so many calls and messages I received. My closest friends, my loving family, but also people I hadn't seen in years. It's heart-warming to see how everyone is offering their own form of help, from close-by or from far away - these signs of kidness and helpfulness give me hope. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones, and I hope all those still fighting for their lives in the hospital will get through. #PRAYFORPARIS

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