The evening of Friday 13th November began like any other in Paris. People were waiting for the bus home, walking with colleagues and classmates, or heading out to see friends.
Bars echoed with the clink of glasses and chatty Parisians, decompressing after a long week.
It is beyond distressing and unjust to think that the innocence in the decision to catch up with a friend over a meal, to dance at a concert, to watch a football match, resulted in the deaths of nearly 130 people. Places of simple enjoyment — Le Bataclan theatre, Stade de France, bars and restaurants; La Belle Équipe, Le Carillon, Le Petit Cambodge — will forever be a reminder of the bloody chaos that occurred last Friday.
I’m not a true Parisian, nor can I begin to contemplate the heartbreak of the families and friends affected by this monstrosity; but I can account for the tremendous strength, love and community that resides in this city.
She glows, she inspires, she nurtures. And even after these incomprehensible events, she’ll continue to do so. So as hard as it is Parisians, head to the terraces and don’t let the fear inset.
Don’t stop enjoying the freedoms we are so lucky to have — they are precious and plentiful.
To Paris, with love.