It was now the early hours of the morning, I was exhausted both physically and mentally and I decided that I needed to at least go home and check on my mum, check if my dad had made it home.
Both my parents were there when I got in, my mum of course was relieved that I had come home, she pleaded with me not to go back out there. I updated them on the latest news and then turned to go to the kitchen and make some tea. That’s what we do isn’t it? In times of trouble, we make tea. There would be no bed tonight, no sleeping – how could we, how could any of us close our eyes and drift off to sleep. It wasn’t possible.
Just as I reached out to the door handle, the house shook on its foundations. An enormous wave of pressure hit me on the back and pushed me into the door, doors upstairs slammed and furniture moved. Then the enormous bang, louder than anything I had ever heard before, seemed to echo all around. It had happened, it had gone off. The bomb disposal officer hadn’t been able to stop it. Was he alive? I had to know, I had to go out, I had to find out.
We all rushed out into the street, all the neighbours were pouring out of their doors too. The air was thick and heavy mixed with a smell of rubber and burning. Sirens screamed out around and the horn on the fire station was wailing. It was like a scene from a 2nd World War movie.
Together with my parents we rushed to my sister’s house. Her front door was open and thankfully the front of her house was intact. When we stepped inside she was standing in the middle of the room cradling my little niece. Her husband was at the back of the house sweeping up broken glass. Because although she had opened all her windows, taken all the precautions the blast had hit her house with such force that the back windows had all shattered. That is the weird thing about a bomb shock wave it hits in different ways. All along her row of houses some had their front windows broken, others their back ones.
The makeshift net canopy that she had put above her baby’s cot was covered in broken glass. It had protected my niece, kept her safe from a shower of glass shards.
Together as a community we began to help people brush up glass, make their homes a little safer. No one ventured down the hill towards the bomb site. It was still too dark and the police still had the cordon up. We wouldn’t get near it until the scene of crime officers had dug through the rubble anyway. So we would wait again, wait for dawn, wait to see what real damage had been done, wait to see if the bomb squad officer was alive, if all our neighbours were alive………….
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