Paris Attack Survivor Has Some Hard-Hitting Words For All Of Humanity
"You never think it will happen to you.
It was just a Friday night at a rock show. The atmosphere was happy and everyone was dancing and smiling. Then, when the men came through the front entrance and [started] shooting, we naively believed it was all part of the show.
It wasn't just a terrorist attack, it was a massacre.
Dozens of people were shot right in front of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girlfriends' dead bodies pierced the small music venue. Futures demolished, families heartbroken. In an instant.
Shocked and alone, I pretended to be dead for over an hour [...]. Holding my breath, trying not to move not to cry — not give those men the fear they longed to see.
I was incredibly lucky to survive. But so many didn't. [...] The images of those men circling us like vultures will haunt me for the rest of my life. The way they meticulously aimed and shot people [...] without any consideration for human life ...
It didn't feel real. I expected any moment for someone to say it was just a nightmare. But being a survivor of this horror lets me shed light on the heroes:
— to the man who reassured me and put his life on line [trying to] cover my [head] whilst I whimpered;
— to the couple, whose last words of love kept me believing the good in the world;
— to the police, who succeeded in rescuing hundreds of people;
— to the complete strangers, who picked me up from the [ground] and consoled me during the 45 minutes I truly believed the boy I loved was dead;
— to the injured man, who I had mistaken for him and then on my recognition that he was not Amaury, held me and told me everything was going to be fine despite being all alone and scared himself;
— to the woman, who opened her doors to the survivors;
— to the friend, who offered me shelter and went out to buy new clothes so I wouldn't have to wear this blood-stained top;
— to all of you, who have sent caring messages of support — you make me believe this world has the potential to be better, to never let this happen again.
But most of this is to the 80 people who were murdered inside that venue, who weren't as lucky, who didn't get to wake up today. And to all the pain that their friends and families are going through.
I am so sorry.
There's nothing that will fix the pain. I feel privileged to [have been] there for their last breaths. And truly believing that I would join them, I promise that their last thoughts were not on the animals who caused all this. It was thinking of the people they loved.
As I [laid] down in the blood of strangers waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered "I love you." Over and over again. Reflecting on the highlights of my life. Wishing that those I love knew just how much, wishing that they knew that no matter what happened to me, [they have] to keep believing in the good in people.
Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people. To live lives that the innocent victims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to fulfil.
RIP angels. You will never be forgotten."