It seems both utterly appropriate and completely inappropriate to write about the events that transpired on Monday in Manchester.  Manchester is lovely Liverpool’s sister city, just over by the hills. It’s a city full of memories and honestly not one that I’ve spoken fondly of in the past, it’s not a city I would say I like, but it is a city that I care deeply about and feel intrinsically linked to. Manchester is very much a city that has hand, in making me who I am today and for that I am eternally grateful. After Monday, only feelings of sadness, anger, numbness and a protective emotional bubble remain.

The Manchester Evening News Arena is a place I have been made memories and truly lived to the full within, since before I was in high school. Never in all my years of artistic and cultural indulgence, have I ever imagined in my darkest hour, something like this happening. On Monday, 22 people lost their lives and 60 were injured, with hundreds if not thousands effected by the events of that night. I find myself in the impeccably fortunate position that I lost no body I knew in the attack. The North of England isn’t like the south and if you live in one of the middle grounds between Liverpool and Manchester, you have to pleasure of flirting with both. This means that everyone I’ve spoken to has known someone or loved someone or met people that were there on Monday. Because of this, the people of the Merseyside, Cheshire, Manchester and the surrounding areas, are connected in a shared outpouring of love for those suffering,  providing a strong arm to hold up the supports. Our great cities are sisters and despite our differences we love each other and we wont stand for wankers with weapons ruining our peace!

I knew 5 people who attended Mondays concert. All thankfully safe. Event’s like this put so much into perspective. The first Artist I saw at The MEN was Justin Timberlake (the ‘Justifed’ years) and I was no older than 10. He meant everything to me as a little kid, he was cool and cute and he could dance and sing and I just adored him. To this day I remember exactly how it felt when my favourite song was played, as I was heading to the toilet, I came screeching back in at a speed to rival a cheetah, to sing and dance to what was and is to this day one of my favourite songs. The world has changed so very much that my mum back in 2009 even let 10 year old me go to the toilet by myself. I felt very grown up. This story although it will always be a happy one, now breaks my heart. The youngest confirmed victim was 8. An 8 year old little girl having the night of her life, just like me. Instead of living with a beautiful memory, she lost her life and her family are now living a horror story. Two once great friends were in attendance and have been effected emotionally and indirectly. The shear urge to tell them that I, even now, after everything, will be here and wish them all the love in the world was almost painful. We might not be the friends we once were, but knowing they walked though hell that night, leaves me wanting to do nothing but have them know that they are loved. From a standpoint of much closer to home, I am quietly counting my lucky starts. My mum and her best friend (and honorary Aunt) have a gig season and were at the MEN on the Sunday. There are not words.

It would be far too easy to focus on the negatives involved surrounding the security services and possible reported leads, that are leaking into the press now. But I can’t begin to say how proud I am of the people who helped, the homeless who ran into a bomb site to saves lives, held people in last moments, comforting those who needed and holding people in positions to avoid them bleeding out. The police who kept order and peace in the aftermath. The NHS staff who dropped their days off and their plans, to rush into work to support those on shift. The Taxi drivers who offered free lift’s to anyone going anywhere. The locals and people of Manchester who offered up spare rooms and couches for those involved who couldn’t get home, or had nowhere to stay. The nearby hotel for opening its rooms to a reported 60 unaccompanied young people, providing safety and security, at a time of such disgusting uncertainty. Even Facebook who initiated it “I’m safe” feature so people could keep track online. The locals who woke up and went straight to donate blood in case it was needed, with the blood donor services telling people not to come, because so much had been donated. The people of Manchester came out in a show of in-describable strength and support and I am astounded by all that they are. Vigils across our two cities have taken place with an ever emotional and poignant moment of silence throughout the country today. Manchester and it’s people don’t just stand protected by it’s neighbours, but by the entire country. Those involved aren’t just loved by their own, but by everyone. Condemnation for the murderous twat and his gang of pricks, doesn’t just come from the maniac looking to cause a race riot, but from everyone, from every walk of life. Manchester does not stand alone at this time and when I age and tell the tale of this week, I wont be telling anyone about the murderous man child who was blind to the joys and happiness of the young and carefree. He will not be remembered and spoken about to become a flagship for his ’cause’. His name will be left to die in the cold. He brings shame to his culture and abominates the religion he claims to serve, he has disrespected everything our country offered to his refugee parents, he took and took, he will not be a person I talk about by name. I will choose to remember those lost, to remember the amazing things the people of Manchester have done this week and the beautiful ways in which human beings have thrown every ounce of love they have at this situation, so that no-one may feel alone at this time. I wish I could say that we wont let this happen again, but in this scary ridiculous world, we cant make promises like that. But I do promise that they will not win, not ever. I will never forget the incredible actions of people and I will always stand by in support and with love for all effected by Terror around the world. They don’t get to win!

May those effected recover quickly and begin to heal. May those who lost their lives rest in peace. May all the Gods keep us safe and in peace.

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FEATURE IMAGE: @jackrdesign

Published by Hannah Doyle