It has been ten years since a group of suicide bombers coordinated a series of attacks across the London transport system during the morning rush hour, killing fifty-two people and injuring over seven hundred.
I was at a job interview in Birmingham, my first since graduating. I didn’t want to be there – it was for a telecommunications company and I knew that it would mostly entail cold-calling the general public – but fear of not being able to pay the bills meant that I found myself in a room with about twenty-five other people, making polite conversation and building structures with Meccano to demonstrate my ‘team working’ skills.
Suddenly, one of the interviewers rushed in.
“Does anyone have family living in Central London,” she asked. “A bomb has gone off on a tube near Kings Cross.”
My stomach flipped. My younger sister lived there, and I knew she used Kings Cross to get to work. I left the room and called her. No answer. I called her again. No answer. I started to get a bit panicked, and rang Mum, who told me that my sister had just rung her and told her that she was ok, but had to go because everywhere was chaos. I don’t think I have ever felt so relieved…
That is, until, she told me that my sister was near Kings Cross at the time, but didn’t get on the Tube. I have asked my sister about it since, but her response has always been that it’s not a day she wants to really talk about, and I can understand why.
When I got home and realised the scale of the attacks that had taken place, I felt sick. To have such an atrocity take place at any time and in any place is awful, but on your own people, by your own people, is something I will never understand.
My thoughts are with the families and friends of everyone who was affected that day…