Sometimes I wonder about the people in this world who come to terrible ends.
I wonder whether, when they were born, their mothers stared at their little faces and dreamt of incredible things they might do, the amazing places they might go, the brilliant people they might become.
I wonder whether anyone ever sat them on their knee and told them stories; whether someone held their hand and taught them how to read, or tie their shoes, or cross the street.
I wonder whether, at some point in their lives, they were ever really, truly carefree.
When somebody dies who isn’t innocent, it doesn’t somehow seem as wrong as it otherwise might. They made their decision, didn’t they? They asked for it. But still. You wonder whether there was someone at home who got the sick feeling when the phone rang.
Last night, a 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death on the platform at Bankstown station.
He'd been fighting with the man who has been charged with his murder. Both were 'known to the police', as they said in the news, but I'd like to think that neither were bad men. Perhaps just rough boys who made some bad decisions in the past and let their anger get away with them this time. Though I'm not sure that's really the better option, given that at least two lives have been ruined.
The fight went down at 6:50pm. I'd caught the 6:43pm train to Marrickville. Were they already on the platform by the time I left?
I've stood where people have died before - on the battlefield in Gettysburg, on the beaches of Normandy, and even at Dachau. But coming in this morning, when I stepped off the train, I stepped right onto the spot where a kid's body had lain, covered with a sheet, just hours before.
Somehow, it seemed especially real this time.