It was a horrible time. Every time I went out my front door, there were reminders of death and destruction. I didn't go a day without crying. The horror of it and the appalling waste, the appalling insanity of the bombers, the innocent lives lost - it comes back every year on this date as a haunting memory.
There are other dates. Other bombs. Other atrocities. But it's the one closest to you that you remember most of all. An oak tree was planted on Russell Square to commemorate the dead and I'm please to say that it's growing tall and strong, despite the pollution it suffers and the ghastly heatwaves that get worse and worse as years go by.
On Thursday morning I woke at 4.30 as usual, too hot to sleep. Tossing and turning, I wracked my brains for a suitable topic to write about for an anthology I wanted to contribute to, a genre that I had never tackled. Four hours later, when I was brushing my teeth, an idea finally gelled. Knowing how busy I would be on Friday, I planned to start the story today, Saturday 7/7. Saturdays are always good days to write.
But it has to be more than a coincidence that on the anniversary of the 7/7 bombings, I should start writing a short story about just that: the 7/7 bombings. It wasn't planned. The story is so freshly dreamed up that I couldn't have planned it at all. But there it is: on the anniversary of the bombings, I find myself researching the events I lived through, remembering the dead more than I ever have before, and confronting that day that - until now - I've tried to forget.
It still makes me cry.