Easter Sunday was a quiet day here. After the initial excitement and chocolate gorging, the day just meandered along like any other.
I put on a load of washing. I folded and put away washing from the previous day. I did some dishes. I made some lunch for the kids.
I worried about the fridge that did not seem to be cold enough and then I googled “fridge not cold but freezer working fine.” Made a mental note of some solutions to try later.
Mum rang. We attempted to chat but Harlow screamed until I gave her the phone. She had a conversation with her Granma which included exactly three known words in the English language but when I took the phone back she screamed again so I apologised to Mum and hung up.
I made beds. I swept up broken shards of chocolate egg from the lounge room floor. I put a movie on for the kids. I looked at Instagram for a bit.
But in a street just four minutes away, two children were being murdered.
It was around 2:30pm and I’m trying to remember exactly what I might have been doing. But I can’t because it was so mundane and I can’t imagine how the day could have played out so differently just a few streets away.
Two little girls, sisters, under ten years old, some reports put them at 3 and 4 years old. Babies. And a man they knew. Maybe their dad? The details are incomplete but I can’t help but imagine who they might have been. Maybe I’ve seen them before at the local shopping centre. Or in their street – I’ve driven down it often enough. There’s a house I always slow down to look at because I like the retro design. Was that where it happened?
People die every day. Even little girls. But not mere streets away from my own home. It seems like something should have marked the moments between two little girls being alive and then not, some shift in the atmosphere, a tremor that someone living just four minutes away could detect beneath their feet.
But for all I know, we may have marked that moment with an argument about chocolate – how the boys wanted more and how I thought they needed to wait until after dinner.
I hope those little girls had a belly full of delicious Easter chocolate. I hope they took baskets into the back yard and collected a million shiny foil-wrapped eggs. I hope no-one argued with them about saving some for dessert. I hope they just ate as many as they damn well wanted to.
I hope they never saw it coming.
Indianna and Savannah. I know your names now. I have seen your faces. Jesus Christ, your perfect, precious little faces.
And I have never wanted to believe in a heaven more than I do right now.
I am praying for your mum.