Scottish Daily Mail

I whis­pered I love you over and over again

- By Sian Boyle London · North London · Paris · Bataclan · Philadelphia Eagles · South Africa · Africa · Facebook · Eagles of Death Metal

SUR­ROUNDED by bod­ies as she lay in the blood of strangers, Iso­bel Bow­dery played dead in a des­per­ate bid to stay alive.

The 22-year-old from North Lon­don had been at a rock con­cert with her boyfriend Amaury in Paris’s Bat­a­clan the­atre when three men armed with AK47s en­tered the venue and slaugh­tered dozens.

Hun­dreds at­tend­ing the Ea­gles of Death Metal show dropped to the floor of the 1,500-ca­pac­ity venue to avoid be­ing hit – but the ter­ror­ists bar­ri­caded the doors, leav­ing them trapped and help­less.

Miss Bow­dery, who moved to South Africa in 2006 but has been study­ing in Paris, has shared her ac­count of the 60 min­utes she spent play­ing dead while 89 peo­ple died in the gun­fire around her.

In the post that has been read by 1.8mil­lion on Face­book, she said:

You never think it will hap­pen to you. It was just a Fri­day night at a rock show. The at­mos­phere was so happy and ev­ery­one was danc­ing and smil­ing. And then when the men came through the front en­trance and be­gan the shoot­ing, we naively be­lieved it was all part of the show.

‘It wasn’t just a ter­ror­ist at­tack, it was a mas­sacre. Dozens of peo­ple were shot right in front of me. Pools of blood filled the floor. Cries of grown men who held their girl­friends’ dead bod­ies pierced the small mu­sic venue.

‘Fu­tures de­mol­ished, fam­i­lies heart­bro­ken. In an in­stant.

‘Shocked and alone, I pre­tended to be dead for over an hour, ly­ing among peo­ple who could see their loved ones mo­tion­less. Hold­ing my breath, try­ing to not move, not cry – not giv­ing those men the fear they longed to see. I was in­cred­i­bly lucky to sur­vive. But so many didn’t.

‘The peo­ple who had been there for the ex­act same rea­sons as I – to have a fun Fri­day night – were in­no­cent. This world is cruel. And acts like this are sup­pose to high­light the de­prav­ity of hu­mans and the im­ages of those men cir­cling us like vul­tures will haunt me for the rest of my life. The way they metic­u­lously aimed at [and] shot peo­ple around the stand­ing area I was in the cen­tre of with­out any con­sid­er­a­tion for hu­man life. It didn’t feel real. I ex­pected any mo­ment for some­one to say it was just a night­mare.

‘But be­ing a sur­vivor of this hor­ror lets me… shed light on the he­roes. To the man who re­as­sured me and put his life on [the] line to try and cover my brain whilst I whim­pered, to the couple whose last words of love kept me be­liev­ing the good in the world, to the po­lice who suc­ceeded in res­cu­ing hun­dreds of peo­ple, to the com­plete strangers who picked me up from the road and con­soled me dur­ing the 45 min­utes I truly be­lieved the boy I loved was dead, to the in­jured man who I had mis­taken for him and then on my recog­ni­tion that he was not Amaury, held me and told me ev­ery­thing was go­ing to be fine de­spite be­ing all alone and scared him­self, to the woman who opened her doors to the sur­vivors, to the friend who of­fered me shel­ter and went out to buy new clothes so I wouldn’t have to wear this blood-stained top, to all of you who have sent car­ing mes­sages of sup­port – you make me be­lieve this world has the po­ten­tial to be bet­ter. To never let this hap­pen again.

‘But most of this is to the 80 peo­ple who were mur­dered in­side that venue, who weren’t as lucky, who didn’t get to wake up to­day and to all the pain that their friends and fam­i­lies are go­ing through. I am so sorry. There’s noth­ing that will fix the pain.

‘I feel priv­i­leged to be there for their last breaths. And truly be­liev­ing that I would join them, I prom­ise that their last thoughts were not on the an­i­mals who caused all this.

‘It was think­ing of the peo­ple they loved. As I lay down in the blood of strangers and wait­ing for my bul­let to end my mere 22 years, I en­vi­sioned ev­ery face that I have ever loved and whis­pered I love you. Over and over again. Re­flect­ing on the high­lights of my life. Wish­ing that those I love knew just how much, wish­ing that they knew that no mat­ter what hap­pened to me, to keep be­liev­ing in the good in peo­ple. To not let those men win.

‘Last night, the lives of many were for­ever changed and it is up to us to be bet­ter peo­ple. To live lives that the in­no­cent vic­tims of this tragedy dreamt about but sadly will now never be able to ful­fil. RIP an­gels. You will never be for­got­ten.’

 ??  ?? Lay among bod­ies in the­atre: Iso­bel Bow­dery
Lay among bod­ies in the­atre: Iso­bel Bow­dery
 ??  ?? Be­fore the hor­ror: Mariesha Payne, left, and Christine Tud­hope at the Bat­a­clan on Fri­day night
Be­fore the hor­ror: Mariesha Payne, left, and Christine Tud­hope at the Bat­a­clan on Fri­day night

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