The 22nd of July 2011.

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A great morning in Norway. I had woken up that day gleeful. Today me and my dad were going to drive my newly purchased first car down to the caravan to show off for the first time. I didnt have my license yet so he would be in charge of driving all the way down. I could have driven as a learner driver, but opted out because there was so much i had yet to experience behind the wheel, that i felt a bit uncomfortable driving that long still.

We got in the car, I was messing with the air-con, the radio, and studying my dads every move in the driver seat. Because in Norway we typically learn to “drive stick” or manual transmission rather from the get go, and i was still not all too good at that. So while he was using the clutch, shifting gears and instructing on good technique surrounding this, i paid close attention. With the radio turned down enough that we could still hear some of it.

While we were rolling down the highway with smiles on our faces. Norway’s darkest day commenced.

A news report came on the radio before its scheduled timeslot. Thats a bad sign every time, but we would come to find out, never did it bring worse news than right this very moment, we turned the volume right up and sat in silence as the shock started to seep in.

In the political center of Oslo, our capital, mere meters away from the building where the Prime Minister’s office was located, an explosion, perceived to be a bomb, had gone off. And at the time, the only clear thing was the matieral damage, it had happened mere minutes prior to them broadcasting, and it wasnt clear what had happened, or if there were casualties.

There was so far very little info, the report was merely notifying that it had happened, and that we would be kept informed.

Me and my dad sat in silence, didnt know what to think. What had happened? What could possibly have occured? Was it terror? Was it a gas explosion?

We arrived at the caravan, parked the car, walked into the caravan, and watched in horror as the images from Oslo started appearing on the screen. The destruction had decimated the heart of the government in Norway beyond recognition. I remember watching, and my thoughts had jumped from What did this, to Who. Because there was no way in hell this was a gas explosion that had taken out so much of Oslo.

Even with these gruesome images in front of us on the TV and all the networks covering it minute by minute. Nothing in our wildest, most outrageous nightmares could prepare us for what we were about to witness. Nothing.

All of a sudden reports turned from the explosion in Oslo. To Utøya Island by Tyrifjorden in Buskerud, where the Youth Labour party had their annual gathering like they always had at this time of year in a tradition spanning 61 years at that point.

The report explained that the island was under attack. The youths who had gone there to engage in social discourse about politics and their ambitions for the future, Were being gunned down in cold blood.

(As i’m writing this i feel anger manifesting, that my vision is blurring from it along with tears pressing.)

The feeling was unlike any other. There was an active shooter running rampant on an island full of defenseless kids and teens from all ages and walks, with the one common denominator or their idelogies. An ideology i myself at the time was part of. Though i had never met them, they were my peers. though i wasnt there, my invitation was laying at home. I’m not going to lie. The thought to this day, that had anything been different and I was actually there… I can’t think about it. Because the thought alone mortifies me.

On that day 8 years ago, I couldn’t watch. I went back out, sat in the front seat of my car, didnt know what to think, only one thing was for damn sure, i felt angry, sad, and meaningless all in the same mix, and felt paralyzed where i sat.

I remember my dad came out to the car, sat down next to it, and talked, we both knew there was nothing that could console any of us from this. It wasnt a petty jab at me or him that we could easily deflect. It was an attack on Norway, the country we cherish and hold dear. Our Home.

In the wake of the attack, 77 were confirmed dead. 8 In the capital. 69 on the island. All at the hands of him.

I refuse to speak his name. I refuse to mention him, if the name comes up, i blow off the conversation. If i see mention of his name or his picture anywhere online, i instantly send feedback to whoever has written the piece, asking them in a sound manner, or a blaze of cusswords, depending on the context, that by doing so, however good their intentions, his name, his fucking face, it’s all a reminder of what happened that day, its all a constant reminder that sick evil ideologies such as his are manifest in society today.

I keep writing His. he isn’t a man. He is a shitstreak on the underwear of life, and the fame he has accumulated since this cowardly attack is exactly the endgame he is after. He wasnt working with any organisation, he was a lone neo-nazi racist piece of shit that got off easy when they gave him life in jail, instead of instituting an annual walk of shame through the streets of oslo where people could and should pelt him with rocks and hit him with bats to the beat of drums. Not that he will ever walk freely again, but even still. thats a punishment befitting the crime he comitted towards our country.

Oh C’mon Kornelius! Have some moral standards and dignity about your writing! Whatever happened to being a pacifist, as you profess frequently that you are?

Ask my family what happens how i get when you fuck with one of my own. In this case, my country as a whole was attacked by someone so demented, so vile, so inexplicably cruel, that he robbed 77 people of their life, 77 families of their loved ones, and an entire country of their family members. Norway is my family in this circumstance. This horrible event binds us all together. And i’ll always go to bat for my country. I’ll never swing first, but i’ll for damn sure swing last or die trying. Be it verbally or otherwise.

Besides that. I hardly speak enough on this event. And in the wake of it happening. I can feel myself becoming incensed when I watch films people have made, when i look at tributes, or when i recall parts of it. And from past experiences, its not healthy to not talk about something as painful as this is for the affected and the country as a whole. so in my case, this is cathartic to get out and then never look at it again.

Thank you for reading the inside of my head. Its a rambling mess i know. Apologies if anything you read in this post is offensive. Id rather this never happened and that no human being would ever have to be at the receiving end of violence, unprovoked or otherwise.

That’s sadly not the world we live in.

Kornelius

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