I'm looking for a new flat to move into. Good part of my family either laughs or wonders at the notion that, after spending almost an year refurbishing my current flat, I am looking forward starting the cycle from scratch.
I have a full list of requirements, first and foremost location. I don't want to move too far away from my neighbourhood. I like it a lot. It's close to green areas, city centre is barely 10 minutes away. Houses were build in a time where building regulations were not planned with Hobbits in mind, so none of my friends can reach the ceiling if they stretch their arms.
Above all, I love the feeling of belonging in this small "village".
Yeah, we got the Chinese hairdresser, the Egyptian kebab, the Romanian grocery store, but it still feels like a village.
There are two places in 300 meter span you can play boules, people will chat with you in the shops, in the supermarket, at the bus stop. I don't know that many people, yet I feel I know them all. I "know" the people I'll meet in my daily routine, the women at the supermarket cashier, the owner of the kids bookshop downstairs, the girl of the tattoo parlour across the street. I think it's a good life the one I'm building in this small area of my hometown: a life that moves on, alongside the lives on many other fellow humans. People get married, people split up, somebody has a baby, somebody else passes away. Life being life, essentially.
I'm on holiday right now. Trying, as much as possible, to unplug from reality, this morning I felt I was in a good spot, slowly buy surely reaching my goal. First time I checked the mobile in the whole day I'm way into the afternoon, that moment it's too late for coffee and too early for spritz.
There's a message from mum. Unconnected news from home, weather report and then a news.
"There was a femicide in the street you live."
And reality crashed back in.
I don't know anything about this woman. I know that she was beaten to death by her husband and that her husband enjoyed playing chess. I know her name and age, but I don't know what she looked like.
Did I ever bumped into her on the queue at the pharmacy, at the supermarket or the post office? Did I cross her path on my way back from my morning run or my walk routine to my parents' place?
I know that she lived barely 250 mt away from me, but I don't know whether she felt safe as I do in my small village within a big city.
I know that she will become a number in our general statistics on women killings, I can foresee the comments and opinion about her and her murderer, but I don't know how the life of her family will be from now on.
I know it's such a common occurrence nowadays that the news will be reported blandly and people will move on.
Sometimes I wish I could forget what I know, because it'd be so much easier. It's hard to avoid uttter dismay and despair towards the current situation in Italy and towards mankind, it'd be simpler to give into resignation. But 250 mt away from me lived a woman that I didn't know: I just know she deserved much more than what she got in the end, and I know nobody should never ever forget it.