opinion

Don't remember Mia's murderer. Remember the man who tried to save her.

There’s one girl I can’t stop thinking about, one girl I can’t get out of my mind.

Her name is Mia Ayliffe-Chung.

A 21-year-old doing all the things us 20-somethings do. Travelling around the world, meeting friends from completely different continents, dancing until daylight and making memories to get us through those long work days.

Mia was acting like any other British backpacker when her life was snatched by someone who had a ‘romantic’ obsession with her. A man who apparently told people he and Mia were married; who felt justified to have a claim over her.; who stabbed her repeatedly until her bright light was extinguished.

Mia Ayliffe-Chung. Image via Facebook.

I've seen his face and the picture, that same picture of him I know you've seen too. Sunglasses on, shirt off, with a small and subtle smirk across his face.

I've read the headlines. About how he screamed "Allahu akbar" both during the attack and his arrest. About his Facebook statuses that seemed suspicious. About his murder charge and how on Friday he was beamed up into the court via videolink because it's alleged he was too violent to bring to court.

I'm angry that I know this much about him. Which is why I've made a decision.

I will not type out his name with my furious fingers. I will not remember him. I will not remember his name.

Instead, there is someone else I will remember. I will remember Tom Jackson, who we've heard so little about.

Tom Jackson. Image via Facebook.

Tom Jackson lost his life in hospital on Tuesday, one week after the callous attack. His father, who flew in from the UK to see his son, was by his side.

Tom Jackson is the hero who came to Mia's aid. In the process he was stabbed 15 times and received critical head injuries.

Today I will think about him and after today I will continue to remember him because these are the people who bring light to the darkest of places. These are the helpers, there are always helpers and it is a tragedy that Tom traded his heroism for his life.

But Tom Jackson, I will say it over and over and over until the darkness is gone. When I'm angry I will remember him and claim the only power that I have. To remember the pure and good and not the evil and bad.

To hold onto that power with everything I have, the power that was taken away from Mia. I won't remember the name of Mia Ayliffe-Chung's murderer. Instead, I'll remember Tom Jackson.

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