Julian Cadman’s little body was found not far from two ice cream shops.
Last Thursday afternoon was hotter than expected in Barcelona and maybe Julian and his mum, Jumarie “Jom”, were on their way just before 5pm to buy an icy treat. Maybe his little legs were tired after a long day of sightseeing. Maybe they were on their way home.
All the maybes. And, in the end, one definite.
Julian Cadman is seven and he’s dead.
He was killed walking down the world famous Las Ramblas promenade in Barcelona after being struck by a terrorist driving a van at high speed. Thirteen people died with Julian on Thursday. 100 are injured, many critically. His mother, Jom, is in hospital recovering from serious injuries and it is reported she doesn’t yet know her only child has died.
There's no more bike riding for Julian. No eating ice-creams or playing with friends or putting his little hand in his mum's when he walks down the street. There's no discovering he's good at maths or backstroke or has an innate ability to sneak extra chocolate chips into the chocolate chip cookie mixture. There's no finding out he's the kind of teen who thinks hanging up clothes is stuffing them in the cupboard or disappears every time the washing up has to be done.
There's no knowing Julian at eight or nine or as a man or maybe even a father. His life was stopped at seven. Before he read a book with no pictures, before his mouth grew crowded with big teeth, before he could cross the road by himself.
Julian is another terror tragedy. Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the senseless, brutal, heinous killings in Barcelona. We mourn for everyone killed. We are so sad for their loved ones, for lives cut short, for people just going about their day and not returning home. But there is something about a child's face staring back at you in the roll call of the dead. Something about their eyes, their innocence, their stolen futures that, if it's possible, hurts more.