It’s a beautiful Autumn day. The sun is a warm glow on my bare arms and a slight, playful breeze whispers through the stray hairs that have fallen out of my ponytail, tickling the back of my neck.
Birds and butterflies take a moment’s rest in the leaves of still trees, and the clear, haze-free skies let me see the forests that dig into the small mountains around the town of Eugowra, a 25 minute drive from where I sit.
A town that was supposed to be the site of a wedding that united two families, two hearts, two worlds.
Instead, the two families gathered in a park at Leeton, mourning the loss of the bride-to-be, who was stolen from her fiancé, her family and the world, last Sunday, by a man who felt that he was entitled to take her life.
Her name was Stephanie. She was a school teacher, a friend, daughter, sister. She was a stranger to me, though not to people i know.
Her killer isn’t worth mentioning.
He isn’t worth remembering.
He’s just one more man whose severe inadequacies led him to believe that his desire to enact the ultimate form of control over a woman, outweighed her desire to exist.
As I sit at the table on my parents’ balcony, feeling the same sun that should have glittered off her wedding dress, I can’t stop the tears from falling, or comprehend the agony her loved ones are now forced to endure for the rest of their lives.
Most of all, I want to reach out to a woman I never knew and tell her how sorry I am that someone hurt her.
Stephanie Scott was a teacher, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a fiancé.
Today, she was meant to be a wife.