She was tired and didn’t want to cook. She grabbed her purse and ran to that little place around the corner, you know that one type of place where you just know everyone and they are always happy to see you and mmmmhmmm they make the best comfort food.
“Hi guys,” she said as she approached the little shop. People were mulling around outside and inside. They exclaimed pleasantries back and forth, she hadn’t been there in a while. It was like catching up with old friends. She always felt at home when she came here.
We talked about the normal things, how extremely hot it’s been, how much hotter it’s going to be, and how the water from the torrential rain we’ve just had was running about the streets and gutters like a river.
The boy who cooks barbecue out front was busy turning the meat kebabs and vegetables and other foods on skewers. She thought he was cute so she gave him the googly eyes and said hello. He’s adorable, and he knows she plays with him so he said hello back and she continued on inside to start getting her food together.
She handed her plate of food to the person behind the counter who began to cook it.
The boy who cooks the barbecue ran up, “There’s been an accident, a motorbike hit a car! A girl is underneath the bus.”
She ran through the water in the street while similtaneously grabbing her camera. She needed to document this. This was a part of life, a morbid part, but this is life.
“Why is everyone standing around? No one is helping?” She kept thinking.
A man was running around, yelling. The bus driver was on the phone. What was he doing? The man kept pushing him. And yelling. It was the most pitiful thing she had ever seen. The pain in that man’s voice would have shattered God’s ears.
It was his wife. He was yelling for his wife’s life. And everyone just stood there, staring. She moved closer to get a shot from the front of the bus, where you could see her face, the front of her body sticking from outside the bottom of the bus.
He was convinced. The bus driver moved the bus back.
What? Don’t you leave the body where it is until the paramedics get there?! She was confused, and why wasn’t anyone helping or doing anything?
The husband grabbed his wife’s body and dragged it from the bus and just held her. She could have been dead. But what if she wasn’t.
Camera down, the woman moved in to the scene. The most pristine scene of a man seemingly saying goodbye to his wife. She got down on her knees and put her ear against the woman’s back. She wasn’t sure, she listened again. This time she was sure, there was a heart beat.
“She’s alive!” she screamed.
Gently she pushed the man’s arms away and laid the woman down flat on the dirty asphalt. She put her arms straight and looked her face. It was bloody. But everything was intact.
She leaned on the woman’s chest. Labored breathing. Blood in the lungs, she was sure of it. “Where the fuck is the ambulance!”
She looked at the crowd, “Get the fuck back, get the goddamn fuck back now!”
This woman was alive and she wasn’t going to let anyone get in the way of her being saved. She looked down into the face of this traumatized and battered woman. Her eyes were fluttering, she couldn’t talk without blood sputtering out of her mouth. She had to wipe her own tears away so they didn’t fall into this girl’s pitiful face.
She remembered she had a washcloth in her backpack. She quickly got it out and applied it to the huge gashes in the woman’s neck, too close to the jugular. She applied pressure as best she could. She didn’t know what she was doing. The only thing she knew what that it was right. It was the best and the rightest thing to do and she wasn’t going to stop.
She held the woman’s neck up at a slight angle while just stroking her face with her free thumb.
“It’s going to be alright, you’re going to be fine, it’s going to be alright, you’re going to be fine, you’re ok, you’re fine, you’re fine, you’re ok.”
The ambulance came. Tears were running down her face; she was shaking with a relief she’s never known. They put her in the ambulance and the woman walked to the back only slightly aware of the looks and stares and the words of thanks from the crowd.
The man got in the back of the ambulance. She walked up to him and they looked at each other. They hugged, tightly. An embrace like that, one of complete understanding of the traumatic event that just took place, and it felt like it happened only to them, that kind of embrace is worth a thousand hugs from God.
The doors shut, the ambulance left, and the woman walked away. Her food was ready.
This is a true story. I am the woman.