At first I paid no attention to the girl next seat. At one of the bus stops she waved at someone. It was another girl who sat in front of her friend. She carried a big bouquet – roses and clove pinks as I noticed later. I barely looked at them only to see that they were young, perhaps younger than me, and then I focused on my own thoughts. Then I overheard one of them saying:
-Did you sleep well last night?
-I tried but I couldn’t. I cried a lot.
-Yes, so did I. Everything was fine the whole day but in the evening I just couldn’t hold on anymore. Listen, take your flowers cause they are heavy. I can’t carry them all.
I looked at them. The girl picked 4 roses from the bouquet and gave them to her friend. She kept another 4 roses and 6 clove pinks to herself. Even numbers, I noticed; so, obviously they were going to a funeral. They drew my attention and as much as I didn’t want to I became a reluctant witness of their conversation.
It was a friend of theirs they lost, about their age, died in a car accident and he was going to play on the next edition of Music Idol. I never thought something like that could make me upset. My heart sank.
– It could have happened to you, me, anyone. – one of the girls said.
So I immediately recalled our car accident from two years ago. We almost died then but at the time I didn’t take it seriously. But that girl was right – it can happen to anyone, not just him, and it can be anyone in their shoes, too. On the bus, with hands full of flowers, and after a sleepless night crying.
I thought about that for the rest of the day and about the way it made me feel. It was a new feeling. An unfamiliar one.
It was the will to live.