Today could have ended just like any other day. But it didn’t.
I hate crossing over long bridges. But this story happened on one.
Quarter to six. Everyone looked tired. And everyone wanted to go home. But in spite of the smoke and the noise and the crowd and the (deteriorating) overpass, the sky above was beautiful. Shades of blue and lavender painted the sky. Deep, soft, and warm. Dark, but not quite. Dusk has arrived.
And I guess I wasn’t the only one who felt at peace then, too, because no one on the bridge was in a hurry—rush hour has ended, at least at that area in town. In front of me was a group of high school girls giggling together; to my left was an old man taking a nap on a mat next to the 50-peso belts he sold for a living; and to my right, a father holding his daughter’s hand.
But, with everything happening so quickly, that false sense of peace shattered in a matter of seconds. Everything happened in a blur, and all I remember seeing was the father letting go of his daughter’s hand. And I remember seeing him pushing her aside. Him sprinting to the other side, as fast as he could, without looking over his shoulder. And his daughter, a four-year-old in a faded yellow dress, standing there, shocked, in the middle of a long bridge that might have seemed like a whole continent to her. Frozen, I stood at her side. She cried hysterically and shouted, “Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?” And it went on and on. “Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?”
The father eventually turned his head to our direction.
“Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?”
He looked at her.
“Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?”
And then, our eyes met.
Mine spoke of shock, confusion, and all the big questions, and his, of sorrow, desperation, and guilt.
I wanted to do something. I wanted to talk to him, for what it’s worth. His daughter needed answers. His daughter needed his love. His daughter needed him.
He ran back to where we stood. The sky was turning gray. Quickly, he picked his child from the ground. Our eyes met again. He carried her in his arms. I wanted to talk to him. But night has fallen, and off they disappeared, by the end of the bridge. And everyone else moved on with their own lives, without a clue of what had just happened.
I guess it’s true: life just doesn’t stop for anyone.
Affected. Saddened. Confused.
I am a walking whirlwind of emotions. A girl with so much questions.
Was it done out of love or out of guilt?
Was there something I should have said?
Why do we give in when we think no one’s watching?
Why do the people we love hurt us most?
Why do people leave?
If you know of someone with the answers— please, let me know.
Diary entry: January 21, 2016