Last weekend I went on a trip with the boxing team to Espírito Santos. On the way there was a horrible bus accident that had us stopped for about an hour at 3AM in the morning. I don't even know how it was possible, the damage. The first third of the bus was totaled, mangled in a way that had its blue and white steel frame resembling a painting that I once saw of a Japanese tsunami. I found out later that that bus also departed from Rio, twenty minutes before ours; in fact we almost took that bus, but we chose a later one because it was slightly cheaper.
Some of the passengers from the accident boarded our bus and a slim man sat down next to me. There was a small three-inch gash underneath his chin still fresh with blood. I asked him if he was okay.
"Yeah, now I am," he said, with a look of shock still alive in his eyes.
"Did anyone die?" I asked.
"Two people. The driver and a woman near the front."
Someone near us chimed in, surprised at the passing of the woman. I guess she knew her, at least perhaps for a short time. Her face grew silent with the news. I stared out the window and saw the heaviness in the people's faces. I wondered how they would all get home, how they managed to choose amongst themselves who would be allowed to board our bus and who would have to wait. But it didn't seem like any of that mattered. They all just looked like they were mourning the strangers that once held a brief acquaintance as a fellow passenger.
I looked to my new neighbor, thinking to start some small talk, but the expression on his face told me otherwise. It was one without emotion, focused on what, I'm not so sure. I spent the rest of the trip awake, wondering what it could have been.