I was the only survivor of flight WC350.
The lady next to me on the plane had—I’m not sure. Her eyes watered constantly. They moved constantly, too.
“I was an English teacher in the 60s. I don’t remember all of my students, of course.”
“I remember Eduardo.”
“He was quiet. Not shy. He was melancholy. A melancholy child. Is there anything more thought-provoking?”
“Eduardo was a good student. A good boy. A nervous boy. I touched his shoulder—once.”
“He wouldn’t eat with anyone. He’d take his lunchbox … and stand in a corner of the room, facing the corner.”
“One day, I came up behind him. As he stood facing the corner. I didn’t want to startle him. I looked over his shoulder.”
“And he turned around. Eduardo…”
“His heart fell down. A jar fell down. And a spoon.”
“Paste. He’d been eating paste. He’d been given paste, to eat. In his lunchbox.”
Her eyes watered onto her lap.
“You look so much—you remind me of him. You have the same way about you. Something … melancholy.”
She leaned in. Tears dropped onto my shoulder.
“What’s troubling you?”
A propeller blew through one side of the plane and out the other.
I felt drunk.
The news explained everything. I watched it constantly, in the hospital.
The debris field was bigger than the Red Sea.
“How did it happen?”
“How did you survive?”
“How does it feel to be the only survivor?”
I was a celebrity. Finally.
It took them a month to find the pilot.
His name was Eduardo.
Rolli’s latest book is The Sea-Wave.
Buy him a coffee.