They tried to reach for each other’s hands.Then for several seconds they lay peacefully still. The tip of his index and middle fingers groped on the path that lay between them. Then a sudden jerk made him jolt on the ground where they lay. His heart was perhaps leaving, the only sound that he could feel and not hear. A constant buzz had filled his ear drums, as if he was tuned into a channel with no frequency. Another bursting pain in the chest led out a howling cry from his charred lips. The pale round sun hung calmly in the sky. Nothing from nature’s perspective was chaotic but there were two dying heart beats. The dust covered hand that lay a few feet away from him made no motion.
He wanted to reach out and make some connect with the only other human flesh in sight. He tried to free himself from the shackles of shock. The ring in the lifeless hand sparkled and just as he thought her soul had left for another world, a tear slipped on the blank dust ridden face. There was hope he thought.
He tried to move and get up but a terrible pain shot up his legs. There was not much time…maybe there was never… In a split second the world had gone upside down. In a flash of a light he had found himself hit the hard ground beneath him. Every colour was crushed by a blinding darkness. Faces, laughter, the life around turned into smoke and ashes. Within moments of the deafening sound, he felt losing grip on the tiny hand of his daughter. Of all the things happening around him within those moments, he remembered the shock that widened her beautiful eyes, the shrieking cry that escaped her rosy lips as she tried saying ‘Papa’ the one last time.
As he lay there now and recalled the confetti of human reality falling off in different directions; he thought that wasn’t how he had wanted to see his daughter the last time. The reality of human existence was mocked in that huge crowd of heart beats. Horror and screams melted into one colour of true human celebration. Mothers left their children, husbands bid a hasty farewell to their wives, children left behind their giggles. A scarlet confetti spread out in a remarkable way that the heartbeats there never lived to witness. Maybe some did stay behind, to save it to their dying memories of how moments of separation lasted with the ones who turned into confetti all around them.
He lay there, turning his badly wounded head to the leftovers of human flesh. Among the many pieces lay another maimed body totally motionless. The ring in her finger winked at him, it shined brilliantly, triumphant against all odds. He made no effort to reach out to her again, whoever she was… He froze where he was, not trying to make any connect with the only other human flesh in sight.