I woke up today, on a Sunday, with my only pre-lunch agenda being to have breakfast, sip on my coffee and write on a couple of blog posts for the first time in a while. So I did. Saif and I got out of bed, had some Greek yoghurt with homemade granola and incredible mango (finally, its mango season), and when it was time for me to start my writing, I placed myself in the window. I never sit there, but today out of all days, I decided to do so because I wasn’t going to the pool like I usually do on Sundays. I wanted to be close to the sun.
Out of nowhere, just as I started writing, a shoe came flying from the top of the building. Saif lives on the second floor in a seven story apartment complex, by the way, and a lot of work has been going on to clean up the facade of the building over the last couple of weeks. I cracked a joke about it to Saif, who was now watching a show in bed – How can people just throw things like their shoes out of the window? Nothing ever surprises me these days. We laughed. A minute or two later, something else fell – it must have been a piece of cloth. Maybe something else. I looked outside the window again. And just like that, a man came falling.
His body banged into the scaffolding, then the window, then the scaffolding again. Then it got silent. The banging of his body hitting hard surfaces once and twice and thrice was replaced with a total silence, and about one and a half meters below me, stuck in the scaffolding on the second floor, I could see an man’s body dangling from the structure. I will never forget this moment. I was convinced he was gone – dead – so I got up from the window where I was sitting, and started screaming for help. I ran to the kitchen, where the staff of the home was located at the time (I must have fallen about three or four times on the way there). My loud screams for help must have been heard by the entire house, because suddenly everyone came running. I kept hearing the sound of my own voice, going ‘oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, he is dead, a man just fell, oh my god‘.
We couldn’t get to him from anywhere except Saif’s bedroom windows. The bedroom windows, however, are sealed with some sort of glue/rubber to keep away the humidity from the ocean. Just about half an hour of trying our bests to get to him, using kitchen knives to cut through the window and break it open, we somehow, together, pulled him in to Saif’s room, and out to the car to take him to the hospital.
We later found out that it was a suicide attempt: an older man whom is struggling with depression, and recently had his leg amputated. He survived because he got help so soon. Maybe because I sat in the window today out of all days, and watched him fall to a highly likely, painful death. Maybe because it wasn’t his turn to go today. As Saif’s dad told me, ‘we’re all part of a bigger plan – he didn’t die because it wasn’t his day today.’ All I know for sure is, if it wasn’t because of someone’s decision to repaint the building this week, and put up the scaffolding, he wouldn’t be here today. He would have fallen to the ground three floors below us, smashed to the ground, in a back alley where no one may have found him for days.
This scenario has haunted me ever since. I have a feeling it will for a while. I hyperventilated for a couple of hours. Then I cried when I came back from lunch. This evening when I came back to the house, I rushed to the window to close the blinds. Uneasiness, pain, sadness. The man may have survived, but I somehow can’t help but think about how much he didn’t want to be saved. How he couldn’t go on anymore, but now, because I decided to write my blog in the mid-day sun this morning, he has to.
Life is weird, isn’t it?