Die or Dare

Keeping in mind that these posts are really in no particular order and are truly whatever comes to my mind and sometimes it could be something really boring or dumb or both. Last night I suddenly remembered traumas I witnessed when I was a child. Not direct traumas, like the beatings and verbal abuse of my parents, but random traumas which happened to  people I didn’t know.

It happened around the same time when I was old enough to play with the God’s cows around the hospital building where my mother worked, a Children’s Hospital at the time.

One afternoon, when she finished her shift, we were standing at the bus stop waiting  to go home. No, in Romania of those times, in the 1960’s,  few people had cars and my parents were not among the privileged party members, so we always took public transportation.

As we stood at the corner of the street chatting with a couple of other doctors, equally blessed with the benefits of public transportation, I heard a scream and the screeching of breaks. I felt wetness on my legs and arms and it was all warm and red! Red? Was someone throwing paing at us?  Was someone making a poor joke and why did they chose me? I looked around and drops of red were splashed everywhere, on the other bystanders, the pavement and before I knew it, a man carrying a little boy came towards us:

“I killed him!” The man said, and the horror  in his eyes I will always carry in my soul forever. “I just couldn’t stop fast enough, and he threw himself in front of my truck.”

The driver carryed the lifeless body into the Children’s hospital.

His friends told the Police they were playing die or dare, but they always knew  to jump in front of a truck so the driver, if he had good breaks, could stop on time…

Something went wrong, they declared, but they couldn’t think what? Would they play it again? Sure, it was dangerous, it required brains or… you died! Children, so young, so inexperienced and fearless they didn’t understand the concept of death, of never having the opportunity to smile, walk, eat and enjoy your friends. For them death was part of a game!

I must confess, I belong to the opposite category. My lesson was that from that day on I learned to look right, to look left and right again because I am not brave, my instincts to keep alive are stronger than the curiosity of finding out what happens if I dare and through myself in front of a truck!

1 thought on “Die or Dare

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