Your head lolls, your eyes are wide and rolling, trying to fix on the turbulent sky. It rained before. I wonder if you can feel the earthy damp, the wet grass soaking through your torn sweater, seeping through your greying flesh to your scrawny bones. Your body jerks, foam flecks your lips. I can’t tell if you’re trying to move, or trying to talk.
“It’s okay love,” I sound patronising; my ears cringe. “The ambulance is on its way.”
I take your hand; you startle. I squeeze your nicotine fingers. Your pale blue eyes flail, trapped amid your once-handsome face. Your jaw works, your limbs twitch. I hold your hand, and I pat your shoulder. For that moment, in the universe, there is only you and I.
Then the ambulance arrives. They strap you down onto white sheets on a squeaky stretcher, and then you are gone. I turn back to daily life, and carry on as though nothing happened. I don’t know you; I don’t know how you are. But I think about you. Sometimes the briefest encounter leaves the deepest scar.