Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 41

the hospital!” But she was not stopping, she was limping on what was probably a sprained ankle, and I was on the landing at the top of those stairs when everything happened.

It was bright outside. There was a huge SUV parked right in front of my house―that was probably where the problem was―neither of us could see the car that was coming because of it. I heard a high pitched scream, a terrible wail which I realized was coming from one of the two undergraduates across the street wearing short shorts and holding frozen yogurt. She must have seen what was about to happen before it did. A car was speeding down the street, and Esme, having just passed the SUV, made a horrific sound as the car hit her, her body flying in a sick jellied motion for several feet before she hit the pavement.

I couldn't move. The yogurt girls were screaming. The driver got out of his car, chanting “Fuck-fuck!” Dumbly, I watched as across the street a man I recognized emerged from the falafel shop. He bounded down the stairs, his hand held over the front pocket of his shirt where he kept his change, shouting, “Ya Allah! Ya Allah!” his other hand held up in the air, oddly, as if he were hailing a cab, or Allah, as it were. He was the brother of the man who owned the falafel shop, and as I found myself finally able to move, running down to the street, I remembered that he was from Syria and that he was a doctor. And as we knelt down over the body, I felt a tiny bit relieved, because even though there was blood coming out of Esme's eyes and mouth, there was a doctor here and it was going to be okay.

The undergrads were screaming and gasping into their iPhones, calling an ambulance. The driver was standing back in deference, stunned. Sayeed, the man who owned the falafel shop, ran outside as well, holding a dishtowel. The brother admonished us quickly and told us not to touch her, staying my hand as I instinctually reached for her. Sayeed, who was kneeling, nodded and took the dishtowel and with tenderness used it to

Vera Kurian | 41