Last week, a girl committed suicide at the metro station I board the train from. I read about it in the papers the morning after she did it. When I went that day to catch my train I saw a small area of the pavement cordoned off by yellow tape and tried unsuccessfully to avoid looking at the dark red stain in the middle.
I tried to be nicer to the metro staff that day. When I stood waiting for my train, I stood at the point from which she must’ve jumped. The red stain was directly below. I thought of how she must’ve clambered over the railing and let go, taking care to fall head first. I pitied her, because to my thinking, suicide is a terrible way to waste a life and I couldn’t even imagine what horror in her existence drove her to it. I also resented her, for making me think about her at all. She was gone and yet we, who never knew her when she lived, we were now thinking of her. The people who were walking below when she landed before them. The paramedics who must’ve tried to revive her. The policemen who she’d left with yet another unsolved case and a great deal of paperwork. The metro guard who was now standing at the end of the platform and trying to be inconspicuous, but eyeing me warily. All of us asking “Why?” but wearily resigned to never knowing the answer.
The stain and the tape were there for a week, and I tried unsuccessfully to avoid looking at them each time I walked past. Today they were finally gone, the pavement was scrubbed clean, and people were walking over the spot, talking, hurrying, intent upon getting to wherever they were going. I circled around it, looking away, as I walked home. I looked at the pavement below my feet instead, and each pan stain on the concrete looked like a spatter of blood.