The car is tossed back on the road and finally comes to a standstill lying on its left side. I can make out the driver’s shirt. I pull up alongside, and the only thing going through my head is that I have to get out and help him. At this moment I feel my wife’s nails digging deep into my arm: she begs me for the love God to drive on and park further ahead, the other car could explode and burst into flames.
I drive another hundred meters and park. The radio is still playing the Brazilian music as if nothing has happened. Everything seems so surrealistic, so distant. My wife and Isabel, our maid, get out and run back towards the scene of the accident. Another car coming in the opposite direction brakes. A woman jumps out, all nervous: her headlights too have illuminated the Dantesque scene. She asks if I have a cell phone, I answer yes, I do. “Then call emergency!”
What’s the emergency number? She looks at me in astonishment: everybody knows that! Three times 51! The cell phone is turned off: before the film starts, they always remind us to do that. I dial the access code and then call emergency – 51 51 51. I know exactly where all this has happened: between the village of Laloubere and the village of Horgues.
My wife and the maid come back: a young man is bruised and scratched, but it does not seem to be anything too serious. After all I have seen, after turning upside down six times, nothing too serious! He gets out the car a bit groggy, other cars stop, the firemen arrive five minutes later, and everything is all right. Everything is all right! For a fraction of a second, he would have run into me, pushed me over the side of the road, it would have been very bad for both of us. Very bad indeed.
When I get back home, I look up at the stars. Sometimes certain things stand in our path, but because our time has not yet arrived, they pass by without even grazing us – but they are clear enough for us to see them. I thank God for being able to understand that – as a friend of mine always says – everything that had to happen did, and nothing happened.
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