She drove a litter faster than she should have. Cutting into the turning lane she took her offramp.
The light at the bottom of the ramp was still green, no wait, it went orange. She slowed to come to a gentle stop by the light. Her elbow out the window, she looks out.
A man stood beside her. His head hung lower than she’d seen any man’s head hang. His layers upon layers of shredded and holey clothes no doubt incubating the crippling heat.
The woman shuddered under the breath of her now too cold aircon. Her skin breaking out in goosebumps like it could feel the broken suffering radiating from the skin so close to it.
The man swayed back a little, then forward a little. His eyes fixed on the floor.
The woman looked at the ground where his eyes bore down. She watched, her heartbreaking, as she saw that with each gentle sway, his foot moved a struggling breath forward. The shattering of her heart was silent, like the tear sliding down the broken man’s face and landing silently on the ground in front of him.
His head turned slowly.
So, very slowly. As if he could feel the eyes watching him.
He looked at the heartbroken woman, knowing that nothing would be done. Knowing that no matter how bad it got nothing would ever happen.
For that moment, they looked into each other’s eyes.
She saw into his soul.
She saw the void where hope and joy should be. She could feel the weight of the clothes on his back. The dig of the thin straps of the bags that hung from his shoulders, containing everything he had. The absolutely broken feeling of hoping for death because the struggle had long become too much.
He looked at her knowing she would do nothing.
The light turned green as tears burnt down the woman’s face.
The cars moved forward. Nothing seemed to change.
But this time, this time something did.
There was a shift in the universe. The air around the woman turned to fire as her throat closed. The tears boiling down her face. Her hearts’ shattered pieces of glass cutting into her chest.
The woman swore, no matter what became of her she would fix the world. She couldn’t stand by for another moment and do nothing in a world where suffering like that existed. Nothing, no animal, no person, no living thing. Should ever. Ever. Have to live in that state.
She promised. She would fix it.
She would fix it.