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The Turn


Once she had fallen on that turn. She was riding a moped. The boys from school had somehow messed it up. They had removed the pipe and the gas just didn’t pass through. She tried to turn the bike on a couple times, aware that there had been a sort of sabotage. Very irritated, she kept an exterior calmness, while the boy approached and showed her in five seconds what the problem was. She thanked him and left. “What a stupid way to flirt!” She proceeded with her afternoon ride, good school times, the wind on her face, the postponed obligations, dinner waiting on the table, all the time in the world… The moped failed a couple times, she had to break it and speed it up at the same time to keep it going. In one of these attempts, on the curve, she skidded! The moped slipped to one side while she slid to the other in a 45-degree angle. She stood up, covered by the red dirt of Brasília, bruised, hurt. She picked up the moped and carried it, limping, to the last house of the street.

She was not a girl anymore. She had her own responsibilities, work, bills, problems… She went down the slope that led to the turn, driving not the moped anymore, but the car purchased in her first job. A silent afternoon, she drove calmly, the only car on the road. She was approaching the turn when she saw them, fallen, three bodies, a man, a woman and a girl, all black. The abundant hair, dark and curly, speckled with the red dirt, the woman’s and the girl’s white cotton dresses with little red flowers on them. The man wore khaki pants, rolled up on the calves like a fisherman’s and a white shirt also rolled up until his elbows. They were simple raw leather sandals. Slowly, she drove past them, there, fallen, inert. There was no blood, but the immobility didn’t leave any room to wonder. She continued driving, urging to get home. She passed the turn and entered the little road immediately to its left.

She realized the strange silence, the lack of movement. As she drove down the road, the strangeness grew. Mute, everything was mute, not even the singing birds could be heard. The still air, sultry, increased the light and the afternoon heat. All windows in each of the white houses were open. Ivory curtains flew through them. She continued driving, her breath suspended. She finally arrived at the house at the end of the street. There, the curtains also flew through the windows moved by an inexistent wind. She turned right to get the car in the garage. The gate was already open. She saw, again, on the driveway, the same light dresses, the same khaki pants, the same leather sandals, the same black bodies, fallen, together, in the same position.


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