On the news the image of this young bride in front of a helicopter, some romantic dream of grandeur and the wish to surprise her fiancé with a glamorous arrival at the ceremony. A short flight. Five minutes from arriving to the ballroom where the groom, the family and four hundred guests waited, lay the remains of the young couple's dreams. The owner of the ballroom talks to the reporter, tears in his eyes, and tells of his pain and difficulty in informing first the groom, who screamed and fell on his knees in pain, then the guests, who stared at him in silence and disbelief.
This was yesterday and I cannot shake the story off my mind, I cannot make it go away. For how long it will remain with me I do not know, but I wonder if it will be like this other story a friend told me about a coworker she had that died suddenly of a heart attack on a Thursday morning. She told me that on the following Monday, the department in which they worked was celebrating, as they usually did, the birthdays of the month and they used the dead coworker's desk to set the cake and beverages and merrily sing happy birthday. She told me, then, that she did not say anything, but that she had to run to the bathroom and throw up. She's never forgotten that story and neither have I.
I wonder how long this young bride, brown skinned, as most Brazilians are, with her thick long dark hair, on her puffy shiny white gown, will remain on my thoughts, how long I will suffer the pain of her lost dreams, unfulfilled, all the happiness and all the petty and great drama of a long married life she will not have. It pains me, an acute hurt in my chest and a lump that moves up and down my throat.
A picture was taken of her in front of the helicopter which took her life away. She intended to show her kids, one day, the picture of her first helicopter flight, the first time she decided to do something adventurous and surprise the love of her life, their dad. They would be sitting around the kitchen table and they would mock her because, for them, she was a mother and a mother has no adventures. The last picture of her was a happy picture. She did not lay on a hospital bed, full of tubes and gadgets, being turned by strangers and poked hourly by countless needles. She rose to the skies full of the greatest hopes and dreams.
In the helicopter, died another woman, a romantic, no doubt, for she made a living out of taking pictures of weddings. A romantic who needed to make a living, since she was 6 months pregnant and climbed on the helicopter decidedly, because nothing bad can happen when you do things for love, out of love. If it were me, I would probably not have gotten in that helicopter, but that is me now. I know horrible things can happen. Fifteen years ago it was a different thing. I was a different person.
This young photographer carrying, perhaps, her first baby, soon to be born, believed in life, believed in love and had to make a living. I think about th husband, the family, the tiny clothes in a decorated baby bedroom. I wonder who is going to carry all of the baby's clothes away while the family lives through this double unjust grieving. I imagine the anger this husband will feel, the rage and the despair of finding himself incapable of turning back time.
The helicopter comes to my mind, the machine itself, and I can hear its loud noise, the rotating blades, the wind they provoke. I picture the young bride struggling to get inside it without destroying the beautiful work of her hair dresser, holding the trail of her dress to one side. She might have wondered then if it had really been a good idea to have rented this thing. She might have thought of the uselessness of this glamorous arrival if she would have looked like a crazy haired witch at the ceremony.
I hope she went with a blink, I hope she was unconscious. I hope they all died instantly. I'd like to think the bride's dress remained white, pure as her dreams. I'd like to think of her in her immaculate ivory dress, in a glass coffin, a sort of a sleeping beauty who would wake up by a true love kiss. I know otherwise. I shake that thought off, but I know it is there, the white dress destroyed with blood and I think of the people who had to carry that body away, that body and the body of the young pregnant photographer.
I try to think of reasons why something like this happens. I find none. There will never be an explanation. Horrible things happen, I remember myself. They do happen. And I have no idea why this machine just fell from the sky, ending so many beautiful dreams. I can't find an explanation and maybe that's why I keep thinking of them, this young bride, this pregnant photographer, the faceless ones who remain to mourn them. I am a part of their pain and I want to scream that it is not fair. I want to tell someone this should never have been allowed. I want to inform someone that something like this should never happen, but there is no one to tell. There is no one to inform. And I remain here thinking of them.