Rain. It was early, 5:15, and while squeezing my trousers dry at the bus depot, in this maddening silence I realised that it was the absence of human sounds that made this moment eerie. With some dialogue our attention and fears would have turned away momentarily from the brooding clouds that we could not see. But by saying nothing, and with glinting eyes everywhere in the darkness revealing that most were awake, pressure built. Heavy drops burst on aluminum roofs, creating a loud hollow noise. Hitting the ground with heavy slaps they sounded more powerful. Then the wind blew through the rain like a whistle. In the black stranglehold, this painted a frightening picture of how thick the downpour was. It was cold and wet and miserable. Was it like this in England, I wondered?
What if there was a yelp and a loud plop in this darkness? Like someone sucked out of sight? What would we think? Manhole? Would we rescue him? Would I run and try to find someone when I could not see a few feet ahead of me? Perhaps I would pretend that nothing had happened. That I had heard nothing. But even if we did try, where would we look? There was only one candle on the inquiry desk, barely an inch left, beside a useless phone. No electricity. No torches. Would headlights help? Would he have gone by now? What was the point? One life. Everybody needed to look after themselves. Especially now, when it rained viciously. Would we care for the next man? Would I?