This time it is my sister.
I’ve seen this one many times before, sometimes it changes as deaths that have not happened yet are not set in stone but it’s almost always this one.
She’s walking to school and she’s running late. She has her headphones in to listen to fast music and I know that’s what she’s listening to because when she’s in a hurry she likes to listen to music that makes her go faster.
It’s a normal grey, foggy morning with ice on the ground and the bare, leafless trees are silver with frost – the world is drained of colour and life and devoid of any movement apart from my sister’s hurried steps along the empty road and the sound of a distant train. I always wonder if this is somehow embellished by my imagination because the train I hear chugs along like an old steam engine and that couldn’t possibly be real.
Then, as always, I hear the noise of another, much larger, more modern train approaching, a rumbling click-thump-click-thump getting closer and closer.
If I tell you that the level crossing in front of Sophie has just closed you can probably guess what is about to happen next. She is running late after all.
Every single time I see this I want to yell at her that she should wait. It’s better to be late to school than to be killed by a train but she doesn’t listen. In reality I’m sure she can hear neither me nor the train and that is why, after looking both ways, she runs for it. I can’t judge her for her recklessness because I would have done the same if I was running late and could clearly see that the train was still a long way off.
She slips on ice.
I’m not entirely sure what happens next but for some reason she freezes up and does not move. Her body goes rigid and she does nothing but lay there as the click-thump-click-thump gets louder and louder.