END OF THE LINE
by Mohammed Massoud Morsi
A man died on the train today, or at least I am pretty sure he was dead when they carried him away. He suddenly dropped to the floor, there was no warming, he uttered no sound, nothing. He had been sitting opposite me, facing me, we even exchanged a quick glance, he never smiled, or frowned, or anything, just looked, and looked away. I, however, kept on looking at him, a combination of being tired, too lazy to let my gaze drift somewhere else. Then, suddenly, he closed his eyes, frowned for a couple of seconds, relaxed, slowly his hands dropped and he fell to the floor, into the middle of the carriage. I, along with a young couple rushed to his aid, but we were already too late, or at least, I could tell we were too late. The others put him on his back and immediately (Danes are pretty clued on to this shit I must admit) began heart massage, I noticed little twitching movements around his eyes which slowly started to fade and eventually stopped. He was dead and to be a bit cynical I told the couple performing CPR, “look, he’s dead, there is nothing you can do”. The man looked up at me as if I was the most sinister man on earth and continued the heart massage with his girlfriend counting anyway. They were being very professional about it. But I knew he was dead; I felt the man’s soul leave his body. I‘m not a clairvoyant or claiming extraordinary senses, but I just felt it, right there and then.
The train had stopped, someone had alerted the driver and the whole rush hour rail system was in a mess. I looked around me and felt a bit sad, because people around me hadn’t even paid close attention to what happened. They were all busy texting frantically on their smart phones and I heard a girl with her headset still plugged in saying, “Some guy just got a heart attack, so grose and now I am late for work” as she got off the train.
I must admit, I kept sitting, looking at this man who had come to the end of the line. That was it, that was his last chapter, on the train, going to work by the looks of it. He was probably in his mid fifties.
The ambulance arrived and two guys rushed in with a heart starter and as soon as they looked at the guy I noticed they swapped glanced. One took his pulse, the other then slowly fired up the juice and cleared the man’s chest. He was dead, so dead they didn’t even bother rushing. A police officer had appeared as well and I overheard him take a call from his wife, “I will pick up the kids around 17, but can I call you back, got a dead guy I need to deal with”.
At this point everyone was asked to clear the train except for us three who had been there from the beginning. They tried once, twice, with the machine then checked his pulse again and looked at the police officer shaking their heads. He noted out loud that time of death was 08.14 am on the 25th of October 2011. They put his bag on his chest and carried him away. The police officer took our details and asked us who had done what. He then told us to have a nice day.
The guy, Morten was his name, who had tried his best with the heart massage looked at me and said, “Sorry that I was a bit rude back there, but how did you know he was dead?” I said, “I just felt it, but I could have been wrong, don’t worry about it”.
They were both clearly shaken; I felt at peace. It was strange. I got on another train and went to work and I smiled all the way.