After almost 24 hours of being awake, we finally landed. I was stuck in the last row of the plane, almost one with the window. My mom, on the same row but on the other side of the plane, was sandwiched between two passengers. One was a woman, the other a man. Throughout the plane ride, while I read Animal Farm, my mom, being the chatterbox that she is, made two new friends. The young woman became so close to her that, once we landed, she gave her a hug and her phone number. My family met her as well, and she seemed so serene and friendly.
But I was confused. My mom is one of the most amicable persons I know, but it was only a three-hour flight.
Then, once the woman was out of sight, my mom told me that her boyfriend had just died. He had been in a surfing accident, and had been in a coma for the past month. He was a model in New York, and they had been dating for three years. The 27-year-old had poured out her heart to my mom, and now she was heading back to Peru to see her family, to try to restart her life without him.
Fast-forward to today. As usual, I’m checking the Huffpost, and I come across the headline: Male Model Dies in Surfing Accident.
My mom read it, and all of the details matched. It was uncanny.
Sometimes, I feel as if the news is so distant, especially news about people. But what happens when you know those who have been affected? My mom didn’t know Charles DeVoe, the model in question, but she met his girlfriend, a person who had been part of the last years of his life, a person who was suffering. Sometimes, it’s good to step back and realize that these are real people in the news, whether in New York or New Delhi, and not just the story of the day.