Pang!!!   蓬!!!

那天早上大約十點多,時代廣場很多商店還未開門所以周圍都很寧靜。有些人在櫥窗外瀏覽,保安員在巡邏,還有些人像我一樣上去辦公大樓開會。It was a little after ten o’clock in the morning.  Most of the shops at the Times Square shopping mall weren’t open yet so it was still fairly quiet.  There were some early shoppers browsing, security guards patrolling, and people like me going up to the office towers for meetings.

開完會後我落到商埸,從天井大堂走到斜對面行人電梯準備離開。我抱著重重的電腦包包,用急速的步伐行走。在繁忙的香港住了多年,習慣了不趕時間也要行得快。A little while later, I came back down from my meeting and walked diagonally across the atrium towards the escalators to leave.  Clutching my heavy laptop bag against me, I walked briskly, a habit from living in busy Hong Kong for too long.

忽然之間,我聽到很大一聲蓬!!!在身後, 不是嘭!!!像搶聲那麼響亮,而是較紮實的蓬!!!像是一大袋郵包或有點軟實的東西被扔在地上。那一剎那我被嚇到停了腳步,然後很自然地轉身向後望。眼前三,四米左右有一個人在地上。一位男士,面朝天大字形躺在地上。他附近有一只手錶,應該是落地一刻被掉出來。我站在那裡呆了,不能動,有點像我眼前的身軀一樣。Suddenly, I heard a loud PANG!!! behind me.  Not a sharp BANG!!! like a gun, but PANG!!! as if something soft like a big sack of mail or heavy clothing had dropped on the floor.  Startled, I stopped and naturally turned around. About three to four meters away from me was a person on the floor.  A male, lying on his backside, arms stretched out wide.  I noticed a watch near him, it must have came off during the impact. I stood there stunned, feelingless, motionless, not unlike the body in front of me.

很快(其實也不知多久)有很多保安人員到達,還用帆布蓋在地上。我漸漸開始回復知覺,發覺周圍有很多人很噪吵,於是我慢慢退向人群。這時我抱著的電腦包包不覺得重,反而很有安全感。我開始哭,身邊一位男士向我遞上紙巾還問我有沒有事。我點點頭,但其實當時我也不知自己如何。外面警車聲響起,救護人員已到達。最後我找到手機至電OH,他正在公司開會。在電話中他只聽到我的哭泣聲,Times Square及跳樓。他好像叫我不要離開,他馬上來接我。Quickly (was it? I wasn’t sure) a lot of security guards ran towards him, and covered him with a tarpaulin.  By this time I had come back to my senses, there were a lot of people and noise around me.  I slowly backed towards the growing crowd still clutching my laptop which now felt light and very comforting.  I stood there and started to cry.  The gentleman standing next to me handed me a tissue and asked if I was ok.  I nodded, but wasn’t really sure. I heard sirens outside and the emergency services came. Eventually I fumbled for my phone and called OH.  He was at work and in the middle of a meeting.  All he heard was me sobbing over the phone, Times Square and suicide.  I think he told me to stay put and wait for him to come and collect me.

第二天我在報紙看到那位男士不幸的消息。原來那天他一早已在九樓徘徊,還不時倚在欄杆傍,所以引起保員人員注意。但因為他沒有做些甚麼,保安人員也只可以多看他幾眼。怪不得那天商埸內見到不少保安員在巡邏,還很快走到事發地點。The next day I read from the newspaper that the guy didn’t make it.  Apparently he had been loitering on the ninth floor all morning, wandering along the balcony.  This had caught the security guards’ attention, but since he hadn’t done anything, neither could they, other than to keep a close eye on him.  That explains all the security guards I saw and the speed of them to the scene.

事後OH 的朋友都說我是不幸中的大幸。如果那個人跌在我面前,我會目睹整個過程。最壞的情況就是他可能跌在我正上方,那麼我今天還會坐在這裡向大家講這件事嗎?OH’s friend says I was very lucky given the circumstances and that the best out of the worse  happened to me.  I could have witnessed everything with my own eyes had he fell in front of me.  Or in the worst case he could have landed right on top of me, in which case would I still be sitting here today writing about this ?

事情雖不至於令我受到長期恐懼或心理創傷,但十七年來,我每次到有天井的地方一定不會在中間走過,寧願多走幾步繞著傍邊走。The incident hasn’t scarred or traumastised me for life.  But now 17 years later, everytime I walk into an atrium, I never walk across the centre.  I’d rather walk a few more steps around the sides.

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