It was a national holiday.
We were at a small, homely restaurant for lunch.

The soups had been brought to the table. I was taking slow sips, savouring every spoonful.
He took out the phone. “Let me call them up and ask how it’s going.”
It was his choice to not join his friends for the boating trip.

I watched as he dialled, his eyes smiling.
He said Hello.
His next sentence – or maybe it was a question – broke midway and his eyes widened in alarm.

The soup spoon froze on its way to my mouth.
“Why don’t you yell out? Call somebody!” I heard him say.

He disconnected the line.
“R. fell off the boat,” he said. “They say he may have jumped.”

“What? When?!
“Just a couple of minutes ago.”

R.’s body was found after some time. They say he had reasons to do it. Why he did it while on a boating trip with friends remains a mystery.

Every year on that national holiday, we remember the incident.

* This is not a story.