It was all luck, randomness, happenstance, chance. I knew I was not there because of anything intrinsic to me. I had not survived while all those others had died because of any reason. I was not a better person than any of those who died. I was not holy, I was not chosen by gods or by fate. It happened because that was the way it happened.
The women sitting in the seat next to me, she died. The people sitting in the seats behind me – they all died. Those sitting in front of me and across the aisle from me, they all died too. I just happened to be bending over, trying to extricate my book from my travelling bag when the train carriage came off the line. That’s all it was, just luck. The force of the accident kept me down there, below the part of the carriage sheered off by the collision with the tunnel wall.
I didn’t know I was only one of three survivors from our carriage, not until a long time afterwards. One of my fellow survivors put it down to some miracle, some act of her god. I wanted to point out to her, there would have been others on that train, just as, if not more, devout than her, probably many far more worth saving by any god that would intervene to save her.
She was not the nice person she thought she was. I know because I heard her complaining and bad-mouthing the train staff and fellow passengers when we were in the buffet car queue less than an hour before the crash. The queue moved far too slowly for her and her self-importance. I can’t imagine any god wanting to save her, even a devil would find it hard to like her… but survive she did and so did I… and no god chose either of us.