It was just under a year ago that I found myself fascinated by news that a lone child had survived a plane crash in the Indian Ocean. I was so fascinated, in fact, that I wrote a whole long post about it, investigating the various possible life paths that any lone plane crash survivor could look forward to, specifically, A) Moody Loner B) Media Darling and C) Religious Figure. My metaphysics of childhood plane crash survival, however, failed to consider the possibility of multiple lone plane crash child survivors, so this latest story—about a Dutch boy surviving a plane crash in Libya—has really thrown me for a loop.
Basically, I can’t stop obsessing over the idea of getting the two of them together.
The Dutch boy, Ruben van Assouw, age 9, is, sadly, now an orphan; his French counterpart, Bahia Bakari, now 14, still has her father. Granted, five years is a pretty big gap, especially at that age, but surely that’s nothing compared to having shared such a rare and harrowing experience. I think at the very least they could act as each other’s sponsors, in the way that A.A. sponsorship works: should one of them wake up in the middle of the night with terrible nightmares, or start to crack under the pressure of having been given a second chance, they could reach out to someone who understand their pain. Bakari wrote a memoir about her experience but has turned down Steven Spielberg’s offer to film it because, “It would be too terrifying. Nobody could act out the pain I felt in those moments.”
Well, now, at least, there’s one other person who could probably act out “the pain.” I just hope they find each other.