( CNN) “Buenos dias, ” Salvador Alvarenga said to his friend, who was propped up in the prow of their fishing boat. “What is death like? “

Ezequiel Crdoba, his body hardening and turning purple, did not reply. So Alvarenga answered for his dead ocean mate. “Good. It is peaceful.” Alvarenga looked out to the horizon, the ocean as endless as it had been for the last two months that they’d been lost at sea.

“Why wasn’t it both of us? Why am I the one who continues to suffer? ” Alvarenga asked the corpse. He remembered Crdoba, hysterical in the early days, crying about his mother and starving for tortillas. But in his final hours, the suffering lifted. Alvarenga craved the peace Crdoba had unfairly found by dying.

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