Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Bridge People.

I'm sure a lot of my friends and family have already read "The Bridge People", however I've decided to make the ending a bit more...morbid.  The old ending came off just a tad too "tacked on" for my liking, and I think this new ending packs a bit more of a punch, if not a bit more of a message.  But that's up to my readers to decide.

So I now give you "The Bridge People"!

I don't remember how long I've been here, standing on the Bridge, watching the water below. I can hear the sounds of the rushing cars behind me, and sometimes someone will walk past, but they seem so much like echos that I usually don't bother to look anymore.
There are others like me. In fact, there's one about ten metres from me. I sometimes chat with him. There's about ten others on our side of the Bridge, but there are about twenty on the other side.
We wait. We watch.
And when someone comes to join us, we cheer.
He's pretty young too, like me. He's about fifteen metres away on our side of the Bridge. He looks drunk, and I daresay he's been crying. Probably girl trouble, that's why a few of them have done it.
"He's up on the banister! Give us a big swan dive!" The old man yelled.
"Nah, he's going headfirst!" The businessman, about twenty metres away replied.
"Whoa up, he's hesitating, he might not do it!" I shouted with a giggle. Most of the time they chickened out. Or someone came and got them.
"You hesitated love and look where it got you! Go son, big jump for the old man!" The old man ribbed me. It's true, I second-guessed myself before committing.
Then we heard it.
"Mate, don't do it, you have your whole life ahead of you!" Someone behind us called.
"She's not worth it, come on home and we'll talk about it!" Yelled another.
Thought so.
"Boooooooooooooo!" A young woman from the other side of the Bridge called. "Don't listen to them, big bomb jump down!"
"Give us a belly-flop, haven't had one of those for years!" Another one of us called.
"I don't want to..." He mumbled, swaying dangerously.
"Mate, come down. It's okay." One of the others tried to reach out to him.
"I don't want to, I don't want to...No!" He screamed as he lept from the Bridge.
We cheered. What started with him heading feet-first into the river ended up with him landing on his side. We didn't even need to wait for him to drown, he must've snapped his neck.
He stood with us as the cheering died down, and we all returned to staring forlornly into the distance, thinking of our old lives, and what had driven us to jump. Because while we cheered when someone new took their lives on our Bridge, we all wished we hadn't done it.
The old man had jumped after his wife died. The businessman had lost everything in a bad business dealing. The lady across from us had lost her baby. There were a few divorcees, an old war veteran, and one man with his two tiny daughters. There was the abusive couple, the bloke had thrown his girlfriend over before jumping himself, and a few teenagers who came from broken homes.
Myself? I was mentally ill (as were a few others). I was deeply infatuated with a man, everything about him made me happy. But no matter how many times we chatted and got along, he still dumped me, due to his "issues". He was a dear friend. Then my rival took the credit for all my hard work and got my promotion. To make it worse, she made a move on my ex-boyfriend. I was so angry and upset. Then my parents split, my brother turned on me and my sister and I grew apart. I needed my man, but he would never come back to me. Sure, he would always give me a bit of a hug and a pep talk, but he was never truly there for me. Even the one night we spent together, playing video games and making wasn't enough. I felt like a cheap toy.
I supposed I should have spoken to him, but he was always so good at what he did that I felt I could never be worthy of having him back. Long nights I spent yearning for his touch again, crying because I was alone.
So, I went with a swan dive, breaking my back but not quite killing myself. I drowned. Not the nicest way to go for someone who's claustrophobic, but I went.
I often wondered if they missed me. Sometimes one would come along and throw a white rose (my favourite flower) off the side of the Bridge.
I'm lonely. So lonely. I have nothing, nothing except this view of the river and the city, and if I turn around the cars speeding past, people walking past laughing, focused, alive. I wouldn't wish this upon anyone. Nothing has changed, I'm still hurting, my past life replaying itself in front of my eyes unless I'm on my guard.
Don't let any of them come for me. Don't let anyone join me...
I don't know how much time went by, day and night are the same for me. But he came. He came for me.
He was drunk. So drunk.
He stood almost exactly on top of me. He was crying.
"I wish I had said something to you. You were my closest friend. I still remember the night we spent together. You were the only woman..." He sobbed. "I'm so sorry I left you."
So lonely...
"Come on mate, just drop off the side now!" The old man cackled.
"I just want to see you again." He got up on the handrail.
I'm so lonely
"Looks like he's just gonna fall with no help from us!" The businessman laughed.
"Put some effort into it mate, even I went with some dignity!" The drunk chimed in.
“Come on ya jerk, I bet you're too much of a coward to do it!” I cheered.
Please stop my loneliness!
"Good-bye..." He gave one last whimper and dropped.
"No!" I screamed as he fell and landed with a splash. I sighed.
"Forgive me. I'm so sorry." I whispered.
It took a few minutes, but soon he was standing with me, looking out onto the water.
"Well, that was smart." I snapped.
"You did it first." He replied, hugging me from behind.
"There was no need for you to jump!"
"There was no need for you to jump either!"
"Will you two shut up? I don't want to put up with your bickering for the rest of my unlife." The lady from the other side yelled, to much loud agreement from everyone else.
I frowned, and we both continued watching the water, waiting for the next victim of the Bridge People. All of us lonely. All of us reliving our past pain.
All of us wishing we hadn't done it.

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