Fighting life and death [Short Story]

Trigger Warning – This post involves topics of suicide and mental health issues

I’ve been standing at this bridge for what has felt like years. Thinking about who I’ll be leaving behind and what life I could be missing out on, it’s strange how you only start thinking about your future life when you’re bringing it to an end. The wind was a nice breeze on my skin the first time I’ve felt anything for months, the smell and sound of the waves crashing below me give me utter peace by god have I found my nirvana. Tears drop down my skin and I can’t decide if it’s the wind in my eyes or the end of my life.  

“It’s time,” I whisper stepping forward to the edge and climbing over the barrier. I notice people walking past not even looking up from their phones to notice they are possibly witnessing a death.  

Sitting on the edge of this beautiful bridge that many men had lost their lives to give us the opportunity to explore the other side really brings it to the surface of what we achieve and what we give up in life. We can look over and watch the water attack the land, the sun set as you drive by and the world come to a close as many take the same step I’m here to achieve today. Even if it was meant to be “suicide proof”. Contemplating taking my own, it’s a hard pill to swallow when you’ve arrived at a point of nothing, utter numbness. That’s when I notice an arm on my shoulder pulling me into them. While I was away with my thoughts, I didn’t even notice the couple come behind me, stop their day to talk to me. It was a weird and confusing change from the life of pushing and shoving I’ve come accustom to.  

“Excuse me, excuse me, sweetheart is everything okay? Why don’t you step back over here and talk to me? Maybe we can help?”  Strongly voiced from behind me

“urh, no no it’s okay everything’s f-fine. Urm I’m just watching the sea” I wipe away the tears trying to control myself into a calming and rational tone.  

“We know what you’re doing on the edge mate” A deeper voice bellows through the wind and pinches at my ears.  

They both grip my arms and get tighter and closer to me. I start to panic and pull away.  

“Please. I’ve spoken enough I just want peace, utter hopeful peace.”   I wimpier like a child begging.

I turn around to face them and see the pain I’m already beginning to install in others, her face is wrinkled with a full life time of experiences and his is young hidden with a beard edging to the length of Gandalf. Their eyes are the same, deep green and saddened by the events that unfold in front of them. I can’t help but loose myself in my own tears stinging the cold of my cheeks as they fall from the bags under my eyes.

“Come on down, we’ll talk about it. Look love, whatever is happening will become easier to manage, you’ll find your peace in this world, just look around on what we have here. I’ve lived through wars and destruction, I’ve lived through Nixon and now Trump I understand life is hard but please let me try to understand your journey to be standing on a bridge my great uncle helped to build.”  

“I’m tired, tried of trying to get out bed in the morning, tired of trying to wash my hair or be ok, I just want it all to end. I’ve been sectioned twice and, on more pills, than I can manage to swallow, my family and friends are embarrassed that I’m insane. Because why else would I be standing here if I wasn’t a little crazy hmm?”  

We talked for a long time about the life I’ve had and hers, we spoke about how happiness is a myth and contentment is what we all dream to achieve because you have to be sad to realise your happiness like rain and the sun. You can’t appreciate the sun if that’s all you have; it has to rain for you to wish for something else. We spoke about pandora’s box and what if when she opened the box and all these horrible things came out there was no hope at all.  

“You see no-ones fully happy, we all dream for something weather its money better body or love etc.She whispered but I cut her off mid lecture.

“What if I never achieve my contentment? What if I’m not meant to be happy, I’m sor… “  I step closer to the edge feeling the metal end under the heels of my feet, my heart sinks but my minds clear I close my eyes in preparation to see my little life flash before me.

They pull me back and the younger gent drags me back over the railing like my weight wasn’t a struggle at all. I lay on the floor trembling, crying and wailing. Screaming for my peace as a crowd becomes to draw in looking for drama to share on their social media, the sky goes black and the rain pours down in big puddles like the world is crying that I didn’t achieve my one well planned out motivation. I begin to shake with shock of the past few moments slap me in the chest.

“What have you done! You should have let me go!”  I cry into the concrete screaming at the only people who cared.

That day, I tried to jump, that day I scared a lady and her grandson, that day I tried to end my pain and create much more heartbreak. That day I may have survived but by god did I hate it.  That day began my journey to contentment, a dream I thought I would never achieve, a dream that is hard work. That is mostly out of my reach.

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