I didn't expect to have last week off - but it was a nice day!
What about you?
Meanwhile, Miss Taylor here has started a new story on us all!
She does go in for the dramatic!
Let's take a look.
Talk of suicide.
Come As You Are
I met him in the rain.
I often wonder what would've happened if my truck hadn't stalled. If I hadn't seen the boy. If I had simply turned away and drove off like the rest of them.
But I stayed. I watched the boy. Now I know that life would've been unlivable if I hadn't. In part from guilt. Mostly it’s because he'd be forever lost to the world.
I saw him in the rain. And I couldn't let him die.
I had stalled in the middle of the bridge that led home. I fumbled with the clutch in my piece-of-shit truck. I turned the key, waited, turned the key again. Nothing. The rain was relentless, a heavy downpour that grew colder by the second. There was no way in Hell I was pushing this thing anywhere tonight. I watched in frustration as cars sped past me, the ones behind me honking, then pulling around me, shooting me dirty looks as they did. I pressed my forehead into the steering wheel.
"Why God?" I groaned."Why now?"
A flash of lightning startled me, brighter than I'd seen before. The immediate thunder compounded my surprise. I lifted my head. That's when I noticed him, a boy of sixteen or seventeen sitting on the ledge. It wasn't uncommon to see people there, waiting for a tow truck to come rescue them. For some reason, the bridge was hard on cars, and it was a rare day I didn’t see a car or two broken down on the shoulder.
It was pouring. Anyone with sense would wait in their car, working or not, rather than the rain. There was no car near this boy. His long legs dangled over the side that looked into the icy water below. My hands gripped the steering wheel tightly as the pieces fit together in my head.
Drive away, my thoughts insisted. Just drive away!
The boy bowed his head. His shoulders curled forward, just a little. He shuddered. An image flashed through my head, a memory that haunted me, a little girl floating lifeless in the community pool.
No, I would not turn away.
I took off my seat belt and scrambled out of my car.
Tears mixed with rain.
Sorrow mixed with pain.
My entire life is lived in vain.
How do I break free of this chain?
I approached him cautiously, despite the wind and rain that threatened to freeze me in place. The water had already slithered through my coat. God, I was cold, and trying to imagine how cold the boy was only made my muscles stiffer, my knees weaker.
I was behind him now, close enough that I could've reached out and grabbed him by his hoodie. I didn't, feeling it wasn't right. Instead, I came up beside him, keeping my distance, and spoke softly without looking at him.
"Sweetheart, you don't want to do this."
He flinched, turned his head, his dark eyes catching me, holding me. I took a few steps back, increasing the distance between us.
"Honey," I pleaded. "What's going on?"
The boy shot me a dark look, his black hair plastered to his cheeks and forehead.
"What the fuck do you care?" His words stung despite their tremble. He looked away, down at the water. My heart raced, my hands ready to grab and pull him to safety. I fought to keep my own voice steady.
"Can you tell me your name?"
The boy choked back a sob. His hands gripped the concrete slab tight.
"Jogia," he said.
I took a couple steps forward.
"Ok, Jogia." I began, shivering from the cold. "Can you come down here and talk to me?"
His shoulders shook.
"Why? You're just gonna pretend like you give a shit when you don't!" His breathing grew faster, harder with every second that passed.
I crept closer.
"I've been where you are, Jogia. I do care and I want to help you. You just need to get off that ledge. Can you do that for me?"
He sniffed and ran a hand through his wet hair, still not looking at me.
"You know what my parents told me the last time I tried this? They said they never wanted to see me again. When I tried to move back into my bedroom, they acted like I was already dead. They don't love me, don't you get it? They don't want me anymore!"
His hand clasped over his mouth, his breathing becoming uneven with sobs, and I knew with sudden certainty that he’d decided. My time was up. I couldn't watch anymore.
Without thinking I grabbed his jacket and yanked him off of the ledge. We fell back, landing into the filthy water flowing through the gutters.
Jogia kicked. He fought against me, grunting and splashing. I wrapped my arms tightly around his shoulders, praying he would tire before I did.
After several minutes of struggling, Jogia went limp, coughing and panting. I sat up, still holding him, and ran my hand over his hair. His body shook, whether from the cold or his sobs, I didn't know. He curled up, shielding his face with his hands. He leaned into me.
I kissed his hair, rocking him and whispering in his ear.
"You're ok, hun. You're safe now. You're alright."
"I wanna die," he whimpered between sobs. "I just wanna die."