(ONESHOT) A girl is ready to end her life when she meets a stranger who has some similar plans. Gerard & OC.
Eventually she reached her destination. Exhausted, she leaned against the railing outlining the bridge which she was standing in the middle of. For a moment all she could do was stare down at the strong black water streaming below.
She began to shake. The muscles in her shoulders tightened and her hands gripped tightly around the fence as she very carefully climbed over it. There was a short edge behind the steel fence, which she stood on, her fingers still wrapped around the fence behind her. The cold night wind blew past her, and she closed her eyes, allowing one final tear to drop.
She was ready.
The shout made her open her eyes in shock. It belonged to a male, and for a second she dared to hope that perhaps someone had seen her note and rushed over to save her. That perhaps, it was him...
“Hey, what the fuck are you doing?! This is my night, you hear me!”
She turned her head to find the source of the shouting. It wasn’t him. Instead, it was another boy. He had dark, longish hair, and he was wearing all black clothes. And instead of standing behind her on the fence, begging her to not end her life by jumping off a bridge to her death, he was standing right at the edge, just as she was. It was no wonder she hadn’t noticed him at first; with all the black he was wearing, he blended quite well into the night.
“Well, do you hear me? I’ve been planning this suicide for ages, don’t you dare steal my thunder!”
“Excuse me?” she asked in disbelief. What this boy was saying made no sense. She dared to let go of the fence with her other hand to wipe away the tear that was rolling down her cheek. The boy groaned in frustration and very carefully he began to move his legs on the narrow edge, coming closer to her.
“Look, just come back in like a year or something, okay? I really don’t want my tragic death to be overshadowed by yours.”
The girl frowned. “You’re planning on jumping to your death just so you can get some attention? If that’s so, why don’t you leave and let me do this? I don’t really give a shit what you do, though. All I know is that I...”
She fell silent, and he waited in vain for her to finish the sentence. For a moment all they did was stare down at the water. Two strangers, ready to end their young lives, standing at the edge of a bridge.
“It’s not just the attention,” he finally said. He sounded much calmer than he had before, making her look at him. Now that he was closer, she could see his face more clearly. Though her first impression of him had been that he was extremely obnoxious, now she saw real pain on his features. Not just pain, but loneliness. Fear. And the same desperation she saw in herself every time she looked into the mirror.
His voice was serene when he spoke. “You don’t know me, you have no idea what it’s like to be me.”
She shrugged. “You’re right. I don’t know you. But maybe I know a little bit of what it’s like to be you. I mean, I’m standing here, too, so who knows?”
He sighed. His longish black hair was being thrown around by the wind. Unlike her hands which were white at the knuckles from gripping on the bar so tightly, his were relaxed. Unlike her, he was comfortable. “Do you know what it’s like to be alone? So alone that you’d do anything for some human contact? I’ve been alone all my life. Sure, I had my family, but even that’s falling apart. My parents got divorced and I feel like I’ve lost them both. My brother refused to take sides and won’t speak to any of us. And four months ago the one person who made sense in the whole family died. My grandmother.”
He paused, and she suspected it wasn’t just for dramatic effect because he made a choking noise, like he was trying hard not to cry.
“That’s really when I decided to do this. In all this solitude and misery, my grandma was the rock that kept me together. And now that she’s gone... I feel like I don’t know what to do. Like I’m just floating around in the wind in pieces, not knowing how to put myself together or where to go...” He snorted, shaking his head. “I probably sound pathetic.”
“Not at all. She was clearly important, if you’ve decided to follow her.”
“Yeah,” he admitted. “She was. But she’s not the only reason I’m doing this. You know the usual sob story, antisocial child with no friends grows up to be an antisocial teenager with no friends. I was never really bullied but I almost wish I was. It’s much worse to be ignored. At least if they paid some attention to me, I would’ve known I mattered. That even if it wasn’t a good role to play, at least I’d have some role in this world. Instead I was useless and invisible. I am so tired of it all. So I turned to ways to make me feel better. Alcohol, drugs, I even got so desperate for any closeness that I started to sell myself to anyone who would take me. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t real. No matter how much I drank, no matter what drug I had in my body, none of it helped. It didn’t make me feel like I was someone.”
Silently she listened to him open up. But it wasn’t just the words that made her feel for him, it was the way he spoke. His voice cracked like it was too emotional for him; it was as if the emotion was bleeding through the words, seeping through his skin and out into the world. She could tell he hadn’t spoken of this before. Jumping was his way to shout out his desperate plea to the world: “notice me”.
“So that’s my miserable little existence in a nutshell,” he finished. “Sound familiar?”
“I can’t say it does,” she admitted, and when he stared at her, waiting for her to share her story, she sighed. “Oh, my story is just the usual. You know, girl meets boy, boy cheats on girl with girl’s best friend, girl finds out she’s pregnant, guy breaks up with girl and gets engaged to said best friend... Honestly, I somehow wish I was lonely, too. Betrayal is a bitch.”
Sensing this wasn’t the whole story, the dark haired boy remained silent. The wind was calming, but the masses of water below them showed no signs of weakening.
“Of course, when I told him I was pregnant, he simply gave me money and told me to go ‘take care of it’. I didn’t want to. It’s weird, I didn’t think I would want to keep the baby. But when I had to make the decision, I just couldn’t turn away from her. I was going to go to college, you know. Make something of myself. Anyway, I turned to my parents who then kicked me out. They’re funny like that. It’s easier to explain to the neighbors that I went to live with my grandmother than try to hide the growing stomach, you know. Well, after all that, I found a small place downtown and got a job at a pub. The pay wasn’t great but I survived. Then I hit my second trimester and... I lost her. My baby.”
Tears threatened to pour out of her eyes again, so she shook her head, cleared her voice and continued: “He came by one night, drunk out of his mind. He was so angry because his fiancé had started to feel guilty and left him. He blamed it all on me of course. We fought, and the next thing I knew, I was at a hospital, without a child. But do you know what the worst part is?”
“What?” he asked.
“Even though I can’t figure out why, or what I ever saw in him... I’d take him back in a heartbeat. Now that’s pathetic, isn’t it?”
“I don’t think so,” the boy replied. His voice was almost a whisper. “You’re lonely, too.”
She considered the statement. She’d lost the love of her life. She’d lost her child. Yes, she felt abandoned. “I suppose I am,” she admitted, and then, looking at him, she said: “But at least you have a chance. Your family might come together again. You and your brother could make up.”
“I guess so. Though I doubt my parents ever will learn to tolerate each other again... My brother on the other hand, I miss him.”
“Did you say goodbye to him?”
A moment of doubt crossed the boy’s mind. How could he do this without saying goodbye to his brother first?
“Why didn’t you?” she asked, knowing the answer to her previous question.
He shrugged. “I suppose I was afraid he might come here and try to stop me. He was always weird like that.”
“I left a message on my ex’s answering machine,” the girl said, a small, sad smile playing on her lips. “I don’t know what I was thinking. Hoped he would show up and try to save me I guess. Fat chance. I’d love it if someone tried to stop me. I’d love a brother like yours.”
“Yeah he’s pretty cool. I hope he won’t take this too hard. I don’t want him to be sad.”
“You know, don’t take this the wrong way but II don’t think you’re as alone as you think you are,” she pointed out.
He nodded after a while of silence. “Maybe,” he said. “I could try giving it another chance. If he’ll even speak to me.” He suddenly ripped his gaze from the sky he’d been staring at, and confidently he said to her: “I’m going to go call him. If he answers and agrees to see me, I’ll postpone all this. If he doesn’t, then...”
“I hope he does,” she said, and she honestly meant it.
Carefully the boy climbed over the railing. Once he was safely on the other side, she expected him to walk away, but instead he leaned his elbows on the metal railing next to her.
“What about you, then? Are you going to do this?” he asked. Somehow his voice sounded lighter.
“You have your brother. I have nothing. Nothing to go home to,” she answered. “Nothing to expect from life.”
“I don’t know about that,” he said thoughtfully. “You said you wanted to go to college, right? Why can’t you? Why couldn’t you make something of your life? You know, try again?”
“Its not that simple,” she argued, but was cut off.
“Hey, if you don’t get into college, then you can reconsider this. But if you do get in... I mean, that would be good, wouldn’t it? No harm in trying.”
She glanced down at the masses of black water. She imagined jumping down there, being engulfed by the cold liquid, powerless to fight against it. Was that what she wanted? Or would she rather at least try to take some control of her life? After all, she could always come back.
“What do you say?” the boy asked. He extended his hand out to her, waiting for her to make the decision. A small grin spread on his pale face when the girl turned around on the edge and began to climb over the railing.
Once she was on the other side as well, standing safely next to this stranger she felt she knew more about than anyone else in her life, she felt lighter. Like some of that horrible weight pressing down her shoulders had been lifted off and replaced with the hope that maybe, just maybe there was a chance she could be happier. And looking at this boy in front of her, she saw the exact same feeling mirrored in him.
Suddenly she remembered something and said: “The name’s Ellie by the way.”
“Gerard,” he introduced himself with a nod. “Hey, if you’re not busy, wanna go get some coffee? It’s kinda chilly out here.”
“Surprisingly, I don’t have anything else booked, you know, since I was going to kill myself,” she smiled. “Coffee sounds good.”
They began to walk away from the bridge, forgetting about the darkness of the water below. As they walked, they not only talked, but laughed, and for both of them, it was the first time they had a good conversation in a long time.
In the end, all they needed was someone to talk to.