13 November 2016

The snow started as night fell and with it came the silence. That magical, almost ethereal quiet that always seems to accompany the gently falling flakes, as if all the inhabitants of the world had paused just to admire their beauty.

One person however, was not moved by the snow – nor was she watching it. Standing by the wall on the edge of the bridge, the cobbles wet beneath the soles of her shoes and her breath clearly visible in the sharp, still air, she found herself drawn instead to the dark mass of water below.

What would it feel like to plunge straight down into it, she wondered? Would the river impale her with its icy fingers, would she cough and splutter and flail her arms above her head, or would she feel nothing but a sense of relief? The latter option was deliciously tempting. These past few days had been so exhausting, and she was weary. Weary of the confusion, weary of the uncertainty and weary of the pain.

She heard the clock begin to strike and closed her eyes, the individual chimes rattling her insides with their unintended finality: a countdown to hopelessness, a symphony of despair. The snow was falling even harder now and it was becoming difficult to see through her tears.

Just one step up, a leg swung over, a final gasp of air and then a single jump. It could all be over in less than a minute.

High above the bridge and past clouds bloated with snow, the moon sat snug and proud in the sky. From up here the world was merely a coloured penny in an ocean of blackness, a bright pebble of life and love and sadness and joy. Back on the bridge, the moonlight was everywhere, illuminating the statues and making the patches of rubbed gold gleam blue in the darkness. Still the snow fell.

The clock had chimed for the final time and with it came the realisation. She took a deep breath and steadied her hands against the stone wall, preparing to support herself as she climbed up. But as her foot left the ground, she heard a shout.

It was him. He had come.

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