“Knowing someone is dead, and knowing someone wants to die are two different pains that can shatter people completely.”
- Ivory Bridge
Is what my watch flashed as I wiped the surface of the device clean and checked to see what time it was.
An hour passed and the sun hadn’t risen yet, which meant no one would be awake or out at this hour.
It was exactly how I preferred it; no people, no light, and complete blissful silence.
Why hadn’t I taken this route sooner?
I asked myself this question a lot within the sixty minutes I left home.
The absence of light and gloomy scenery was pleasant because you couldn’t see anything, and my occasional coughs and pants from exhaustion were probably the only thing you could hear within a mile.
Aside from the construction blocking off my normal running path, I wanted to try something new.
The route I’m currently taking is one I had never been on, because I had thought it’d be everything I wouldn’t want it to be.
But I was wrong, it was perfect.
It was an hour from my house to the final stop I was heading for, the bridge.
You may be wondering if I really woke up at three in the morning to go for a run. If that is your question, then yes, yes I did.
People often hear the phrase ‘sleep it off’ and actually sleep off their problems, but all you’ve done is passed so much of your life to escape reality for a split second.
It’s funny when you think about it.
To think the only escape you’ll really have from life is when you close your eyes.
You don’t think, you don’t worry, and you’re at peace.
But I disagree with the whole sleeping and peace crap. How can you even sleep when you’re stressed or worried about something?
I needed to be awake thinking rationally and reasonably for a peace of mind, and running just happens to be my way of doing exactly that.
1943 Ivory Bridge, I mentally read, passing the old wooden sign dangling from a pole.
I slowed my pace before stopping completely, popping open my bottle of water and taking a large swig. The road was empty but the air was thick, mist coating the streets and droplets of water forming on the rusted metal of the construction.
To anyone with a wild imagination the imagery of the bridge would be frightening, and I would’ve said the same had I not been so occupied with my own thoughts.
The low tides and small waves rippled softly and brushed against the shore down below. I was entranced by the moon light illuminating every detail of the sea as it twinkled and shimmered.
My life wasn’t hard, I’ll admit that, but there were things I’d ignore just so I wouldn’t have to face it.
I knew eventually I would have to, and so I had to be careful with how to approach it.
If only things were as easy as the tides tonight.
On the other side of the bridge, somewhere to my right I heard faint tapping, like someone walking.
I squinted my eyes in the direction of the sound and noticed a dark shadow moving towards the rail of the bridge, and it got even closer.
Whoever it was I planned on ignoring them and letting them pass me, so I stepped away from the ledge but the footsteps came to a halt.
My brows furrowed in confusion.
Were they waiting for me to pass?
If that was the case I could’ve easily crossed the road and let them be but then I heard a grunt and something clank against metal.
Curiosity got the better of me and I headed towards the person, realizing that they had hoisted themselves on top of the rail.
Panic swept through me at the sight of a tall figure standing on the edge with his legs spread apart and his hands tucked in his pockets.
His face was hidden by a letterman hoodie with the colors of brown and black, meaning he went to a highschool not too far away.
My guess was Ivory Brown High School, the school for the rich. Everyone knew about that school. But what was a rich kid doing on this side of town?
Silently watching, I took a few steps closer, my gaze flickering from him to the white bag on the floor.
What the hell was he doing out so early in the morning?
Our schools were significantly different but I was positive the time school began was the same.
He was three hours too early to be walking to school. Hell he was three hours too early to be doing anything other than sleeping.
Don’t be stupid, a small voice chided at the back of my head. You know very well what he’s doing.
Of course I knew what he was doing, didn’t mean I had a hard time accepting it.
A scowl caught my attention and then a chuckle.
Do something, the voice anxiously demanded, before you’re too late.
Yeah, see, that was the problem.
I didn’t know what the hell to do and it wasn’t like I could just go for a run to think about it and come back. By the time I’d be back here it’d be too late.
So what options did that leave me?
Scream at him? Drag him down? Tell him everything was going to be okay, regardless of whether it was true or not?
What if he was just relaxing and enjoying himself like I was?
Then you’d make a fool of yourself, the voice oh so kindly informed me. But if he’s doing what you think he’s about to do, then what?
My last question had been answered as he slowly lifted a foot and disappeared from my line of vision.
My heart stopped beating and I felt my body move on its own, reflexively falling forward and sprinting as fast as possible.
I don’t think my limbs have ever burned so much in a short amount of time and I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard.
The 400m race coach would make us run was nowhere close to the ache I was feeling now.