English Project

March 23, 2011
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The gravel keeps poking into my cold, bare feet. It stings, but I don’t care. I keep moving forward slowly. I feel like I’m just drifting now. Nothing feels real. I’m numb, it’s like it’s just me floating along this deadly bridge. The bridge where three deaths have occurred. The bridge is gray and old, weathered by what seems like an eternity of horrible pain. I rest my hand on the rusty bridge, feeling the cold metal.

“I understand how you feel.” I whisper and give a slight chuckle. But my voice cracks from the nervousness creeping throughout my whole body. A salty tear flows swiftly down my wind burned cheek. I keep drifting along; just thinking about how it will feel when I jump. I imagine the wind rushing past me and I smile wistfully.

“Soon.” I say dreamily to myself. I’m pretty sure I’m not walking a straight line anymore but rather a wobbly stumble across the frozen winter ground. I stare up to the gray sky and all I can think is how stupid I was not grab a sweatshirt, seeing how I’m wearing a tank top in the middle of winter. Then I remember that it won’t matter in a few quick minutes. My name is Monica Elle, and I’m about to become death #4.

“Hurry up, you slowpoke!” Nathu yelps out to me. His voice is loud and bright. It always makes me smile.

“Coming!” I shout back. I run up quickly to him and run into him as hard as I can, tackling him to the ground and landing in a heap of arms and legs on the bright green spring ground.

“Fast enough for you?” I grin widely. Nathu appears to have just gotten the wind knocked out of him.

“…yes.” He laughs and smiles that sweet smile that I love. There are leaves in his brown hair and the grass around us is soft and freshly cut. The smell is so clean and crisp.

“Now I’m hungry!” I complain loudly, intending to be overly obnoxious.

“Ben and Jerry’s?” He says without hesitation. I pretend to be surprised and flash a glowing smile.

“How did you know?!”

“I’m just that good. He grins back, grabbing my hand softly to help me up from the ground.

That was two years ago, before I became this odd person. This odd person that can’t seem to flash that wide grin anymore, this odd person that barely ever talks, or eats. I’m snapped back to reality in a nanosecond. The bridge, my feet, my cold arms…I can’t stop the tears now. They come freely and they show no sign of stopping. No one else is on the bridge. It’s so old and abandoned. It creaks when I walk along it, the corroded metal feels like it’s about to just give up and fall into the deep water below. Just like me. I stop in the middle of the bridge. A smile is beginning to appear onto my chapped lips. I place my hands gently on the side of the bridge. I take a deep breath and begin to climb up onto the railing. It groans loudly under my weight and I stop, suddenly afraid to even breathe. A few seconds pass and I let out my breath in a long gust. I continue my ascent and soon I’m standing on the rail. I spread my arms like I’m about to take off and fly away from this life…away from Nathu and my mother. I’ll miss them dearly. I look up at the gray sky. Thinking of Nathu makes the sky seem to turn even darker. My heart is breaking in my chest and I swear that for a second it’s like my heart has faltered in its steady rhythm, which is just more proof of my broken heart theory. No time for regrets Monica, I tell myself. The bridge begins to moan and creak, almost like its taking short exasperated breaths. I hear my name.

“Monica! Monica!” It’s an angel’s voice, I know it. He’s calling me up to heaven with him. I grin and my breath is short. “Monica!” But…this angel sounds familiar. It sounds like…Nathu.

“Monica! Don’t do it! Stop!” It IS Nathu…and he wants me to stop. I want to open my eyes and tell him that everything is okay. But I can’t. I know that if I do, I won’t be able to go through with it.

“Goodbye Nathu.” I say with a firm tone.

“No! I won’t let you!” I hear his voice catch in his throat. And then he’s grabbing at my legs. My eyes fling open in shock. I flail my arms wildly – and uselessly – because Nathu grabs me and pulls me from the railing. I’m trying to decide quickly whether I should struggle or let him pull me down. But it happens to abruptly and he gathers me in his arms and the warmth coming off him is too much, an I’m crying again.

“I won’t let you.” He whimpers. He’s holding onto me tightly and I can tell that he doesn’t play on letting go any time soon. I don’t know how long we sat on the ground that way. Maybe until I was warm again. Nathu wipes a tear from my cheek.

“Don’t cry Monica. I need you; I couldn’t let you do it.” And I just look up to him, into his green eyes. He stopped me. He said he needs me. I’m wanted. I really am, I think to myself. I’m beginning to feel tired. So incredibly tired. Sleep is trickling into my mind, making my eyelids heavy like bricks. But, before I drift off to sleep, I look back up to him. His eyes were full of nothing but compassion and worry for me, I feel wanted and slightly blissful—and I whisper.

“You saved me.”

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