'Lexi.' The voice on the other end of the phone was broken, damaged and completely detached, as though he couldn't care less what happened anymore. The most intense feeling of guilt I had ever experienced suddenly grabbed a hold of me in an iron grip, threatening to destroy me. I instantly knew that Dinah had seen us and that Ryder was fully aware of this.
'Where are you?' I tried to keep my tone steady so as not to push him into doing anything stupid.
'I'm on the Great South Bay Bridge,' he sighed. 'Sometimes goodbye's the only way.' I felt my heart plummet. He was going to do something, something incredibly reckless and it was all my fault.
'Stay there, please Ryder. Just wait until I arrive. Promise?'
'Fine,' he mumbled. 'Not that it'll do much good.'
I wasted no time in flagging down a taxi, ordering him to my destination. The driver stared at me like I was crazy until I shouted at him.
'Fine, geez lady.'
I did not have time for grumpy cynical New Yorkers at the minute. My stomach was churning over and over, my hands were clammy and my heart was pounding viciously against my ribcage. I felt as though I might be sick at any moment; my nerves had gone haywire, but I ignored all of this.
Every red light we came to made me want to scream out in frustration, but I bit my lip, hard, until I drew blood. I didn't care though, all I cared about was reaching Ryder in time.
Oh God, what if I'm late? What if he's already done something?
'Why are you heading to the bridge anyway?'
'Sightseeing,' I muttered, not really paying any attention. It was raining freely now, drops of water ricocheted off the window, leaving little rivulets running next to one another against the glass. The weather seemed to perfectly reflect the inner turmoils that were going on at the moment, everyone was suffering because of my stupid drunken state. I promised to myself there and then that I would never do anything like that ever again.
There was a massive queue forming just shy of the bridge and as soon as the car pulled to a halt, I threw some notes over the seat and leaped out into the rain. I was soaked within seconds, my hair clung to my forehead, drops of rain ran down my eyelashes and I squinted into the unclear sight before me. I could make a dark figure a little way up, and he was literally standing on the edge of the bridge. The thing that troubled me the most however was that no one was helping him.
I absolutely hated New York in those moments and everyone in it.
My feet pounded the concrete as I ran over to Ryder, but the wind and rain seemed ready to slow me down, slamming against my body. I pushed on, relentless.
'Ryder!' I screamed.
Dammit, he hadn't heard me. He was looking around, but hadn't yet spotted me.
'No! Don't do it!'
He took another step closer to the edge and I ordered myself to go faster.
'RYDER!' my lungs threatened to explode as I belted this out and to my complete relief his head jerked up as he turned to face me.
'Don't...do...anything!' I panted, coming to a halt. I hadn't been wrong when I said that he was detached. His eyes were flat, emotionless and his body had taken on a languid, indifferent stance, almost as though he really didn't care anymore.
It devastated me.
'Lexi please don't try to stop me.'
'Ryder listen, I made a stupid, terrible mistake and I'm sorry. I know from now on I'm going to spend the rest of my life burdened with this guilt, but it's what I deserve. I had no right to do this to you and Dinah, no right. Just please, step away from there.'
'Lexi it's too late. She's gone. She's not answering my calls. It's as though everything has lost all it's meaning, the sunshine in my life has disappeared, the one thing that kept me going.'
'Ryder, I know what you mean,' I sighed, unsure if I really wanted to take this route again, especially after what had happened with Elijah right after I opened myself up to him. 'When I lost my parents, it was though the world had stopped spinning. Nothing mattered anymore, I was completely numb. Both emotionally and physically. I couldn't imagine a life for myself anymore. I was on the verge of suicide, it just seemed like an easy option, a way to join them again. But then I saw them. They were both smiling down on me, telling me how proud they were of me and that it was okay for me to happy without them. I could go on living. It was what they wanted. And ever since that day I haven't stopped fighting.' My tears had begun to merge with the rain now, washing away as though they meant nothing.
'Lexi, I - ' Ryder began but I interrupted him.
'No. You still have Dinah. You can get her back and I swear I will do whatever it takes to make it happen. If you give up now, then imagine how she is going to feel. How I'm going to feel. You and Dinah are the only real friends I've ever had and if you left now... I'm not sure I could cope.' I knew it was unfair blackmailing him like this, but the truth was running freely now. I knew I couldn't cope with another death. I was balancing precariously on the edge, the slightest thing could set me off either way.
Ryder was silent for several moments and I took the opportunity to speak again.
'What I did meant nothing. It was a silly act of my drunk state, but what you and Dinah have is much more real. It's love. And whilst I admit I thought that I wanted that, from you, I know now it wasn't you, because you have Dinah. I think I was just looking for some stability in my life, but I'm not going to jeopardize what you and Dinah have. So please, step down from that bridge.'
I was never very good with words, and I just prayed to God that what I had just said might have worked. He looked back down at the water again and my breath caught, sure that I had failed him. Failed Dinah. But then he looked back at me again, mouthed a simple thank you, and stepped off the bridge, towards me.
I hugged him fiercely, the most staggering sense of relief surging through me.
I had actually done it.
'Now,' I told him. 'Let's go find Dinah.'
Linkin Park - Shadow of the Day