As I sat there against the solidity of cold rock, all I could think about was her. Her soft, blonde hair, like liquid gold, cascading around her shoulders.
It is a late december night, dark black and fiercely cold. It is on these nights that I think of her, when I feel the closest to her love. The mother of my children, and the love of my life.
My children, who are safe at home, warm in bed, but lacking a bedtime story in which their father reads to them. Lacking a kind mother, who left years ago, with righteous outrage burning within her, all directed at me.
She was so angry, the night she left.
It was a simple argument.
Until I had slapped her, too angry to think of what I was doing.
And now, for three years, I have lived with our children, caring for them with all the love I had left.
I never saw her again. It is all my fault. My children live without a mother because of my choices. This is my fault.
And so, I am out under a bridge in the heart of the city, two blocks from home; from my sleeping children.
Right in the exact spot where we met. A faint smile attempts to play across my face, but it is too strained, too sad.
Here I am, trying to relive the ignition of our love. Here I am, the father that abandoned his children to sit under a bridge in the cold of midnight.
I have no jacket. No gloves. No hat. No warmth. I am aware of that.
As I sit, I remember the car accident that brought us here, arguing over who was going to pay for her side mirror that I had completely taken off.
I ended up paying for it, but just because she had agreed to go on a date with me.
And it had all started here. Under this very bridge.
And for a small moment, I feel a flicker of warmth within me.
That damn pipe. It has burst again. Now, I have to take the long way to get to my office. I am already late and this will just delay me further.
For a second, a forbidden thought flashes in my mind.
Take the Foreway street shortcut. Nobody knows about that street, and it will get me there much faster.
My heart slams into my diaphragm. How could I even think about that? A cold fire of anger starts to burn in my stomach. Both at him, and me for letting myself think that.
But I’m going to be so late!
And so, I make the impulsive decision to turn down Foreway street.
This has always been a strange street. A street in the heart of the city, but yet no one has heard of it.
Except for me. And him. The car accident.
The memories hit hard like blows to my stomach.
Like slaps to my face.
I already regret this choice, turning down this damned street.
I am too busy being angry at myself to notice the dark shape slumped under the bridge until I’m right next to it. Confusion swarms my vision. Why would anybody be here?
I glance over at the person.
Oh my god. It’s him. Everything stops all at once. I slam on the breaks, my breath catches in my throat, and my chest smacks the wheel.
His eyes are open, but are not focused.
I don’t remember getting out of the car.
I stumble towards his dark figure, tears softening and distorting my vision.
I hear a scream, and realize it’s me.
The person before me is cold to the touch; frozen to death.
And now, I am screaming, crying, calling for help. Hoping that anybody will find us under this godforsaken bridge. But nobody knows this street, understands this street like we do.
And nobody will find us.
His children - our children - are fatherless. A mother is something foreign to them. And now a father will be too. This morning, those children will wake up, with no father. No one to care for them, but a middle aged, golden haired woman that lies on the edges of their memories.
And now, I, will take care of them with all of the love I have left.
I call 911.
“Hi, I am calling to report a dead man under the bridge on Foreway street,” and then I hang up the phone.