The Bridge

"Please", she cried, as she chased him out into the night. The winter air was cold, and it pierced her skin like a knife. He said nothing. Walking in stoic silence, he sat down on a small bridge, hovering over the canal. She sat down beside him. He could feel her breath, and hear the gasps she made as she sobbed.

"Why are you crying?" he asked, gazing deep into her folorn eyes, the eyes he knew a little too well. "Are you hurt?"

"I'm in pain", she said softly, "but I have no physical injury. She held her hand to her heart, tears streaming down her face. "It hurts here."

The moonless night sky shrouded them in darkness. A not-so-distant streetlamp cast an eerie glow on the still water below the bridge. When he spoke, he did so with a serious tone. "Is he treating you bad again?"

She thought for a moment and answered "Yeah, he is. He neglects me, she explained, and he doesn't care. All he cares about is himself." He nodded.

"He's rude, forgetful, and just plain cold-hearted", she continued. "He won't let the little things go; he always has to have things his way. When he isn't completely satisfied, he yells at me. It's probably the reason why I'm sitting here now."

"What is?" he asked, although he already knew the answer. His eyes scanned the horizon for signs of life.

"He started shouting at me in public again. I ask him for a little recognition, and he slapped me mid-sentence. He said I wasn't good enough for him, that he deserved better." She broke into another string of uncontrollable sobs.

"No, he's wrong," he replied. "You deserve better. Someone that cold doesn't need you to shed tears for them."

A leaf fluttered down on the evening breeze, landing in his outstretched palm. He crushed it and watched the wind carry away its torn remnants. "He needs to learn to care about others as well as himself."

She nodded. "Did you know? This is where he and I met. This is where he kissed me for the first time, and where he told me that he loved me. We used to spend hours here, lying next to each other, whispering our love to each other." The tears on her cheeks glistened under the light of the streetlamp. "This bridge is where I was happiest." He put his hand on hers.

"Love is a strange thing. You care for him even when he's hurt you." Pulling her close, he wrapped his arms around her.

"That's what it means, to be in love." she whispered. "Although sometimes, I wish I were dead."

At these words, his hold on her loosened. He let go, and leaned his back against the rail. His words struck her hard.

"I have to go now." He looked into her eyes, and she looked into his. She could see the memories and the regret held deep within them.

"No..." she whispered. "Not now, not yet. Please! Not yet! I'm not ready to let go yet!"

"I'm sorry", he replied. The wind had started to pick up, and strong gusts made the branches of the surrounding trees sway uneasily. The not-so-distant streetlamp crackled and went out with a sizzle.

Her voice escalated to a shriek. "No! Don't go, please! Whatever's wrong, I'll fix it!"

"It's not important." he said calmly. Putting his weight on the metal railing of the bridge that hovered above the canal, and ignoring her desperate pleas, he leaned over the edge and fell into the water with a splash. When he resurfaced, he was still, and didn't move again.

The End

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