His feet dragged across the sidewalk as he walked past the rush of taxis and Audis. They all had somewhere to be, unlike him. Today had been a day he would rather forget. Nothing had returned to normal since the accident that claimed his wife and son; he could not find his footing, stumbling through daily life with a distinct lack of direction. Everything suffered, and no one was willing to reach out and help. Lost and roaming the streets half asleep, the battle did not seem worth the fight. He just did not have the strength anymore.
The journey through the city was one he did not remember; it was all a blur. Without fully realizing where he was, he stood on the other side of the railing of the Brooklyn Bridge. A crowd was quickly dismissed in his mind as he prepared his jump. Murmurs filled his ears as people stopped to stare, but no one extended a hand. He was alone in the masses. No one cared, not that they ever did.
Don’t do it, love. This isn’t the end for you.
The voice filled his mind with warmth, but did not take away the pain. She would always be with him, but it was not enough. Her touch, her scent, had faded. He could not deal with his loss of her memory.
You need to move on. So much is waiting for you.
He felt a hand on his shoulder, holding fast.
“Meg?” He whispered.
“My name is Charlotte,” a soft voice replied.
His eyes opened slowly, wondering about this stranger. Looking over his shoulder where her hand rested, he beheld a young woman, about his age; her face etched with concern and compassion.
“This isn’t how your story ends. I care.”
“But you don’t know me,” he choked.
“Don’t need to. You are important either way.”
Bowing his head, he wanted to believe her. At least one person cared. Maybe this was the sign he did not know he was waiting for.
“Come with me,” she said, reaching for his hand.
Without hesitation, he took her offering and allowed her to guide him back over the railing. Once he was safe, she embraced him. The gathered crowd cheered and he felt ashamed for taking it as far as he did. But, she kept him close, and he found comfort in her touch.
“Come, let’s get you a coffee,” she smiled.