As Samuel came around the bend he saw an orange construction sign crookedly perched on the small rise just off the side of the road. Resting there in an almost a mocking manner. it's bold, black lettering simply stating No guard rail. It was little things like this that drove him crazy.
The subtle objects that'd be placed in such a way they'd seem to be mocking everyone that was around them. However he seemed to be the only one to ever take note of such little things- like the world was mocking him for his keen sense of observation that he was gifted with. Almost as though such a gift was never supposed to be given to anyone. That we were all supposed to go through life ignorant to the subtle things it held.
And sometimes (most of the time) he wished he never had this gift and could go with the flow of society's ignorance- not all of the little things he caught onto were of objects… actually in general, as a rule, they mostly had to do you with people. He wished he didn't see the little things that gave people away, he'd for sure sleep easier if he didn't take note of these little things.
For instance, the bruise on the cashier’s wrist at the gas station he had last stopped at. Her arm trembling almost unnoticeably as she reached out to give him the his 6.50 in change- or the reason he was barreling down the old highway at midnight back to San Francisco, back to his hometown five days earlier then he should've. The last message he received from his childhood friend was underlined with distress. From how the message was phrased it was almost like some deep dark wound had been reopened for the world to see. It gave Samuel a bad feeling, the kind of feeling that starts from your gut, making your heart stop while the hair pricks on back of your neck. The kind of feeling that makes a bitter taste form in the back of your mouth, like Death himself was was reaching for you with his bitter cold grip… it was dread… it had been three days since he last heard from Mitchell and he was dreading the reason why. Especially with Mitch’s last message to him being so… off… and he had been acting off for the last few days before he went MIA. He tried to convince himself this feeling was just paranoia and Mitch was just preoccupied with his exames (college exames always seemed to have away of consuming ones entire being) but he couldn't shake it, he couldn’t take the dread anymore and so he decided to head back from his trip nearly a week early over a bad feeling.
Making such a fuss over probably nothing. He groans at this realization, but in this moment all
Samuel wanted to do was floor it. Not caring if a cop saw and chased him all the way back to San Francisco. But it was late November and the black ice had already claimed parts of the road, settled just out of sight on the black top, along with a heavy flurry crashing into his windshield limiting his visibility. He took a deep breath, clutching the steering wheel tightly in both hands.
“It'd do neither of us any good if I got into a crash over some bad feeling…” he thought to himself.
His foot begrudgingly easing off the gas and hoped that whatever time he got there, it wouldn't be to late…
Traffic on the bridge had slowed to a trickle of only a few cars, buses and trucks here and there. Making what had to be their last runs of the night- or first runs of the morning, though Mitchell couldn't entirely tell. He'd been sitting on the bridge guardrail for what felt like hours. He looked over his shoulder at the road, however long it was, a thick fog had already settled in on the bridge. It was still dark out and the mix of street lights along with headlights made the fog glow in some spots. It gave him a sense if serenity. He looked down at the water 220 feet below him knowing this feeling won't stay- at least not for long… not if he went back. He shutters at the thought of going back, slinking into his denim jacket pulling the hood further over his head. The cold November wind bitting bitterly at his tear stained face, eyes glued to the rippling blank sky below him looking like a pale grey nothingness swaying lifeless below his feet.
Further off in the distance through the fog the city lights danced playfully on the waves like a starlit night teaming with the life of the universe- but that was far out of sight, no matter how hard he tried to see it. The shimmering lights had seemed to always be just right out of reach. But the grey is right here, right within his grasp calling to him- calling for him. As if the grey was all that's left for him and he was ok with that. Scarily so… like some part of him had already expected this fate long ago.
Mitchell sighs, the crisp night air cutting through his jacket making the blood flow to his cheeks as a failed attempt to warm them. His breath moved through the air like smoke, fogging his glasses that were perched on his button nose. But he didn't need to see anymore. He took in one last breath of the crisp ocean air, clenching the guardrail tightly in his hands.
This is it… after this last car goes by… that'll be it…
He counts the seconds until the car went by, every number falling off his lips with each breath he takes.
It's muffled purr closing in.
The headlights begun to fill the fog.
His heart pounds against it's boney cage.
The gust of air from the car hit his back ruffling his jacket as he got in position.
“Figured I'd find you here.” stated a soft voice with the loom of forced calmness hanging on every word.
Mitchell went rigid, frozen in place as if he were a statue, his breath caught tightly in his throat, eyes widen.
‘He's not supposed to be back for nearly a week…’
He thought to himself, slowly gathering the courage to look back at the one person he'd never wanted to find him like this.
Why'd Sam come back so early? AND what the hell was he doing here, of all places??
These thoughts running wild through his head as his eyes finally found Samuel leaning against a lamppost not even five feet away. Mitchell let his eyes examine Sam's fine featured face, not even entirely sure what he was looking for on it.
“Y’know.” Samuel starts, shifting his weight off the post and to his feet, “They put a safety net up.”
Mitchell’s body slumped at that, like the invisible cord that was holding him stiff had been cut. He looks down again, shocked to see he had missed the fine knitted net hanging along the side of the bridge.
‘Perfect…’ he thought sarcastically with a sigh and swung his legs back over the guardrail, hitting the walkway hard, sending a sharp pain up his bad leg and throw his spine making him wince.
“Then I guess I'll just have to try another bridge then…” Said Mitchell.
Sam just sighs at that shortening the distance between them. His firm hands wrapping around Mitchell's arms to help support his weight, earning himself a quick glance up from Mitchell. Their eyes locking for only a second before Mitchell's drifted down to stare at the concert like all the answers to life were hidden deep within its cracks.
Sam smiles soft at his dear friend, relieved he got here when he did and wraps an arm around Mitchell's shoulder.
“Come on, you can tell me everything that happened over a nice hot cup of coffee.” Sam declares.
And before Mitchell could say anything, he was being coaxed to the nearest cafè.