Couple of years ago I went through something that was inexplicable, unexplainable…something that I admit brought me down to a place that was one of my lowest points. I never really talked about it to anyone except my parents and some close friends…but this story came from it.
TW: Thoughts of suicide. NB: I didn’t ever think of suicide…but this was my way of processing my thoughts. I wasn’t in a good place. But, I had God. And my creativity and words.
She sat on the bridge, staring down into the swirling, dark depths of the river. The water almost looked black. They called the place jumpers’ point because of all the bridge jumpers. That was why she was there. Dark despair overwhelmed her. False accusations and slurs of her character had become too much…she couldn’t fathom why those things had happened to her. She had never laid a hand on anyone, ever. Closing her eyes as a solitary tear wend its way down the curve of her cheek she breathed in deeply before getting to her feet. Then she climbed over the rail to stand on the thin ledge running the length of the bridge. She exhaled, a rough sound as she stared at the rushing water below.
“You need help there?”
She lifted her gaze and frowned. A young man was sitting on the railing, watching her. Taking her bottom lip between her teeth, she shook her head without speaking. Then returned her gaze to the river.
“You won’t die if you jump.” The man’s voice was melodic, light, unassuming. She just grimaced without looking his way.
“It’s not your time,” the man said. That gave her pause and she looked at him sideways, eyes sharp.
“You don’t know anything.”
The young man smiled, his eyes warm. They were a deep sable colour, she realised as she found herself gazing into their depths. She flushed and looked away, because she found his knowing expression unnerving.
“No? I know you’re out here because life is getting you down.”
“Life gets everyone down.”
“I know about being falsely accused of something.”
She blinked and looked sideways at him again. “Who are you?”
The young man smiled, his expression suddenly radiant. “The name’s Raphael.” She blinked, wondering how he could seem so…later she would find the words; he was glowing. But, that couldn’t be…people didn’t glow.
“Raphael…like the angel?”
The man-Raphael, nodded slowly. “The angel.”
She rolled her eyes and returned to watching the water below. “It hurts.”
“But, it will heal over time. If you allow it.”
Her brows knitted together as she stared down into the churning river. “I…don’t know.”
She felt a warm touch on her shoulder. It was feather light. She looked up at him, all she could make of him were his deep dark eyes. Such compassion there… She cast her gaze passed him. Then looked at him again.
“You can’t promise me that.”
Raphael tilted his head to the side. “No? Well, I can promise you that tomorrow will be better.” He leaned close. “You just need to give tomorrow a chance.”
She murmured the words, rolling them in her mouth. Lifting her eyes to where Raphael was, she blinked. He was gone. All that lingered were his words. Those words…
She gripped the railing as she looked once more into the river, then taking a deep breath, she swung herself back over the railing and plopped herself down on the pavement. She glanced down along the bridge both ways as Raphael’s words echoed in her mind…
“Give tomorrow a chance…”