After the rain, the town bell chimed on that cold morning
Susie stumbled across the street in a drunken daze.
Last night was just one in several that she had collapsed at the tavern.
An ambiguous fog loomed in the street
Her heels clicked on grubby cobblestone
There were no body in them
No birds in the sky
no wind in the air
she could barely see ahead.
But then she saw him. A figure sitting on the bridge
when she got closer she saw the fear and loss in his face
He leaned back against the air, and released one hand from the rails
“Don’t!” she yelled
He acknowledged her presence by reaching for the rails, like his life depended on it, and it did. “If I do it, every thing will go back to normal”
“No!” Susie who had fully snapped out of her high now and was hyper alert said, “Nothing is worth this”
The man began to cackle which led Susie to conclude that he maybe relapsing from paranoid schizophrenia
She got closer, she noted that he was middle-aged. He was handsome in an eccentric way. “What’s so funny?” she demanded
“Birds don’t know what to do when you have no need for them”, he said, “you won’t understand why I have to do this….”
“What is it? Susie interrupted ,”dead beat dad? or was your mum a pill hoarder? did she hang herself in the middle of your one room flat and left you with starving mouths to feed? No wait! that’s me! so I’d be damned if you tell me I don’t understand.”
Susie was seething with ire, how dare this ruggedly quaint idiot act like his life was hard, enough to fall to his doom when she hadn’t slept on her bed in seven years. Her warm soft bed felt grubby and lonely. If any body should be sitting on the bridge counting down to meet the grim ripper, it should be her.
She rushed towards the bridge and hoisted herself to seat beside him
“Whoo oo there!, the stranger stuttered, “what do you think you’re doing?”
“Talking with you reminded me of how much simpler life would be if I just disappeared.
“Hey, I was teasing. Ha ha. I wasn’t really going to do it”, he said jumping down “see, give me your hand. please”
“No! you said it yourself, if I feel this worthless, I probably am”
“look at yourself”, the stranger started, “you courageous woman, I can’t pull the value from within you, but I can promise you that it is there, you feel culpable and clearly we’ve got a ton of similar problems that Dr. Jekyll couldn’t fix, So let’s head to the tavern and share a cheroot”.
Susie was both impressed and hesitant by his aphoristic banter
If you feel no different afterwards, I will personally hoist you up there” , he vowed
“I guess you’re right”, Susie conceded grabbing his wrist.
He placed his jacket over her shoulders, “the name’s Vickram”
“Susie”, she said staring into his cinereous eyes, risking a smile, “there’s something about you”, she admitted.
“That, dear Susie is called hope”, he said as they disappeared into the fog, towards the direction of Dean’s tavern