The sun shone brightly, but he barely noticed.
He was walking towards one of the city’s most famous and beloved landmarks, but he barely looked up.
He was crying, but nobody noticed. He walked out onto the bridge, looking for the right spot. He didn’t want to be too close to a pillar; the only thing below he wanted below his spot was water. Clear air and water.
He stopped and looked around, barely raising his head. People passed him without a second glance. Further proof, he thought, as if he needed it.
He sighed, and walked on. He wasn’t over the water yet. The bridge was a lot longer than he had thought.
A curious flapping noise caught his attention and he looked around for the source. There was a handwritten sign attached to the railing.
“Don’t let yourself go,” it said across the top in bright coloured letters. Underneath, “Please Don’t Jump!”
He looked at it for a moment as a lump rose in his throat, but then walked on.
There was another sign, just a little way further along.
“You are not alone. Please Don’t Jump!”
He put his hand on the railing as he walked further. There was yet another sign. “Hold on! Please Don’t Jump!”
Ahead of him, just a few hundred yards ahead of him, he saw a young woman standing by the railing. As he drew closer, he realised she was attaching another sign to the rails. More were visible in the satchel slung over her shoulder.
She looked up.
“Hi,” she said, with a smile. “Are you okay?”
He paused for a moment, then looked up at last and realised how bright the sun was.
“I am,” he said. “I am now.”
© Kari Fay
(Author’s Note: Last year an anonymous card to Post Secret with the words “I don’t belong anywhere. This summer I plan to jump off the Golden Gate bridge” prompted an outpouring of love from thousands of strangers, all with the same message: Please Don’t Jump. I wonder what happened to the person who sent that card; I hope that they heard that message and that he or she has found somewhere to belong.)