The wind played with her hair, lifting it from her collar. It felt gentle and calming like a lover’s caress, the sun that was peeking through the grey clouds let light filter through her closed eyes and made her cheeks warm like a sweetheart’s blush.
So still, standing without movement, arms by sides, feet closely together, face tilted slightly to the sky. Her mind taking in the stillness while contemplating the options. Turmoil and calm was all around and inside her at once.
She was completely unaware of her surroundings, but those people who whisked past on the way to their busy jobs or loveless homes just saw a lady standing on a platform in the middle of a bridge, leaning slightly forward, not looking distressed but perhaps aimless.
Her presence on the bridge did not make sense to the cars whizzing by, she appeared to have no reason for being. But she was quickly forgotten as the stress of everyday life enveloped the cars’ inhabitants’ thoughts.
She stood on the bridge with her grey hooded sweatshirt flapping in the wind completely unaware of the thoughts of the people passing. She was caught up in remembering so many cherished thoughts that appeared to her almost as a haze and each time she felt she could capture a memory to hold onto it disappeared like steam from a jug.
A tear trickled down her face and she lifted a hand and roughly brushed it aside, disturbing her long black silky hair in the process. She reached for her wrist and removed a hair tie then quickly twisted it around her tresses, pulling her hair harshly back and unveiling stunning icy blue eyes.
It was the first time she had opened her eyes since standing on the bridge. Her heart jolted in her chest and she felt that almost for a second it might stop on its own accord and make her decision easier. Too afraid to make any sudden movement she continued to stand soldier straight and flicked her eyes from side to side and up and down.
She had not imagined the void in front of her. The river stretched for miles to either side, almost appearing as two horizons, the city at the river’s curve looked like the hastily skewed blocks of a child playing, stacked one upon the other in unorganized chaos.
The sky was almost engulfing, not a fog but more like an unreachable, grey muddy haze, but it wasn’t cold, the wind was chill but the day wasn’t cold.
Under the bridge in the dank and cold, wrapped in filthy blankets a sleeping body woke. She raised her weary head and leaned out from her hiding place; her chocolate brown eyes could make out a grey lumpy shape in the morning light.
She shuffled in the blanket, she did not care about the figure above, and life had made her weary, unforgiving.
Begrudgingly she rose to her feet and headed for the ladder to the bridge.
Writing order: Sumanda Maritz (S. Africa), Roseyn (Aust), Donna McT (NZ), Gabrielle (NZ), Ray Stone (Cyprus), Anna Zhigareva (Scotland), Suraya Dewing (NZ), Jasmine Groves (Aus), Tulika Saha (India) Vatsal Shah (India)