Chapter 1: The Unexpected Encounter
“Look! What is she doing!”
A lady screamed, pointing at the sky.
Nearby, people stopped. They followed her finger’s direction, and looked up.
Passing along, I also peered curiously. Directly above, a silhouette dressed in all white was on the roof of a building sixteen floors high. She stumbled as she climbed over the railing.
Interesting, this is the first time I’m seeing something like that in person.
Sometimes, I see these tragedies on the news. People who’ve lost their will to live choose to jump from a high building, and take their own life.
They typically regret it once they jump. Compared to the fear of death, life always seems to be the better choice, no matter how much pressure there was.
The fortunate are saved by a huge air mattress from the police. The unfortunate smash onto the ground, breaking their heads open.
When something like this happens, you call the police. So, I took out my phone and dialed.
My voice was clear enough to describe what was happening, and gave the authorities the exact location.
Thankfully, my house was nearby. I had a solid idea where the building was.
After doing all of these, I thought about what else I could do for this ungrateful fellow.
Looking around, everyone spectated as if they were watching a play, crowding around in interest. Besides pointing and gesturing, nobody seemed like they were going to do something.
With their cold, unfeeling expressions, they didn’t really care whether this stranger lived or died.
The person on the rooftop stared at the crowd beneath, and seemed to stop for a moment. However, they started moving again, and swung their foot over the railing.
You really want to fall in the arms of Death?
This can’t go on; the police would be too late. I started to panic, and my head became rushed with blood. I started to run, and charged in the building. Once I came to the elevator, I punched the button as hard as I can, and stood with worry.
The floor numbers slowly descended before my eyes. The screen didn’t care about how I felt right now.
There were many people going in and out of the elevator, so service was quite slow. I waited and waited.
Could they have already….
With every second, I thought about how much danger that person was in.
Once the doors opened, I rushed in, and rode to the top in one go. Once the bell rang with a ding, I dashed out the entrance.
I ran to the side facing the street, and found the idiot.
Thankfully, they were still there.
“Hey! Wait!” I screamed.
She turned her head.
She was wearing a white skirt, and had a mop of black hair resting on her shoulders. She sat diligently on the railing with her slender posture, and seemed fairly tall.
This clear, innocent face was truly beautiful.
I stared, puzzled.
From her outfit and appearance, I assumed that she was probably in high school.
Her bare feet rested on the ledge below, and her white sneakers were placed neatly on the side.
“Do you need anything?”
“Buddy, what are you doing? This is really dangerous, come down!”
I decided to rush forward and pull her off.
“Don’t come closer.”
She spoke thinly, and let go of the pole in a threatening manner.
Her body slowly rocked the railing, back and forth. Her skirt billowed in the gentle wind.
She didn’t seem like she wanted to negotiate, and glared at me.
“Is it okay if I stay where I am, then?”
I stopped as I realized that I might anger her further.
She glanced at me, and turned back to look at the crowd below.
“Attracting their attention might be the last value I become to this world.”
She seemed to be talking to herself, but to me also.
“Think about your parents. If you jump, they’ll be devastated.” I urged.
“No, they won’t. They don’t care about me at all. If I died, they’ll just have another child.” She jested.
“There must be people who love you, other than them. If they see you like this, they’ll be miserable, too!”
I inched closer, distracting her with my words.
The distance between us became shorter and shorter.
“Then…. Who else?”
The girl looked thoughtful.
“Please think! There must be someone!” I yelled pleadingly.
“If there was someone like that, I wouldn’t be here, would I?”
Her face was filled with sorrow, and she unabashedly stepped forward.
At that moment, the girl looked like a wingless dove, and plummeted off the rooftop.
I leaped forward, and grabbed her forearm.
My palm burned with friction, and an agonizing pain rushed up my shoulder.
The girl didn’t feel very nice, either.
“Ahh! It hurts!”
Midair, she twitched in pain, and screamed.
At the same time, her weight was pulling me down. I left the protection of the pole, and maintained balance by only one hand on the railing.
The wind made it hard to move. Looking at the frightening view, I took deep breaths to control my emotions.
“Let go. I know that you don’t want to die.”
The girl stopped, and looked at me. Her hollow pupils stared at my distorted face.
“That’s right, but I don’t want you to die, either! Grab my hand, and never let go!”
If she put a little strength into it, I definitely could’ve pulled her up with no problem.
“What am I to you? You shouldn’t care about me.” The girl glared.
“Didn’t you say that nobody cared about you? Why not let me try?”
I couldn’t hold on anymore.
“Do you like me?” She looked hesitant.
I didn’t know what to say.
The girl tried to pry my fingers off.
“Yes! I like you! Hold on!”
I closed my eyes as I yelped.
“Do you love me?”
She stopped, and looked at me aimlessly.
“Girl, I love you so much, please hold tighter, I’m almost out of strength!”
My elbow felt like cramping.
She continued to pry my fingers.
“I love you! You’re the only person I love! Don’t let go!”
My elbow’s close to snapping!
“Would you be my boyfriend?”
The girl blushed, ever so slightly.
“Forget boyfriend, I could even be your grandson if you want!”
My brain didn’t work anymore. I would’ve agreed to anything she asked.
“But, it seems like you’re too late.”
The girl looked at her hand, sliding down the length of my arm, until her wrist was the only thing I was holding on to.
My hand started to prickle. If I exercised more often, this would probably be a piece of cake.
“Grab my arm, will you? Please!” I shouted at her.
She didn’t seem to use any strength at all. She smiled at me with her palm open.
The girl’s hand slipped more and more. I held tighter, but there was nothing I could do to prevent the sliding.
Finally, I decided to hook my feet to the railing, and pull her slippery arm with my other hand.
The girl closed her eyes, and waited for the embrace of death. But she soon realized she wasn’t going anywhere but up.
“Do you want to die with me?”
She saw that I, too, reached a point of no return.
“Climb up my back!” I pulled with both hands.
She wavered, and looked disdainfully.
“Let go! Let go of me!”
She started to hammer the back of my hand.
I couldn’t keep up. Even with two hands, I was pushing it. I was near my limit.
I almost couldn’t….
I almost…. I almost can’t hold on any longer.
At the moment I decided to give up, someone pulled my legs, hard. I shouted with joy.
Then, we were dragged back up quickly. The top floor was already filled with people.
I tried to drop the girl’s arm, but my hands were frozen. I couldn’t feel my nerves at all.
“I almost died….”
I didn’t think about anything else, and breathed heavily against the wall.
In the confusion, some people came near us.
“Are you alright?”
The man who pulled us up kneeled down.
“Never do something like this again. You two are young, don’t get jumped on some trivial matter.”
The man patted our shoulders.
“Did the girl try to kill herself because the boy dumped her? Look at them, they’re holding hands so tight!”
“I think so, too.”
The countless questions flooded my ears. I tried to answer, but I didn’t have the strength. My mind replayed the near-fatal experience over and over.
This is what they call “scared out of your mind”, I guess.
Her situation wasn’t any better. Her hand was clamped to mine, and she didn’t take in her surroundings at all.
We stood silently as the police arrived on the scene.
Once the authorities confirmed that I didn’t know the girl at all, I was free to go. She, on the other hand, was to be escorted home, and contact her parents.
If she were to talk to her parents with the police, this probably won’t happen again.
She was led away with a dazed look on her face. She didn’t look back at me once, and seemed to forget everything I promised her.
This was fine by me. She finally vented all her feelings towards a complete stranger. In a way, she finally let everything go.