She tried to balance herself on the ledge and peered at the river flowing below the bridge. She couldn’t bring herself to bend farther to get the view since she was too afraid to let go off the railing. She reminded herself she was here to end her life and shouldn’t be afraid to let go, but her hands weren’t listening to her.
She heard a man say and tried to turn around precariously. She saw a young man, about her age on a bicycle. His clothes were filthy and so were his hands and face, but he was smiling a happy smile.
“Leave me alone!”, She tried to peel her eyes away from him and continue her suicide.
“Listen, I don’t know who you are but I’m in no mood for a ruffian cat-calling me now. Just go!”
“What are you doing by the ledge?”
“Trying to get away from some people and now you”, She said trying to control her tears. Her life has been too tragic for her to continue living. She didn’t know why she was even talking to this man. She turned away from him and peered into the river again. As she tried to muster the courage to jump, she became curious on hearing no sound from the man. She started wondering if he was still there watching her. As she tilted her eyes to the side, she was startled to see another form standing near her at the ledge.
“What the hell are you doing here?”, She asked the man who was now getting on her nerves.
“Well, it seemed you were enjoying a nice view so I wanted to come see it as well.”
“I am not here for the view. I am here to end my life! Now will you please let me die in peace?”
“Ah! Pardon me, mademoiselle! By all means please go ahead.”
“I can’t with you watching me!”
“Why not? Are you planning on undressing to not get your clothes wet?”, He chuckled.
“How dare you!! Fine, I’ll jump. You do as you wish. Just don’t try to save me.”
“I can’t even if I want to. I don’t know how to swim.”
“Ha! Good thing I know.”
“I thought you were trying to die.”
“Oh…yes…ahem I am trying to die. I think I’ve wasted enough time chatting with you. Good bye Monsieur!”
“Goodbye Monsieur Léo”
Silence fell as she tried to prepare herself to jump. She decided she will jump on the count of three. She began to count under her breath.
“Have you ever had Garbure?”
“What? Yes, of course”, She asked not being to help herself but answer this pestering young man.
“Well, you haven’t tasted the best unless you’ve tried Lola’s. She is the best cook in this part of the town. She is my Aunt and I work in her little restaurant”
“OK. May I die now?”
“How about I take you there? You seem tired and have been contemplating to jump or not for a while. Maybe a warm meal will help you make up your mind.”
“Are you trying to persuade me from not committing suicide?”
“Of course not! Who am I to stand against a beautiful woman’s wishes. Let me just treat you to my Aunt’s wonderful dish and I’ll bring you back here and if you wish I’ll even make sure you give you a push!”
“Fine!! I’ll come with you if you would allow me to die in peace.”
“As you wish Bébé d’amour”
He jumped away from the ledge and held out his hands for her. She took his hands and his offer for a warm Garbure. They did return to the bridge, every year, on the same day. Passersby would watch this couple hold hands and throw a coin into the river thanking it for bringing them together.