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The Fray – How to Save a Life


The rain pounded down the glazed windows, they shook and trembled under its weight.

She gazed at her own reflection, a tear-stained face with pudgy, sore eyes. His shadow paced up and down the window.

‘I-I don’t understand?’ he cried, kicking the desk, ‘I did everything. Everything. And it’s still not good enough?!’

Fingering her skirt nervously, she began to think how to phrase it.

‘I’m sorry’ she whispered. It was the best she could do. She simply couldn’t be honest. Footsteps approached her from behind.

‘You’ve used me. I’ve just been tagging along after you all this time, and now you want to leave? Just like that?’

His hand held her shoulder, and it repulsed her. It wasn’t right, sat right there upon her bare skin. She hadn’t meant to cry whilst he was inside her, but it felt so wrong, so invasive. After three years, it wasn’t right anymore.

She knew why, but didn’t want to say.

‘Is there somebody else?! One of the guys at work? Sam? David? That guy who you met at the office party? Who is it?’

From the penthouse windows, through the blurring rain, she could see the dimly lit bridge. Her fingers pressed against the cool glass.

It happened right there.

The police tape still hung, dismal and lifeless, unable to tear itself away. Flowers hasn’t been placed there for years, but when she drove past it every morning to work, she had a moment of silence and contemplation. A moment where she knew she must continue, pretending everything is fine.

But she couldn’t do it anymore. She missed him.

Time after time, she had thought she’d seen him in a crowd. The same cropped hair, the long, angular eyes and wonky grin. But it was never him.

She would stand still, her heart rocking in her chest. Then regaining her composure, she would have to continue on with her day.

Their final conversation played over and over in her head. The tearful eyes, the breaking voice, the compulsive hand around her throat. She was afraid, and so she ran away. She had never felt feelings like that before, and it scared her.

Now, five years later, she knew what those very feelings were. She had never felt them again for anybody else, which only made them even stronger and increased her yearning even longer.

Over the years she had met some men who reminded her of him. She let herself float along in woeful ecstasy once or twice, closing her eyes as they made love and imagining it was him. But then she would always have to open her eyes again, and it was never the person she had wanted.

Then the guilt came in a leaden wave, washing over her and staining her red. She tried to wash it off, but no matter what the waves kept rushing up to the shore, unrelenting.

She would always be stained.

Firm lips crushed her mouth and brought her back. She could still see the bridge. Through the very same rain that fell those five years ago, she could see him, dropping a shoe down. Testing the waters, before becoming one with them.

It mattered little. It would not be long now, she thought, and then she would join him.


Read the rest of my musical series, A Tendency for Bitternesshere!

Copyright © 2017 Rebecca Sherratt