"By becoming a hero, I’ve tried saving someone’s life, but killed my own.”
5th August, Monday 2017
Actions sometimes speak louder than words. That’s the phrase that everyone says, but sometimes, the actions have consequences. And sometimes the consequences are bad.
Cole had the choice to act and save a life or to call for help, however, if he had called for help, it would have been too late. The man would have jumped. So, Cole had to do the one thing which has caused him so much pain, hold on to try and save the man in the black suit and tie.
The engine of Cole’s motorbike spluttered to life as he jammed the key into the ignition. The sky was gradually darkening as a thick black blanket of clouds rolled over the sky like a swelling bruise.
The weather forecast had said that a storm was on its way, but after the argument Cole and his mother had had, Cole needed to get away before he did anything he regretted. Reversing out of the drive on his brother’s old vintage Harley Davidson, he set off down the road scattered with shallow puddles that reflected the dark abyss.
The streetlights started to flicker on as the light continued to drop, and Cole switched on the light to his motorbike to prevent any accidents with other moving vehicles.
The road was bumpy and full of potholes. Why couldn’t the council actually use the money they gain to do something good for the community instead of using it for their own advantage?
Cole swerved round a large pothole and continued down the desolate road. There were no cars near by, so he took his chances to speed up with forty mph.
The houses in the neighborhood looked cold and damp, but on the inside they were buzzing with life as family’s snuggled up together watching the Simpsons or harry potter, enjoying the evening of the summer holidays.
Even though it was still a nice temperature, the air was humid and Cole was glad that his bike helmet that was placed over his head would preserve his hair from going too frizzy- especially when it started to drizzle.
The rain splashed onto his helmet causing a light pattering noise but the roaring of the engine drowned it all out.
his bare hands gripped the handle bars tightly, causing his
knuckles to turn white and a coldness to run up through his blood.
His leather jacket reflected most of the rain, however, a few droplets sneakily made their way down Cole’s back causing him to shiver.
His jeans, however, began to stick to his legs uncomfortably and the water seeped through into his skin and down into his black Timberland boots.
Changing gear, he put the break on as he neared the T-junction which lead two separate ways: the left one lead to more housing estates, and the right one lead to the bridge over the Thames which joined the other side of London where a shopping centre was placed just near by.
If he made it in time, maybe he would be able to get a coffee from Costa before it closed. Letting a sports car speed past as it blared Drake out of the speakers, cole checked his pockets for money and found a fiver in the back of his phone case.
Putting on the left indicator, he set off down the road towards Costa, suddenly craving a cappachino, knowing full well that he had probably had enough caffeine to last him a lifetime, but oh well. One could never have enough coffee.
Driving past more houses, he spotted an elderly couple shuffling down the road with an umbrella over their heads as they held each other’s hand.
Further past that Cole came to an empty road which was surrounded by a small greenery section with trees, bushes and grass.
Cole watched out of the corner of his eye, a mother dragging a child away from the park as the rain started to fall harder. He could even hear the child’s tantrum over the rumble of his engine.
Further up, he saw the bridge coming into view. There were no cars near by so Cole sped up more, still on the safe side so he didn’t hit anyone. That was the last thing he wanted.
As the uneven tarmack of the road changed to a smooth ground of the bridge, Cole decided to stop to take a look at the river He was already drenched, so it wouldn’t matter if he stood in the rain. At dusk, the lights of flats and other houses reflected off the glassy water as boats slowly crawled their way through the water. It was always a lovely, relaxing and beautiful view- especially without a sorm, which was unfortunately, what was happening right now.
Parking his brother’s motorbike by the edge, he put down the foot to balance it properly, shut of the engine and hopped off before putting the key into his pocket. He took off his helmet and ran his hand through his hair, trying to tame the sweaty strands. That was definitely a downside of a helmet.
Striding up to the centre of the bridge, he looked out into the river. The sky was dark now as the rain started to thunder down causing a loud pitter pattering noise to echo through the sky and bounce off of the churning water below.
The water was slightly more rough than usual but it was also rather low due to the fact that it was summer and they had recently had a drought. There was a thick layer of fog which poured into the Thames like syrup, and this also caused the little square shaped lights from the skyscrapers and other buildings to become less visible by a large amount. He looked up at the sky to see nothing but darkness except for the tiniest sliver of golden light from the sunset that must’ve been beautiful beyond the thick clouds as it sent, what resembled, a golden ray of light down onto the water, revealing the blackness of the water as it tossed and turned.
Cole immediately felt himself relax after the stress he and his mother went through earlier and found that is was always beneficial to go for a drive on his brother’s motorbike afterwards to cool down, and it was definitely worth it that night.
It was then that he heard a low rumbling of thunder. And it was then that he saw a man dressed in a black suit, standing on the edge of the bridge.
His drenched suit flapped in the wind and his hair was disheveled, and the way that his shoulders shook as he clasped onto the metal side, showed Cole that the man infront of him was broken; maybe even beyond repair.
His shoes were lying on the base of the bridge along with a slip of paper with the words:
My dearest Ann
A suicide letter.
The blood went cold in Cole’s veins as his face paled. He opened his mouth, to try and stop the man, but nothing came out.
Taking wobbly steps forward, he tried again. His voice came out nimble. “Are you alright?”
The man’s head snapped over to where Cole was, completely drenched in rain, tears and sweat. Much like his own.
Swallowing again, Cole took another step forward. “Sir?” He held out his hand but the man shook his head with a sad smile.
“It’s better this way.” The man stayed in his place causing his voice to only be a whisper, barely heard, in the raging storm.
Something panged inside Cole’s chest as it squeezed tight, hearing those all too familiar words.
Another struck of thunder caused the man to look back down at the water that was now swirling around rapidly.
Cole took another step forward, racking his brains for a way to stop him from jumping.
People often share why they’re gonna jump before...
“Wait!” Cole cried just as the man was about to step off. He froze before turning round with a sad smile.
“Listen kiddo, you should get going. You don’t want to see something like this.”
“Can I ask... Why?”
With a sigh, the man gave a pined smile once again, “okay. I’ll tell you why but then you’ve got to go.”
“... I’m the manager of a CEO here in London. A place in Kensington, to be precise. Everything was brilliant until... Until our business went bankrupt and now I’m in serious debt.”
“Not only that, but my parents have disowned me, my wife left me and my two children want nothing to do with me because I’ve become, well, an alcoholic.”
Cole swallowed, inching closer with every sentence.
“So you see, I’m having to sell my business and my house since I can’t afford anything anymore. Ultimately I’m homeless now.” He said with a humorless chuckle. “And I figured, why live on the streets when you can end the suffering in merely a moment.”
Cole was now standing right next to the man.
“That’s it kiddo. Now you’re gonna have to go so you don’t get caught up in all this crap.”
“Can I ask what your name is?”
“Call me Andrew.”
“Well, Andrew. It’s um, nice to meet you. But at the moment, I’m going to grab your hand and help you off.” Cole said holding out his hand.
“N-no! I want to die! My life is horrible and I want to end the suffering I’ve had to endure.”
“Trust me, you don’t want to die. You can start fresh. Yes, there will be tough times, but you need to prove you’re strong and take the bull by the horns. I know you can do it. You’ve survived this much, and you can survive more. You’ve come this far, so why give up now?” Cole cried, putting feeling into every word that rolled seamlessly off his tongue and into the still air between them.
The storm had calmed, leaving only the tapping of rain and the quiet rumble of thunder like a sleeping giant in the distance.
“Thanks for the tip sob, but I’ll have to pass.”
“No, don’t sir. Please come down. I can help you. There are people who can help you!”
“I’m sorry, but there’s no hope.”
“No!” Cole leapt forward as the man let go of the metal railing. He grabbed onto his hand and held him back, “There’s always hope!”
“Let go of me! I want to die! I don’t want to live anymore!” He tried shaking Cole’s arm off but Cole refused to let go.
“If you don’t let go, I’m gonna jump off and pull you in.”
“I’ve got to at least try! Let me show you the good in the world! There is more out there for you then you realise!” Cole desperately held on as the man began to lean backwards.
“Just let me go!”
“No! Help! Someone help!” Cole yelled but it was no use, there was no-one nearby.
“Boy, I don’t want to do this. I’m giving you one last chance.” The man said as Cole used both his arms with all his might to pull the man back. His stomach was pressing into the sharp edge of the bridge and he gritted his teeth. “Let. Me. Go.”
The next thing cole knew was that he was falling.
And then darkness.