Fourteen years earlier
“Dave, get off it. You’re being stupid.” I said laughing, swatting my boyfriend away as he kissed my neck.
“It’s not stupid to want to nuzzle my girl.” he said still showering small kisses along my neck. It tickled a lot, but at the same time felt really good.
“Nuzzle, did you just say nuzzle? Are you an animal?” I said turning to face him as he wrapped his arms around my waist.
“Only around you baby. What can I say, you bring out my wild side.” he said as he slipped on one of his boyish grins.
I laughed. “You are silly or maybe just cute. I can’t seem to decide which one.”
“Cute definitely cute.” he said as he moved in to kiss me once more.
I moved back, “Not in public, there are people watching.” I was still uncomfortable with public displays of affection, but Dave was the I-don’t-give-a-rats-arse-about-who-is watching-me-being-being-mushy-with-my-lass type. His words not mine.
“And?” he said still moving in while I backed away.
“Someone might tell my mum. She has only just started liking you. You don’t want that to change anytime soon do you?”
"We don’t know anyone up here. So who’s going to tell?” he said scanning the road briefly and looked back down on me conspiratorially.
“Of course, I know someone. That guy over there by the railing.” he looked up and I managed to wiggle away.
“Liar.” he said grabbing me and lifting me over his head, while spinning me. I laughed stupidly until he put me down.
He was so over the top, but that was one of the things I loved about him.
“Just one kiss before I go?” he said pleadingly.
I rolled my eyes, “Fine, just one.” I was such a pushover. His fake frown turned up into a full hundred-watt smile, which melted away into pure softness as he pressed his lips against mine.
Like a fly drawn in by light, I wrapped my hand around his neck and pulled him in closer as jumping jacks landed karate kicks to my stomach wall. He pulled away slightly, our foreheads still touching.
“Not bad for a public kiss. I wonder what it would be like when we are completely alone.”
“Wouldn’t you like you know?" I blushed.
“I would, oh I would.” his eyes smiled at me. He then turned serious. “I have to go.” he said pulling away and now I was the one holding on.
“Do you really?”
“I do fruit loops,” he said kissing me once more. “My dad’s probably wondering where I am right now as my train leaves in an hour.”
“Okay,” I said dropping my hands from around his waist. “This college thing really sucks.”
“I will be back for the holidays and then you will be joining me in the spring.”
“And I will be counting down the days until then.” I said cornily.
“Love you fruit loops.” he said as he started walking away.
“Love you more Dave.” he waved once more, before turning away abruptly. He was probably crying and didn’t want me to see. My loving Dave, always wearing his heart on his sleeve. Most girls thought him wimpy and overly sentimental. But he was exactly what I wanted. Bad boys were overrated anyhow.
After he had disappeared down the lane. I turned and walked towards the railing. This was my favourite place outside of the city. I ignored the tourists who were taking pictures along the dam. This place was just beautiful.
I leaned over slightly and looked down into the water.
“Be careful, you don’t want to accidentally fall in. Or was that your plan?” said the man beside me. He was probably in his early twenties. His hair was dishevelled and he had two-day stubble lining his jaw. He smelled slightly like alcohol, but despite all this he was gorgeous. I put on my pretty boy blocker shades and ignored his looks. Gorgeous yes, but I smelled trouble all over him.
“No, I am not going to kill myself. If I were, I wouldn’t do it here.” I said candidly.
His eyebrow shot up, “Really, why?”
“It wouldn’t give me the splat I needed.” I said clapping for emphasis. “If I were to jump, it would have to be from a very high building where I would die as soon as I hit the pavement and then someone would have to come and scrape me off the tarmac using a shovel.”
“That seems a little gruesome doesn’t it?” he said obviously disturbed and maybe slightly repulsed by my answer.
“Better than jumping into a river, pushed under by currents and sucking water into my lungs. Maybe getting knocked around and breaking a couple bones before I died. Then it would take days for my body to be found. By that time, it would be bloated and blue and parts of my eyes would be fish food. Now that my friend would be gruesome.”
He studied my face and then looked back into the water. “Sounds like you have given it much thought.”
“Not much, I just have a wild imagination.”
He looked at me again sizing me up. He didn’t believe that I wasn’t suicidal. “So why haven’t you done it?” he said looking directly into my eyes. I’d never seen eyes as blue as the deepest parts of the ocean. The longer you looked at them, the more drawn in you were. They were filled with so much melancholy though, it was heart-breaking. I pushed my hair behind my ear and looked back towards the river.
“Firstly, because I want to live. I want to be a big shot trauma doctor, with lots of money, a huge penthouse with a hot husband and pet tiger. Just living on the edge and allowing the adrenalin to push me along.”
“And secondly?” he asked. I raised my brow. “You said firstly, so I am assuming that there is more.”
“Secondly, there isn’t a tall enough building in this world to give me the splat I deserve.” I looked down on my watch. “Crap, I am late for my recital.” I said leaning off the railing.
He didn’t acknowledge my leaving, he just continued looking out into the water. “Splat.” I heard him murmur before letting out a sharp, brittle laugh. It sounded like it came from a person who hadn’t laughed for quite a while.
As I came to my car I turned around to see him chucking the bottle of whiskey into the water and then walked away from the railing. Our eyes met once, and for the first time since we spoke it held a slight spark in it. He waved once and I returned it.
I might have just saved someone’s life. “Not bad fruit loops.” I smiled as the door shut before me.