A girl trying to free herself from destruction
|The cool night air nibbled at my bare feet balancing on the ledge. I had a hold on the light pole to make sure I wouldn’t fall, before I jumped. I took in a long deep breath and glanced up at the city’s lights, taking in their beauty for what will be the last time. The river reminded me of a world of pure evil, with the pitch-black water waiting to engulf disturbed souls. And that’s exactly what I wanted it to do. There have been many people to jump from the Brooksburg Bridge, and all of those people have met the fate that I came to achieve. Death. I know it sounds bad, but nobody understands what its like to be me.
I’m Jenna Skylight; I’m not supposed to even have thoughts like these. My life’s supposed to be so perfect and wonderful. Well, it’s far from perfect. Trust me I would know, I live it. Everyone who knows me thinks that I have everything that they could only imagine of having. According to them, I have the perfect grades, perfect family, perfect house, perfect looks, and perfect life in general, in their deceiving eyes that they use. It’s true, on the outside everything is perfect, but if they even tried to scratch the surface of my clay mask they would realize just how far off they were. So let’s start with my “Perfect” family. For starters, my dad is a forensic scientist and my mom is a college math professor, so just with that little information it’s easy to see just how much they expect from me. A good grade for them is an “A,” but a failing grade in their eyes is an “A-.” When I get that grade, it feels as if all hell broke loose, my mom rips me like no other, while my dad does the worst punishment ever. His eyes fill with disappointment and he refuses to talk to me until my “failing” grade gets brought up again.
I’m not going to lie, but my house on the outside is perfect. If only you would look closely at the littlest thing, like a vase, you would see the cracks in it from where my parents threw it against the wall. Picture frames on the wall are placed in certain spots to cover the hole and cracks on the walls from all the objects being thrown against it. The people living in my house are the biggest role in what makes it unbearable. My mom, my dad, and my older brother help to make me feel unwanted in that house. My brother, Dylon, is a twenty-four year old heart-surgeon, the youngest surgeon in our small town. I am constantly being compared to him even though I am far from being him. If I show up a minute late for curfew, I get the same ole “You know, Dylon never did this, or did that or blah blah blah” speech. And with him staying with us for the weekend he helped them push me to my limits tonight. My family makes me feel like I’m the disappointment in my family and that maybe I’m the reason for their unhappiness.
Tonight I have never wanted to disappear so badly. They were right. I am a disappointment, and I won’t be as great as they are. It’s all because I didn’t get accepted at Yale. They rejected me because my application didn’t arrive in time. I thought everything would be fine even with Yale rejecting me, I mean Princeton was begging me to attend their school, but it wasn’t.
I walked in the door of my house to find an opened envelope sitting on the coffee table in the living room. My parents and brother were spread throughout the room staring at the paper on the table. No one spoke a word and when they heard the door clicked close they all turned and glared at me. My mom’s gaze was the worst; her eyes burned into me making me feel like a two-year-old.
“Denied. Rejected. Unwanted. Discarded. Useless. Those are the words that Yale should have used in this rejection letter, Jenna.” My mom stated in a voice with razor blade edges. I flinched back and dropped my bad. She stood up out of her chair and took a few steps to me.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean--” I tried to say, but was stopped by her hand flying in the air making contact with my cheek. Pain exploded across the tender flesh causing tears to immediately surface.
“Do not speak. I have never been so ashamed of you until this letter came in. Sometimes I feel like you are not my daughter. My daughter would have sent this letter on time, not a second later. But you……you wait until the very last second…such a disappointment for a daughter.” My mom whispered burying her head in her hands, “Why couldn’t you be like Dylon?”
Those words were the word that helped me make up my mind. I was going to make all the disappointment go away. I was going to make the pain and feeling like a failure go away. The Brooksburg Bridge was going to help me fix everything that’s falling apart. That’s how I ended up standing on the edge of the bridge taking in the last chance I will get to see the city in this life. I thought I would feel something when my mom spoke those words, especially when my dad stood back and agreed with my mom. Instead, I felt hatred toward them. Maybe this will be their wake up call that I was never going to be Dylon. I bent my knees, closed my eyes, and was getting ready to make it all stop when a rich voice echoed in my ears.
“That’s a really long fall, don’t you think?” a deep seductive voice said.
I snapped my head toward the voice. At first all I could see was the glowing amber of a cigarette being inhaled and then the steady flow of smoke being exhaled, but then he took a step out of the shadows. He was dressed in all dark clothing from his jeans to his leather jacket. His head was at first lowered looking at his feet, but then he slung his silky, shaggy black hair out of his silver eyes. A crooked smile danced across his lips, and made his silver lip ring more visible. One hand was in his pocket in his jacket while the other held the cigarette. His beautiful eyes hypnotized me. He reminded me of someone I use to know, but I couldn’t pinpoint who.
“Excuse me?” I asked grabbing the pole again. I couldn’t take my eyes off him.
“I said that’s a really long fall, don’t you think?” he replied inhaling the last of his cigarette before he flicked it off his finger and watched it fall off the bridge. My eyes followed the cigarette as it fell. It was then that I really noticed how far up the bridge was from the icy death trap. I swallowed the lump in my throat and looked back at the guy. He was watching me intently waiting for me to do something.
“It’s not that far….” I said in a small voice.
He let out a soft laugh, “Not far, huh? Well you see if you jump imagine how much time it would take for you to hit the surface of that river? Imagine all that time to reconsider what you just did?”
“So…What if you decided it was a bad idea? Then you’re screwed and you won’t be able to get out of it and you’ll have to spend the remaining minutes of your life feeling scared and regretful. Not the way you would want to go out with, right?”
“Or I could actual feel free of everything that made me turn to my decision and actually be able to let go of everything that mattered and maybe even allow me to forgive the people in my life?” I snapped glaring at him, but his words hung in the back of my head. What if I did jump and then chicken out while I fell? Do I really want feel scared before I die? I pushed the thoughts out of my head. I was going to do this.
A smile crept across his lips again, “Touché, you got me there. But why are you out here? You don’t seem like the type to give up.”
“Ha that’s the exact reason why I am here. I am not the type to jump. That gives me even more reason to jump, so I can finally break out of this stereo type.” I replied with a sarcastic laugh.
“I don’t have to justify myself to you. I can do what I want.” I snapped getting irritated for his questioning me, “I don’t even know you.”
“Well I’m Lukas, and I am not saying you have to justify yourself to me. I was just merely asking you because even if you jump, I could always stop you.” the sound of his name, it hit me. Lukas was the “bad boy” at my high school. He was the guy who hated, but a guy with a past that you couldn’t resist. He was every girl’s dream guy.
“I’m Jenna by the way, and how could you stop me from jumping? It’s my choice not yours.”
“That’s not the point. The point is why you want to jump?” he said waking over to the edge. I didn’t answer I just looked at him. His hand grazed mine as he grabbed the pole and pulled himself up on the edge.
I looked at him with surprise, “What are you doing?”
“Well, Jenna, it’s simple. If you jump, I jump with you….unless you tell me why you want to jump.” He replied with a smirk. He looked dead into my eyes. His sudden movement caught me off guard.
“It doesn’t matter, and you’re not jumping with me. I’m jumping by myself, thanks.” I said tightening my grip on the pole.
Lukas chuckled softly, “It does matter, and it matters to me. I could stop you like I said, but I won’t.”
When he said the words “I won’t” a shiver of panic ran up my spine. He was just going to let me jump. I looked at him in complete horror, “Why wouldn’t you stop me?”
“Do you want me too?” he asked raising an eyebrow.
His question left me with mixed feelings. I wanted him to save me, I wanted to know that someone in the world to, for one moment actually, care about me. But then again, I wanted my life to disappear. I wanted to leave this place and never have to worry about being a disappointment again. I turned my gaze away from him and stared off at the city. I couldn’t answer because I didn’t know what I wanted. Did I want to be saved?
“I don’t know what you’re going through, but trust me when I say jumping will only give them what they want.”
I looked at him. He was staring at the river flowing below us. When I first saw Lukas tonight, he seemed to be all in place, but now watching him stare at the river I saw how he was broken just like me, “What do you mean?”
“I know what you’re going through may make jumping seem like the easy way out, but if you jump you’ll be giving whoever caused this the satisfaction of them getting inside your head. In other words, they win, while you lose. Trust me; I’ve stood where you’re standing. You don’t know what you’re doing.” Lukas breathed looking at me, “Jenna, why do you want to jump?”
I took in his words before I answered. Lukas was right. What would I gain from jumping besides just a moment of pure freedom? Nothing. My parents would benefit from it. They wouldn’t have to be burdened with me being a constant disappointment. I know I just met Lukas, but there was something in him that made me feel like I could trust him. In a small voice I told him everything. I told him about my ‘perfect’ image and how it is all as big show. I told him about my parents, about the constant pressure from them, about living in Dylon’s shadow, and about being a complete failure and a disappointment. I even told him how all I ever wanted was for someone to be proud of me and I could feel tears streaming down my face.
“I hate them…I hate them so much…” I sobbed lowering my head.
“I know,” he whispered in my ear. Lukas rested his head on the pole. I surprised myself of how much made parents had affected me. I haven’t cried in so long, and when I actually did cry, it’s on the shoulder of someone I just met. But I didn’t care. Stranger or not, Lukas was the first person who actually listened to me. He didn’t say that I was a disappointment or add in his opinions on my life. He just listened and allowed me to express everything that I was holding back. I realized then, that ending my life wasn’t what I wanted. What I wanted in the end was for someone to just listen to me. Lukas did just that on the night that I needed to. I wish I could say that it ended happily, but that would be a lie.
“Jenna, please don’t jump.” Lukas whispered reaching for my head, “Please don’t go.”
Time stopped in that moment as I gazed into Lukas’s eyes. A smile touched my lips, “Lukas, I’m already gone.”
I let go of the pole. I spread my arms out wide and let the cool night air swallow my body as I fell. I didn’t here a word as I fell. But for the first time in my life, I was finally free.