"Hey Man, don't jump. Its a hundred and twenty feet to the surface. Besides its almost frozen over. If you get under the ice we won't find you until spring." Officer Bob inched toward the man standing outside of railing.
"Its what I deserve."
"No one deserves that. Tell me why you think that?"
"You're a cop, you know people do bad things and you're part of the punishment."
"No we aren't. Justice is served and you get a second chance. You can have that. You haven't done anything wrong yet."
"HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT? YOU DON"T KNOW ME!"
"Hey, don't lean so far out. Your hand might slip. Come on over the rail, and let's talk about it. There's always a solution to a problem. Jumping into a frozen river isn't the way to go."
"Its how they died. Its what I deserve after all this time. I can't live with their ghosts any more."
"You see ghosts?" Bob took two steps turning his head to look away from the man, hoping the guy would follow his eyes. He did.
"Not real ghosts but the ones that come to me in my mind when I try to sleep."
"Why don't you just put one leg over the rail. I don't feel comfortable with you hanging on to a cold beam. Tell me why these ghosts visit you.”
“Okay, just one leg, but you stay way over there. Don’t come any closer. In fact, tell those other policemen I don’t want them close. I don’t want them to hear what I have to say.”
“Move back! He’s going to talk, so stand down!" Bob waited while the others backed up a few steps. "See they're moving away. Now tell me what would cause you to want to end your life.”
“It was Christmas Eve. It snowed a lot that year. Ten years is a lot of time to live with this.”
“You’re doing fine.” Bob made sidways steps to the railing but on an angle to get closer.
“You see, I was at an office party and I had a little too much to drink. I was driving home along Hwy 25 it was snowing." He paused and looked back at Bob, "You know that curve, the one right by the cutoff? I didn’t see the car stopped in the road. I hit it. The car went through the guardrail and into the river.” The man sobbed. "I killed them and drove off." His cry jerked his body and his foot slipped off the railing. His arm flailed for a moment until his hand fount the other and clung to the beam.
“Don’t cry. Its over. You can’t do anything about it now.”
“I didn’t help them. I couldn’t let the police take a breath test. I already had two DUIs. I just left a note and drove away.”
“You left a note? On the rail?” Bob froze. He leaned forward to hear the answer.
“Yes, how did you know? What are you doing? Stay back. I'll jump!”
Bob Looked back to see his fellow officers had moved closer. He waved tem back. “No, put your leg back over the rail. We can talk.”
“NO! I don't want to talk anymroe. What are you getting out of your pocket?”
Bob waved a wrinkled piece of paper in the wind. “Was this the note you left?”
The man leaned forward, squinting at the paper. He frowned then jerked back when he saw the scrawled words. “How did you get that?”
“That was my wife and baby son you left in the river. You didn’t even call 911.”
“I’ll bet you are.”
“I can’t live with this anymore.”
“Before you jump will you tell me your name?”
“Cain, Cain Devlon.”
"Look Cain all this happened a long time ago. You need to come clean. We can work it all out." Bob didn't stopp this time, walked right up to the railing just a few feet from the man.
"No, I can't face anyone. This is bad enough just knowing it was her family." He swung his leg back over to the outside of the bridge. "I'm sorry."
"Will you let me just shake your hand. Just so yu know I don't hold a grudge?"
The man eyed the officer then nodded. He held is amr out but Bob stopped aways from ihin and he had to let go of his death grip on the beam. He took Bob's hand. Bob gave it a good shake. Cain lost his grip and his foot slipped. he tried to grab Bob's fingers but Bob no longer extended his hand. With a terrified scream he disappeared over the side of the bridge.
“Sarge! He jumped. Sorry you couldn’t talk him over.”
Yes, it is a shame."