|John loved the Brooklyn Bridge, he felt an ownership he couldn’t explain. He had a particular fondness for the view of the east side. He liked to watch as the inhabitants of Manhattan rose to start another day. Lights illuminating apartments, one by one, in the darkened skyscrapers.
It was on a day such as this, that John walked in the predawn darkness toward his favourite vantage point, his thoughts elsewhere, unaware of other ghostly shadows, walking alone, in pairs, or accompanied by four legged companions.
It promised to be a fine day, he could see a slight pinkness in the eastern sky. A jogger loomed out of the darkness, striking him on the shoulder, causing him to lose his balance. He crashed to the ground. The fall knocked his breath out of his body; he felt a sharp pain as his knee struck the hard surface.
“Sorry, so sorry.” A voice said.
John stood up, trying to regain a little dignity in front of the accidental aggressor. He assessed her age as mid-twenties; she had long blonde hair, tied in a messy ponytail. Even in the semidarkness he could tell she’d been crying. Her face, wet with tears, eyes swollen and red.
“Where are you off to in such a hurry? You need to watch your step young lady.”
She didn’t reply and sped off towards the bridge.
John watched her go, wondering if he should have detained her a while longer. There was something about her that troubled him.
He rubbed his sore knee, noticing a tear in his favourite jeans, reflecting that at last he was in fashion. He carried on towards his destination. He spotted his young assailant, she’d reached the bridge and was running along the pedestrian footpath. To his horror, she climbed the barricade.
“Hey you, stop, don’t be stupid!” John yelled, his words swept away by a sudden gust of wind.
He followed, limping, his intention, to reach her before she threw herself into the black, swirling waters.
He quickened his pace, at last reaching the spot where the girl was balancing on a narrow girder, poised to jump.
“Don’t do it.” He tried not to scare her, his voice quiet and steady, although still trying to get enough air into his burning lungs.
She stared down at the water before glancing at John. “Why do you care if I jump or not?”
“It’ll ruin my day for a start,”John tried to lighten the situation, “Why don’t you tell me why you’re in such a state?”
There was no answer from the girl, but she stopped moving.
“Come and have a coffee with me, I’m a great listener. Tell me your name at least.”
The girl gazed out at the morning sky; the sun was peering over the horizon, brilliant red and yellow hues bled over the East River, and throughout the city.
“A new day, beautiful isn’t it?” John whispered.
“Theresa. My name’s Theresa.”