On a Thursday, Jo stood on top of Washington bridge in New York City, and debated whether to jump or not.
Jo learned about her parents’ divorce on a Wednesday. She already knew it was going to happen but she didn't want it to. Her parents took her out to eat, something they rarely did anymore. As they sat down to eat she noticed they both weren't wearing their wedding rings and were sitting as far apart as they could. Nobody was talking. Everything was silent. Only the piano music filled the private room they sat in. As soon as their entrees were finished, Jo's father cleared his throat and spoke.
“Girls,your mother and I, we’re not getting along anymore. We are fighting all the time, and we think it's best that we separate. We think that you both are mature enough to handle this. We just aren't in love anymore and we both agree it's time we split up. It was mutual, and we have no hard feelings nothing happened, we just fell out of love.”
“Are you telling me that you're getting a divorce? You told me that you were just having a rough patch, that you were just having a hard time and it will all work out. You told me that you would never leave each other!”
“Yes, Jo, I'm sorry we really tri”
Jo stood up and walked out of the restaurant. Her sister stared at her parents for a few moments then spoke, “She’s right you know, you both said you weren’t going to split up, that everyone had a rough patch and it will get better. You know how unstable she is right now. She isn’t sleeping, she constantly worried and now you tell her you’re divorcing right after grandma and grandpa died. She already slipping but you just pushed her down.” Anne took a deep breath put her napkin on the table and went to find her sister.
Her mother stood up, “Well, I have a date with Brian at 8:00 so I better be going.” Jo's mother grabbed her coat and left.
Jo's father looked at the empty table, stood up, walked over to the bar, and sat next to a 20 year old girl.
“So what's a pretty girl like you doing without a date?” He asked.
It was a Wednesday when Jo and her best friend went to the biggest party of the year. Her best friend said that she needed to have some fun, so they went out. It was fun; there was music and dancing and Jo forgot all about reality. She forgot about her parents’ divorce and her grandparents death; she just let go all the stress from school and all the stress to be perfect and just danced. But, that was the night her best friend tried heroin for the first time and forgot all about Jo.
Jo’s boyfriend broke up with her on a Wednesday. She walked up the stairs that led to his apartment. It was their two year anniversary and she wanted to surprise him earlier than they planned. She planned out the whole afternoon to show him just how much she loved him. She heard moans and groan coming from his apartment as she reached his door. The noises grew louder as she walked toward his bedroom. She walked into his room and was shocked. Her boyfriend that she wanted to marry was having sex with some girl. She stood for a minute taking in the scene before her. Her boyfriend looked up at Jo with shock on his face.
“Jo I, um, Jo, listen. I, um, it’s not what it look like.” Like hell it's not, Jo thought to herself. She rolled her eyes and started walking out of the bedroom. She could not deal with this shit. Not today.
Jo's boyfriend followed her out of the bedroom with the sheet around his waist. “Listen Jo it's just that I’m sorry Jo it's just— Jo. Jo! Jo!” he kept calling after her but she
was already walking out of the apartment and down the stairs.
“I'm so sorry,” he whispered at the door Jo just slammed. The girl came of his bedroom then, “Get out,” he said. She didn't move, “I SAID GET OUT!” he screamed, his cheeks bright red with tears streaming down his face, he pointed at the door. The girl ran. He needed to apologize to Jo not to explain himself, but to say sorry, and say it was a mistake.
Jo lost her best friend on a Wednesday. She tried to tell her that she had a problem.
“Listen, Rose, you have an addiction. You're partying every night, you're constantly shooting up heroin, and you need to get someone to help you.”
“Why do you care?”
“Because I care about you and your well being and what you are doing isn't healthy. You have people that care about you and want you happy and functioning.”
“So what?! I like what I'm doing.”
“Rose, I don't want you to destroy your life. You have so many people that care about you. You need to stop destroying yourself like this. You get angry anytime someone tries to talk to you. I don't want to be around you if you are constantly getting angry and always saying you can't make it when I want to hang out. I want to be with the real Rose, not the druggie Rose. I miss the Rose that cared about me, and the Rose that just wanted to watch Netflix and eat food. I miss the old Rose that wanted to be around me. Now you ignore me and you don’t want to be around me and you just-”
“God, just stop talking to me! I don’t care about you I never have and I never will so stop trying to take away the only thing that makes me happy!!” Rose stormed off slamming the door.
Jo watched as her best friend ran away from all her problems. She knew this wasn’t the real Rose but it still hurt to hear you say those words.
Jo cut herself for the first time on a Wednesday. She was in her bathroom when she saw her razor and thought why not. Her mind was going crazy and she just didn’t understand, she needed a way to clear her mind for it all to be let out. She liked being able to understand at least one thing in her life.
On Wednesday ,Jo was walking across the Washington Bridge in New York and thought, I can jump and end all of it. I lost my parents, I lost my best friend and I lost my boyfriend, life isn't worth living anymore not when I have nothing.Not when I don't want to do anything. Not when I don't want to live.
On Thursday, Jo walked back to Washington Bridge, stood on the edge and debated whether to jump or not. The water below her was calm as could be and the sun was shining. Jo stood at the bridge and second guessed herself, Should I jump?
“It's really stupid you know to stand so close to the edge,” a voice called from behind Jo. Jo gasped and started to fall towards the water, but a boy caught her around the waist.
“Gotcha,” he whispered into her ear. The boy let go of Jo and leaned against the railing. His face was pointed up towards the sun, his eyes were closed. He was peaceful, relaxed.
“You know, I tried to jump, too,” the boy said suddenly opening his eyes and staring at Jo.
His eyes were gold and shimmered when the light hit them just right. The sun was shining behind him giving his whole body a glow. He looked like an angel.
“But then I thought about how fucked up that idea was that I was the one who had to suffer instead of the ones who screwed me over. So instead of killing myself I decided to get revenge and make them suffer, of course that wasn't the best idea but what are you going to do about it now.” The boy continued to talk. Jo looked at the boy.
It was so easy to end it all right now. I have nobody to love me. But he had a point, why was I the one jumping when it was her parents fault they were getting a divorce, it was my boyfriend's fault he cheated and it was my best friends fault that she got addicted to heroin. None of it was my fault, I had no control and maybe I was only focusing on the bad things not the good. I was just a victim. Jo looked back at the water.
“You know sometimes we only notice the bad things in our life and they pile up till they are all you think about. They consume you. You forget all the good things and repeat the same bad memories in your head over and over till you think about them day in and day out. It's what your world revolves around.”
He was right. She wasn't noticing all the days her sister called to tell her about her trip in Europe. She wasn't noticing the times that people held the door for her, or the times people let her cut in line because she only had two items and they had a hundred. She wasn’t noticing the little kids who would say ‘hi’ to her on the street, or the people who would give high fives to everyone. She wasn't noticing all the good things in life. And maybe she could talk to her boyfriend and figure out why he slept with that girl, and maybe she could help Rose get better, and maybe she can figure out why her parents got divorced. Maybe, she thought, everything can turn out ok and I can turn the worst situations into okay situations.
Jo looked at him. His wrist were faced upwards toward the sky. The scars on his wrist glowed in the sunlight making them more prominent. They matched hers, exactly.
After a moment of silence he spoke again, “You know I was going to jump off this same bridge. I thought no one loved me but a doctor saw me, told me about how he works in the ER and sees attempted suicides at least once a day. He told me about how he sees teenagers hitting rock bottom with no one to help them and it crushes him. He tries to save them, he told me. He tries but that doesn't mean he will succeed and when he doesn't he takes five minutes. Five minutes to sob and mourn someone he didn't know.” The boy looked at Jo, and Jo looked down at the water.
Would people care? If I was in the ER right now would people come see me? Would people be heartbroken that I ended my own life?
“Why did you stop to talk to me?”
“Because I've seen people commit suicide before. People who thought everything was bad in the world but in reality they could fix all their problems. And I've been there, in the same spot you are in and I was just wishing one person would care enough to talk to me. To stop me. And that doctor did, he saved me and he didn't even know me. It changed my perception of the world. It showed me that people do care.
That people care about people they don't even know. He explained to me that most people who commit suicide have problems, medical problems and that can be fixed often times and that once that is fixed big problems don't seem so bad.”
Jo looked back at this random boy who was kind enough to stop her from jumping. Who stopped just because he saw that she needed help. Whose story was so much like hers, who lostso much and thought he was in the worst place ever but he overcame it and maybe she could to. Maybe, she thought, Rose wasn't the only one who needed help.
She stared at the boy, a boy she never met before. She had tears in her eyes when she asked softly, “Will you help me?”