Contributor: Taylor Saulsbury

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I never cared much about life, never took things seriously. I was selfish and cold, hurting everyone around me with my addiction. That is, until I crossed the Needlepointe Bridge. I remember the way her hair glistened golden-brown in the sunlight. The girl on the ledge radiated beauty. That beauty is what caught my eye; the fact that she was standing on the ledge of the bridge, however, is what stopped me dead in my tracks.
I wondered what could ever be so bad that someone would see no way out other than to jump. I couldn’t walk past, knowing that this girl was going to jump. The temperature was easily below freezing, she would be dead the minute she hit the water.
I walked over to her, carefully and quietly. I climbed up on the rail beside her and asked her what she was doing there. For a long while, we just stood there in silence, side by side, on the ledge of the Needlepointe Bridge. I wasn’t sure what to make of the situation.
“What if I told you what I’m crossing the bridge for?” I tried a new approach.
She looked at me with hollow eyes. “Why are you crossing the bridge?”
I told her about my addiction, and how I was going across the bridge to get my fix. Then I glanced at her out of the corner of my eye, expecting some sort of judgment. Instead, she just stared blankly ahead and sighed.
“At least you have feelings to try and numb. I don’t feel anything.”
When she said that, I was taken by surprise. It had never occurred to me that someone would want to end their life not because they were in too much pain to go on, but simply because they couldn’t feel anything anymore. But, I guess, in a way, I was standing on the ledge with her every time I used.
There was something about this girl that made me feel accepted, maybe even understood. I wasn’t sure how or why. I just wanted to keep her talking so I took a chance and told her about my life. At first, I was treading lightly, being careful not to open up too much. She had a way of making me want to talk. Before I knew it, I found myself confiding in her.
“I took my little brother’s laptop out of his room this morning. He worked all summer to buy it, and I couldn’t even control myself. I just, I needed that fix, ya know? His brand new HP notebook is sitting in a pawnshop being sold for far less than he paid for it,” I confessed.
I glanced over again, still expecting judgment, or even shock, but she just remained steady and nodded. We talked until the sun went down. After a while, we found ourselves sitting on the ledge, rather than standing, huddling closer with the dropping temperature. Maybe it was fate that led me over the bridge that day. I had never felt so at home in my whole life then I did talking to this girl.
I grabbed her hand and we stepped off the ledge. Out of my pocket, I grabbed my knife and carved “The Way Home” into the rail of the bridge.
With that, she smiled and took my hand. The two of us walked hand in hand, across the bridge.
We realized somewhere in the night that two people could be made for each other. Two people can be destined to meet. The girl on the ledge saved me from myself just as I saved her. We were meant to cross paths that day.

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Taylor Saulsbury is a nineteen year old student majoring in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University. She is originally from Maryland, and currently resides in Orlando.
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