It’s all over. My goal, my ambitions, my life, everything is over. Everything I did, all my hard work, was all in vain. I couldn’t prove anything, they were right, I was inferior. Even after giving it my all, I failed, I failed to get into the same college as Sis, I failed to follow in the footsteps of my father. How will I face him now? I can’t. I’ve failed as his son. There’s no way he’d even wanna see me again.
I had lost everything. I discarded everything in life, friends, any kind of pleasure, my own body, I discarded everything, to focus on achieving that one goal, and yet failed.
I did everything I could. I broke relations with everyone around me, kept working hard however it distorted me, but still failed. I followed the only path that I had, in pursuit of the one goal I had all my life because it was the only thing that gave my life meaning. Now that I’ve failed, I’ve lost my purpose, my purpose for living. My life has no meaning anymore.
Negative thoughts covered my view like dark clouds. In my mind, there was no hope in sight, no ray of light in this storm that would blow me away. In the last one and a half years, I’ve removed everything, everyone I’ve had or known out of my life, out of my world. There wasn’t anything, anyone who would shine even a little glimmer in the darkness that has befallen me. A storm of emotions, like sorrow, regret, helplessness, hopelessness born from depression, loneliness, emptiness, and guilt kept blowing inside my head, leading me to resent myself, to hate myself. The anguish was so overwhelming, it rivaled the time my mother died. That anguish led me to the most infelicitous decision. With no hope, no purpose in sight, I decided to end my meaningless life.
There wasn’t anything left to say, to anyone. I had no one to say goodbye to. I had already broken ties with the friends I had, and I couldn’t face Sis or father anymore. With no obligations left to fulfill, I left my home, with the intention of not coming back, to make it the last time I had walked out of those doors.
After I left, I kept walking and walking until I arrived at Yotsugi Bridge. With my mind made up, I stood at the edge in the middle of the bridge. It was around 10 P.M, the bridge was not populated. Enable to bear it any longer, I closed my eyes and leaped forward.
I feel no fear, it’s relieving, at last, my suffering will come to an end, at last after all this time, I can rest, I won’t have to struggle anymore, I won’t have to suffer anymore, I won’t feel anything, all of these emotions will disappear, disappear along with me. As soon as I reach the water below, I’ll drown, as soon as I’ll drown, I’ll die, I’ll die and it’ll all be over. Just a little more, just a little more time, in few seconds it’ll be over…
I… I’m… I’m still here… I’m still alive? Why? I didn’t fall into the water, it’s been more than fifteen seconds, and still didn’t reach the water. I’m still in the air. Why?
Seeking answers to my questions, I opened my eyes. I was indeed still in the air, still above water, floating in the air.
Did I die? Am I dead, and leaving this world? Am I going up?
Looking up, I found, my right hand in clutches of two small palms, gripping as hard as possible. Amidst the darkness of the night sky, there was one thing shining brightly, the face of this girl, who despite her lack of sufficient strength, kept hold of my hand. Two elegant blue eyes sparkling like gemstones, I could recognize them anywhere. It was Yukawa. I could see her face clearing, shining from the street light.
Why is she here? Why was she here at this exact moment? What’s she trying to do?
It was obvious that she was trying to save me, still those questions aroused in my head. Despite how hard she tried, a frail girl like her couldn't pull up the weight of my body. It was only a matter of how long she could hold on before letting go. Her response to this conundrum was in terms with her history, she did something that I never imagined like she always has. Yukawa didn’t let go of my arm, even when the weight of my body pulled her into the water with me.
48 seconds after my leap, about 45 seconds too late from my expectations, I penetrated the deep water. It was the last of February, so the water was very cold, even if I didn’t drown, I would die of hypothermia, I’d be glad for that, after all, I aimed to kill myself, but now the subject of focus has changed for my mind. I couldn’t worry about relieving myself from my problems, I couldn’t focus on dying because I wasn’t the only one who came down. It still baffled me, what had just happened. I kept asking myself questions.
Why? Why didn’t she let go? Why did she try so hard? I just wanted to die! She wouldn’t even let me have that? Does she hate me so much, that she wouldn’t let me rest? Why? What did I ever do to her? What did I do to make her hate me so much? Tell me! You need to answer me!
Seeking answers, I swam back to the surface to ask her, only to find no one there. I was the only one floating in the water.
Where is she? Where did she go? …don’t tell me.
Realizing what might’ve happened I dived back into the water immediately. Thankfully the current wasn’t very fast, so the likelihood of her being flown away was low.
What is this? Why is this happening? It wasn’t supposed to be you. I’m the one who wanted to die! Why do you always insist on taking my place? Wasn’t my spot on the toppers enough for you? Please at least spare me this one thing. Please I beg you, don’t die. Don’t die!
I searched for her frantically, even more, tensed up than before. In this one day, I’ve experienced more anguish, more pain, and more stress than in my whole life combined.
My mental state changed completely, not even a fragment remained of the emotions that led me here. Instead, I was filled with uneasiness, guilt, impatience, and worry.
I prayed and prayed, please God! Don’t do this, don’t do this to me again! In the short time of the 13 seconds that I looked for her, I prayed at least a thousand times.
And then, in the very next second, my right hand touched her body again. My arm instinctively wrapped itself around her and I rushed toward the surface with all my strength. And then, after spending about 20 seconds in water, Yukawa’s body touched the air again. She had passed out, probably from the fear of falling, but she was breathing. Confirming that fact, put my mind to ease. It was like the heaviest weight in the world has been lifted from my shoulders, like I’ve been released from a pressurized container set at 10 ATM, like I’ve become the top student of not only St. Stephen’s but of the whole world, no, none of these examples come even close to the joy, to the relief I felt, knowing she was alive.
She was alive, but we were in the middle of a river at 10 PM of the night. I had to do something. So, I swam, I swam and swam with everything I had, in an attempt to reach the shore while carrying Yukawa with me.
The water’s really cold! If I don’t hurry, I might pass out as well. If that happened, Yukawa will die. I have to go faster, I need to reach the shore, as fast as possible.
The current of the river was in favor of us, I had to use less energy to swim toward the shore thanks to it. But it also carried us in the direction of the flow, extending our time in the water. But ultimately, after about 6 minutes in the water and about 6 minutes and 48 seconds after my leap, I was back on the ground. I failed again. I failed in even killing myself. But it did not bother me, not at that moment at least. I was too concerned about Yukawa.
As soon as arriving ashore, I checked if she was still breathing, and was appeased to find out that she was. I tried to wake her up, by calling out her name and hitting her face with light hands.
‘Yukawa, are you okay?’
‘Wake up! Please!’
My prayers and calls got answered, about 20 seconds upon reaching ashore, Yukawa opened her eyes.
She coughed out some water as she returned to conciseness. I tried to help her by rubbing my hands against her back. She gasped for air and then finally got stable. She was shivering from the cold. But she was alive.
She spoke, she spoke, oh, thank God! She is okay! I’m so glad.
‘I’m so glad…’
‘I’m so glad, Yukawa…’
As I finished saying that, Yukawa left my field of vision. I felt something on my back. I could see the night sky right in front of my face. Amidst the dark clouds, A radiance was starting to become visible. I could see the moon. I could see this one single source of light, right between all these endless dark clouds. That one light alone overwhelmed all the darkness. That single source of light made everything visible to me again. I could see around me again thanks to that light.
Huh… It’s pretty… the moon sure is pretty tonight… Where did Yukawa go? I can’t see her anymore. I can only see the sky… What the… What is this? I can’t see clearly. It’s all blurry. My… My eyes… are closing… Come on… stay open damn you! I need… I need to see her… I need to see Yukawa… I have to ask her if she’s okay…
Everything that happened, was starting to take its toll on me. My vision got blurred, body felt heavy. I couldn’t keep myself awake. My head felt as if it’s been frozen, I couldn’t see properly, I couldn’t hear properly, everything started echoing in my ears. Before finally losing conciseness, I saw her face again, when she looked at me from the top, she took the moon’s place in my field of vision.
‘Takase! Takase! Takase!’
Oh… You’re… Okay! I’m glad…