Ok, so I just finished watching the 1954 version of Sabrina for the hundredth time:) And I got to thinking, what if someone had reached out to Linus when he felt like it was all coming to an end? Not Sabrina but before, when he tried to jump and end his life. This is from his pov and also the mysterious stranger's pov. I am somewhat partial to mysterious strangers in stories...they really tend to jazz up a story and I always love a good "What if" factor. I haven't seen the remake with Harrison Ford and Julia Ormond but I saw the trailer on youtube. I have to say that Ford looked pretty yummy in his role. So when I was writing this, it was Harrison Ford who was about to jump in my mind and not Humphrey Bogart. No offense to Bogart fans...he was a great actor in his own right:) Ok, I hope you enjoy reading this!
Reviews are welcomed and greatly appreciated!
NO copyright infringement intended.
"What are you looking at?" he asked dejectedly
"I was wondering…" she started, looking up at him. Her dark hair was flying wildly about her face as if dancing with the snowflakes falling from the sky. Her brown eyes were serious. She rubbed her nose and shivered.
She's going to freeze to death, he thought. And then the absurdity of the statement struck him. Here he was worried about a complete stranger's life when he had been about to end his.
"I was wondering if you knew…that is, are you aware of the fact that…" She looked up at him, "…that you can't really fly unless you are truly free?"
He stood frozen on the ledge. The wind flew all around him. The falling snow kissed his mouth and face. His hands were getting numb from the cold but he felt none of this. He felt nothing but the weight of the glance from those brown eyes. She pushed her glasses up her nose and softly said to him, "Let it go."
He could only stare at her. Who was this strange creature? He had watched here dance across the bridge, spinning and whirling with a ridiculous grin on her face. Her dress flowed about her and the wind whipped her curly, dark hair in every direction. He had heard her laugh softly.
Heard her gasp and stop suddenly as she realized there was a man standing on the ledge of the bridge. She had mumbled an apology and began to quickly walk away when she stopped suddenly and turned around. Looking at him she walked back to his side and stared up at his face. He had thought angrily, that there was absolutely no privacy left in this world. That a man couldn't even kill himself in peace without someone disturbing him!
He opened his mouth. He was going to tell here to "Piss off!" but it seems he had been right after all. He had control over nothing. Not even his own brain because that's not what his mouth said.
"I don't know how…", he managed to croak out. She smiled and it transformed her face completely.
She was one of those people you pass everyday throughout your life. They make an impression upon you for about ten seconds. The woman sitting quietly by herself in the café. A steaming cup of coffee sitting idle on the table by her hand. A book in front of her and a look of rapturous anticipation on her face, completely unaware of the world around her. Or the woman on the train, staring quietly out the window. A secret smile on her face as the movement of the train made the sun flash across her skin.
She was still staring up at him as he came out of his reverie. But now her hand was held out to him. A warm, pink, thin fingered hand. He stared at it.
One simple gesture.
That's what his life had boiled down to. His fingers flexed and then curled into a fist. He heard the water gently lapping under the bridge. Heard her breathing softly.
He turned his head and watched the lights reflected on the water. They seemed to wink at him. As if telling him this was all a joke. Life was a comedy, to be laughed at and not taken seriously. The winking lights in the water called to him. They shivered and danced on the water. Told him it was okay to jump. Made the dark water more inviting than it should be. He turned his head. She was still there.
He watched her breath come in slow puffs white air from between her slightly opened lips. Her hand was still there. Both called out to him in a sweet, gentle voice.
He took a breath and his entire body shuddered. Oh, what the hell? Why not?
The dancing whimsy had won.
He reached forward and took the hand. Crouching down, he slowly jumped off of the ledge. All the while, her hand held his.
He was completely off the ledge now and somehow had managed to give her his other hand. She held both of them and slowly rubbed her thumbs across his cold skin. "That's better," she whispered to him.
He nodded dumbly. He was tired. A great, bone penetrating weariness had come over him. But he felt as tightly wound up as a rubber band.
He gripped her hands tightly, feeling as if he still might fall.
But she soon separated their hands and took the shawl off of her shoulders.
His hands felt lost…
She took the shawl and put it around his shoulders, standing up on tiptoe because she only came up to his chin. He noticed her clutching a corner of her bottom lip with her teeth as she focused on setting the shawl right on him.
He could only look at her, speech felt impossible. She nodded to herself and then looked up at him.
He was a good 10 to 12 years older than herself. Early forties, perhaps. He had brown hair that was dusted with gray. And a crooked nose. His face was mostly smooth with a few wrinkles; he spent too much time indoors, she thought. His green eyes were looking at her. They were bewildered and held that shuttered, pained look of someone who had been living with a deep sadness. He had full lips set in a grim line at the moment. She rubbed his arms up and down with her hands.
"Ok, this is what I want you to do," she said. "I want you to walk back to your place. Your home…" she emphasized. "Not to some bar, not to your office, but your home" she continued.
"While you walk back, I want you to ignore everything except this beautiful silence that only falling snow could bring." She took his left hand and held it, palm up to the falling snow. He watched the flakes touch and then melt on his fingers. Tiny, fleeting sparks of life. It made him immensely sad to think that the last things the ice crystals ever touched was his wretched skin.
She brought the shawl closer together over his chest and he turned his head to look at her. She shook her head as if sensing his melancholy thoughts.
"It's beautiful and strange…the snow. It blankets all sounds, making them seem far away. All sounds except those close to us. We're forced to focus on ourselves…our footsteps through the snow, our lungs breathing, our hearts beating." She traced her index finger in the middle of his chest as she said this. "All those things we choose to ignore but they remind us again and again.
"Listen to your heart! Embrace it!" she said fiercely. His mouth opened slightly and filled the air between them with a white haze. She continued to rub his arms.
"Once you've reached your home, I want you to get rid of all these wet clothes and get into a big, fluffy robe that's too big for you. Although…" She stepped back and eyed him critically. "That last part might be a bit difficult for you since you're pretty tall."
She had meant it as a joke. She wanted him to at least give her a small smile. But his eyes still held that vacant look. "Do you follow me?" she asked.
He nodded robotically. He could feel the warmth from her hands slowly penetrating his cold arms. She sighed and stepped closer to him.
"Ok, then I want you to get disgustingly drunk and sleep for at least 14 hours straight. You're going to wake up with an absolute cranium splitting headache. That's good." she said, watching his face. "Physical pain is good."
He nodded and she laughed softly. I think I'm finally getting through to him
"Good. And after you wake up with that splitting headache, I want you to put your head back, open your mouth and laugh"
His eyes widened. "Yes, Laugh a great, big belly laugh that makes tears pour out of your eyes and your abdomen cramp with pain."
The corner of his mouth twitched upwards. Her eyes glowed. I think he's going to be okay.
She took both his hands into her own and stood up on tiptoe. She kissed him softly on his lower cheek. She lowered and let go of his hands, stepping back. "Now, I want you to…" but she never had a chance to finish.
He grabbed her by the upper arms and hauled her against him. Bending her head back, he kissed her fully and fiercely with a kiss that smothered any kind of thought. She felt his whole body vibrating against hers, the first sign of any emotion in him. The kiss ended as quickly as it had begun. He let her go and she stumbled backwards.
He was breathing hard, his hands clenching and unclenching. She could only stare at him, shivering as the snow continued to fall all around them. She put a few fingers up to her lips, touching them. She had never been kissed like that, never. Her skin under her dress was tingling where he had grabbed her and her heart, she was sure, was beating into hyperdrive. A warmth spread over her and she knew she was probably blushing.
She shook herself and took a deep breath.
"Home. Go on…" she said softly to him.
He shook his head, "I can't…" he started to say, his voice quietly desperate.
But she was nodding her head to him. "Yes, you can. I believe in you."
He looked at her, a confused look on his face. What did she see in him? How could she believe in a complete stranger? He turned around and slowly walked to the other end of the bridge, the questions still swimming around in his mind.
He turned around and saw that she was still there. A dark figure against the swirling snow, falling heavier now. She held up a hand in a final goodbye. He waved his own hand back and turned around. Walking off the bridge, he turned towards his apartment. Home, she had called it. He walked a few steps and stopped again. Turning around, he looked towards the bridge but she was gone now. Or the snow had completely swallowed her.
He thought he heard a soft laugh in the night but he couldn't be sure. The corner of his mouth twitched upward and he shrugged.
An angel? Maybe. Who knew?
He pulled the shawl closer around him and buried his nose into a corner of it, breathing in. The scent of Cashmere Mist tickled his nostrils. Somehow it fit. A warm, spicy scent with a hint of mystery in it. It lingered in his mind…
He listened to his heart as he walked home. It felt slightly lighter now and its song held a note of hope in it. The snow continued to fall from the sky all around him.