Bus Ride Writings - On the Edge

Ordinary days are rarely ever ordinary, yet here she was as always, bus ride home. If she had only sat in her usual place she might not have seen, or at least not witness the full extent, but for some inexplicable reason she had chosen to sit on the double deck looking down on the world for a change. She was watching the world whirl by through the window when the bus paused at the traffic lights. Out of the upper most corner of her periphery she saw him teetering on the edge, six floors up on the roof top of an office building.

She looked up, he could not have been more than forty, dressed in the typical attire of another cog in the machine. But he had loosened his tie somewhat she thought for it was not tucked neatly within the crossover of his blazer as was standard.

“Oh my God,” someone nearby gasped. “
“Stop the bus,” cried another.

She was not the only one who had noticed. Then before she could utter her own disbelief he stepped forth towards the abyss. If she had been sitting in her usual place she might have only heard the sound, noticed other patrons of the bus gasp in horror at an out of view tragedy. But not today. She saw the fall and her eyes uncontrollably followed the descent to its gruesome conclusion.

Then the lights changed and the bus surged forward. As did the surrounding traffic. As if nothing had happened, as if all that had changed was the colours of the traffic lights. Some of the others rushed to the back of the bus as if they might be able to assist in some way, but she just looked back for as long as she was able. Pedestrians had stopped and a lone vehicle was halted nearby, but all they did was stare in shock, no one did anything. Because after all I was just a thing that had happened, it hadn’t happened to them. But to her it was as if her world tipped sideways.

She had been that man, tiptoeing upon the edge, playing with the thought of death, the dream of escape, rescue from the inescapable drone of modern life. But she had only played, toyed with the idea. Now confronted with the reality how bleak and heart breaking it was. 

What squander and sorrow was to be found in a life cut short, even done so voluntarily. But she knew what had led him to such a decision and there on the bus, that one she had caught day after day, she decided that she would no longer linger on the edge. She would stride forward, but not towards the abyss, towards the future and its mysterious and sometimes frightening possibilities.