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A man meets a woman in London and starts a love affair.

Submitted:Feb 20, 2013    Reads: 66    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

Go to Pieces


Steven Hunley

The breakup started wimpy and ended tragic.

They'd been going at it hot and heavy for months. In the back room of the Odeon recording studios where they both worked. On the marble bench in the British Museum in front of the red granite statue of Ramses while he recited Ozymandius by Shelly with his best imitation of Richard Burton.

On the tube after work. In the Wimpy bar around the corner he watches while she carves up the burger properly with a knife and fork, unlike crazy Americans who eat burgers with their hands.

Thousands of kisses exchanged, hundreds of promises handed out like cheap candy.

Then out of nowhere they broke up, she broke them up, and he fell apart at the seams.

While he sat despondent and blue, she went to a Peter and Gordon concert with free tickets from work, a gift from the producer for a job well done, and a bonus, since she's leaving because she wants a new job where she can do "something significant and meaningful." This may be good, seeing her at work is always the worst part, the part where he acts so spastic he could be a zombie, and many co-workers are convinced he's moon-struck at best.

In a week or so he decided he was over the worst of it. The constant thoughts of her that ravaged his sleep had lessened. Each meal he ate alone no longer reminded him of candle-lit dinners he's shared with her. When Big Ben sounded at 2:00 AM it no longer taunted him about what they were usually doing, making wild passionate you-know-what, a four letter word that many find hard to deal with. But that was only because he was numb.

He's unaware, dumb to the world around him and ready to end it all by jumping off Waterloo Bridge, not unlike the movie with Vivien Leigh.

He's posted his good-bye notes to everyone that matters. He's asked a neighbor to take care of the cat. Just off work, and usually on his way home, he turns to the right instead of the left and makes his way to the bridge. He's filled with emotions to the brim and begins to choke up. The wind is gusting like crazy causing his tie to flap annoyingly against his chest. He attempts take off his tie, and finds he can't get it unknotted, his hands are uncontrollably shaking. So he loosens it instead and fails to unbutton his coat for the same reason.

"So what," he thinks, "I'll go down in style. The water will soak in the coat and make it as heavy as chains on my body, like a burial at sea.'

Half way over the bridge he stops and faces the river. It's leaden and cold and fast moving. He stands up on the barrier, and notices the spikes on the ironwork only come up to his ankles. Standing on his toes like a doomed ballerina, he looks right and left, then down at the menacing river, and ponders the shoreline, the solidity of Saint Paul's Cathedral, and within seconds…the fragility of his ethereal existence.

"This should be easy."

Closing his eyes he leaps into the void, but not far enough.

His back is scraped by the iron points, causing his muscles to spasm as his back forms an S curve, bringing his neck closer to the spike.

But he lives.

At the back of his neck his tie is caught by the point, and although it nearly strangles him, it saves him long enough to be helped off, by a dock worker and his wife, who are eating fish and chips while watching the sun go down, because it was suggested by a neighbor as being "good for the digestion."

An ambulance driver arrives on the scene, dressed up funny, as if she's just gone to a concert. She has, it's the ex- girlfriend who was working the late shift on her new job when she got the call. They pack him up in a stretcher and cart him off to hospital, I say to hospital, not to THE hospital, because for some reason unknown to me, that's how Brits say it.

Do they hook back up? I need to go to U-tube and grab more inspiration.

©Steven Hunley




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