He set out running. Jogging at first, as was his habit, then harder. Then harder, pushing himself and all his anger into each pounding step. He was tired, but he couldn’t feel it. He just so sick of it all — sick of disappointing and being disappointed, sick of the punches and bruises he endured, even encouraged, in a desperate attempt to gain what he knew he deserved. Because he was running, again. He’d never really stopped running, but he wanted to. He wanted to make it all stop. If he was going to be stuck with this ruined mess of a life, the least he could was not be around to see it. He headed for the bridge.
Surely it was high enough, the river below deep enough, the current swift enough to take care of the rest. His mother would be devastated, but he’d hope she’d at least find the same small measure of relief he sought. Regardless, she couldn’t stop him now. He was too far gone. He’d been too far gone for a long time now.
He turned up the cobblestone pathway, his heaving heart bottoming out with each pounding step. Up the arch of the bridge to its highest point. He veered off to the right, trying to steer his momentum to take him over the edge. In the pitch black night that had long since overtaken him, he missed the length of rope tangled around the side of the ledge, missed whatever was holding it there. His toe snagged on a half-closed loop as he vaulted over the side. He stumbled in midair, pulled up short by the unseen force. He felt his body swing back to the bridge, but could not stop the impact. His hands hit the stone structure first, followed quickly by the side of his head. And then there was nothing but the nothingness.