The stranger.

It was a monday. Nothing spectacular about this day aside from the fact that it was the day I had decided to die. It was a decision that I had been making slowly but surely for years. My life wasn’t tragic, no horror story to tell. My life was just nothing. Just empty. So I decided to quit it. Why should I keep living a meaningless life? It was mine to do with what I pleased. So I decided to end it. It was a cloudy cold day. Not really leaving anything behind, leaving the world today. I got out of bed like any other Monday. I didn’t feel lost, not confused, not even depressed. I was calm. A sick kind of calm because I knew I’d never have to get out of bed again. I got dressed in my favorite jeans and soft shirt. I wanted to be comfortable that day. I decided to go buy coffee. Coffee was my favorite thing. One last favorite thing before I jumped. Yes. I was going to jump off the roof of this apartment building. The people who’d have to deal with the mess wouldn’t know me. They didn’t matter. It was the best way I’d decided after countless nights going. Through the pros and cons of ways to end my life. I pulled my hair back into a tight dark ponytail. I wanted everyone to see my face today. I didn’t wear a jacket or a sweater. I wanted to feel everything, the cold included. I walked to the little coffee shop on the corner. I ordered m˜ favorite drink for the last time. I wondered why no one saw what happened to me. How no one knew I’d be dead before lunch time. Right after this coffee in fact. I left the coffee shop calmly. Carrying my hot coffee, sipping slowly at the heat. That is when I saw you, and her. I wish now that I knew your names. Hers and yours. It still amazes me that my life was saved by people whose names I never will know. I remember what she looked like though. I could paint her picture perfectly. That is what I started to do, after I didn’t jump. I started to paint. Trying to capture her somewhere besides my memory I was walking home. I was moving slowly so I could drink the coffee. I didn’t want to drink it at home. I tripped. That was all. I tripped and my coffee went flying out of my hands and smashed onto the sidewalk. And she came up to me and took my hand. She was tiny. 3 years old, maybe 4. Just a little tiny girl. She took my hand in hers and said, “Don’t to it. Don’t.” And I just sat on the sidewalk holding the hand of a baby girl wondering how she could know what she seemed to. She held my hand tighter and pressed my hand to her face. “Don’t do it,. Go back to the shop and buy more coffee.” You came over then to get her. To take her home out of the cold and the disaster of my life. I didn’t want to let her hand go. I cared for that moment, I didn’t want to let go. But you were her dad and I was a crazy girl on the sidewalk. I let her hand go and tried to stand. I was shaking all over, and all I could look at was her. She was walking away with you but she looked back 1 more time and repeated her words. I picked myself up and did what she said. I went back to the shop and bought a new coffee. I walked home wondering what her name was I started to paint that day. Paint pictures of her. Tonight at my art display I saw you standing frozen staring at the portrait of your daughter. No doubt you are wondering how I know her. And I could never tell you. I could never tell you that your baby saved my life.

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