posted on Sep, 20 2021 @ 05:00 PM
Weightlessness. "This must be what it's like in space," mused Mick. His mind tumbled along with his body, images of his life flashing before his
He saw his wife as she slammed the bedroom door. "It's over, you bastard!" she screamed. He felt the helplessness welling up inside him again, just
as he had felt it a few months earlier. The thought of "What did I do wrong?" entered his mind again, just as it had at the time.
The image switched to the scene along the Interstate. He hadn't done anything wrong... well not very wrong anyway. He was probably speeding a little.
Then he saw the police with their guns drawn, silhouetted in flashes of blue and red strobe lights, and heard the loudspeaker again: "Get out of the
car with your hands over your head! Do it NOW!" The fear of that moment, only a couple of weeks prior, sent chills through his being again. How could
he have known his car was identical to one that was just used in a bank robbery?
Then, as if on cue, the images in his mind changed again, to two days earlier. He could clearly hear his supervisor's words. "I'm sorry I have to
do this. We can't have someone accused of bank robbery and murder interacting with our clients. When this is all cleared up, we'll revisit. But for
now, you are on indefinite suspension."
The voice in his head continued. "I know you didn't do it. It's the optics, Mick. You know what it's like today. This is for your protection as
well as ours." Tears welled up in Mick's eyes. One incident, just one, and his entire life was in the toilet. No wife, no home, no job, and no
"It's just as well," he mused, opening his eyes to watch the water below coming up to meet him. "It'll all be over soon." Still, he was a bit
shocked at how slowly this fall was going. It was almost as if he was stuck in a time warp, but he knew it was because his mind was just racing so
much faster than normal. It made everything move in slow motion around him.
Mick again closed his eyes to await his fate. But this time, his mind changed images unexpectedly. This time he heard his lawyer telling him that the
case was so flimsy it would probably be thrown out. He heard his supervisor's phone call, the one he wasn't supposed to hear, advocating for him. He
heard his friends all telling him things would be OK. Then he heard his wife's voice again. This time she wasn't angry; this time she was scared.
The words from that phone call, mere days after the traffic stop, echoed through his head again: "I love you, Mick. I'm sorry. Please come back
"What is taking so long?" he wondered. Surely he should have hit the water by now! But the thought didn't last long, as his mind began to show
images that were not so hopeless. He saw his friends at their last cookout. His wife, his beautiful wife, was there hanging on his arm. He could
actually feel her lips as he remembered that kiss. It wasn't anything major, but for some reason he remembered it and how warm and loved it made him
He could see his son waving goodbye as he drove away from the University. A full scholarship. Free ride. And the boy had done it all on his own. Mick
remembered how proud he had been; they could never have afforded that kind of education, despite the fact that he had a pretty good income. Such a
bright future! But then, just as Mick was able to manage a small smile, the image changed again. This time it was no memory. He was looking out of a
box as his family and friends paraded past in tears. At first it was just sad faces and maybe a shake of the head as they glanced down at him in turn,
but the faces became sadder as closer and closer relatives and friends passed by. He saw Duke, the happy-go-lucky guy who was never bothered by
anything, with his lower lip quivering as he tried to hold back tears. He saw his sister, sobbing, her face contorted into pain. "No... no..." he
thought as his son walked by, liquid streaming down his face, eyes red, and looking as helpless as if he had been an infant again. Then his wife
walked by. She looked down. Her lower lip started to quiver. Her eyes closed behind the thin black veil, and she collapsed. He could make out his son
and Matt, his closest friend, struggling to hold her up.
"NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" The sound was finally enough to cut through the constant roar of the wind past his ears. He opened his eyes to see the water
rushing up to meet him. He could make out the choppy waves as they threw up a mist that now burned his eyes. "God, NO! I'm sorry! No!"
Then he felt something tighten around his right ankle. His whole body was stretched as his momentum stopped just feet from the blue expanse that he
expected to be his new home. He twisted around to try and get a look at his ankle. He had loosened the knot, so why was he still alive?
As the bungee cord began to pull him back up, Mick managed to catch a glimpse of the space above him. Only a glimpse, but he could swear he was seeing
something there. It was glowing so brightly he couldn't make out exactly what it was, but it seemed to have grabbed onto his ankle. Then the force
from the bungee's snap-back took over and his head was forced to look down at the water again.
As he bounced up and down above the frigid water, Mick was trying to figure out what had happened. He knew he had loosened the knot around his ankle.
It should have slipped off easily. So how was it tight now? And what was that glowing thing he had seen? And finally, why was he trying to kill
himself? He was innocent of the charges; he would be cleared at his hearing. His lawyer had said it was just a formality, only necessary because the
new D.A. wanted to show he was tough on crime. He'd get his old job back easily enough, and maybe he could wrangle a raise out of them over his
suspension without due cause. And Loraine... she had been angry with him before, but it always passed quickly. She had stuck with him for 22 years,
Back atop the bridge, Mick was still confused as the workers removed the rope from his ankle. He stood up, a bit shakily, and began to slowly amble
away as the next jumper got ready for their leap of faith. "Back it up a couple feet!" yelled one, "That was getting close! Don't want to overwork
"Angels?" thought Mick.
"That's just a load of hooey," replied another. "Ain't no such things as angels!"
"No, I saw one!"
"Sure you did, Jim. Sure."
"Hope you enjoyed it," said the ride operator. Nick just nodded with a fake smile across his face as he retrieved his effects and put them away. He
paused a moment, lost in thought wondering where he should go next. Then he heard another one of the workers talking. "Of course I checked! Heck,
that last guy would be fish food if I hadn't done that last second check on him. His ankle rope got loosened somehow. I pulled it back tight just
before he jumped."
Mick looked down at his hands. There was his phone. He nodded again to the operator and walked away, dialing the phone.
"Loraine... I... I just wanted to... can I come home?"