One afternoon on Bloukrans

             He set down his old brown bag and took a deep breath. He had reached that great bridge at last, the highest on the continent. His shoes, heavily covered in dust had lost their shape, strength and color and seemed like they would fall apart if any uncalculated move was made in them. He wore a thick black jacket over a pair of jeans trousers. He looked sickly and tired under the scorching sun. A glass of water would do him some good. In between murmuring and whispering, his thick black lips seemed to produce the words “here at last”. He didn’t seem to care about anything or anyone around him – who cared about him too?

              He lit a cigarette and sat down by his old brown bag, lost in thought. His mind streamed back to the events that had brought him to there. All his efforts at making a thing out of life had proved worthless. He had done almost everything a desperate man could do to survive but had not gotten even a pinch of hope or joy from life; family, friends, mates, strangers, cats and dogs… everything. Was it because he was different to everyone or everyone was the same to him? He had made it a goal to break away from a life based on unexplained norms and principles. He had  decided to take up reason and passion as his standard for life.

Passion won’t put food on your table, it won’t get you a job, it won’t get you a wife a house a car and it won’t pay the bills‘; he would hear his dad say.

             Not just passion alone, he needed their support and trust too just like every other young adult in the world. They didn’t seem to have enough for him, feels like Oliver Twist. Whenever he managed to put a foot on the steps of life’s ladder, those that could help him up carefully masterminded his fall. After years of relying on others and even after trying it solo nothing great was in sight. No hope, no love, just more dirt blurring his vision and giving him very hard falls. He had barely survived the last one when he lost his guitar, his most prized possession. He knew his next fall was always harder than the previous and he wasn’t willing to experience another.

            He took out a woolen handkerchief from his pocket and wiped away the free-flowing tears from his cheeks then blew his nose noisily in it before returning it into his pocket. The handkerchief was given to him by his late grandmother when he was still alive. Today was the day he was going to meet her wherever she was. He had descended to very low points in his life and had decided he wasn’t going to end low. He had travelled for days just to get to the highest bridge possible on the continent.

The Bloukrans bridge at 216m is Africa’s highest bridge.

             He stood up slowly and took off his huge cape letting his dreadlocks rest on his back. The cape was hand-stitched with red, yellow and green threads. He picked up his old brown bag and hung it across his chest, putting the strap on his right shoulder and letting the bag rest on his left hip. The bag contained a small umbrella, a pair of dark sun shades, a worn out toothbrush and the hand-stitched cape he had taken off his head. That was all he had as property.

            He carefully got over the protective fence at the left side of the bridge, lifted his sweating face to the sky and in a coarse but confident voice shouted: ‘Grandma here I come’ before letting go of the fence.

            No passerby seemed moved by this act of his. No one cared that another human just like them had left this world or maybe they thought he was pulling a stunt.

Four out of five young adults that commit suicide show warning sings. Know the signs… save a life.


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