ClevelandWeirdness prose

The Girl

"How deep is it?"
"No clue." I didn't either. I knew ships came down it from Lake Erie, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I swung my leg over the rail, tipped off my other foot, and finished standing on a small ledge that jutted from the other side.
"I can't do this." She glanced back towards where the bridge met land, then back at me. I saw the fear- it shone in her eyes, but I didn't know if it was fear of what we were doing or why we were doing it.
"Yes you can!" I extended my hand to her. She looked at it like it was a comforting but venomous snake. A second passed then she grabbed it and hoisted herself over the rail.

The sound of tires squealing echoed off the bridge side-barriers. We didn't have much time left, if we were going to do it, we had to do it now. Larry, or Lawrence as she called him, would be here any second. It was at this moment I wondered what I had really gotten myself into. Perhaps getting between a guy and his girl wasn't really the brightest thing to do, but she really didn't want to be his girl did she. I'm pretty sure she didn't want that shiner he gave her either. Which is about the time I had stepped in. I had pushed him to the pavement turned and helped her to her feet. I suppose kicking him in the face when he tried to get back up was the best thing 'defensively', but to tell you the truth I think it just pissed him off. I suppose, later on, I'll regret not just walking into the bar. Which is what I had been there for anyway. I broke a pretty standard Clevelander rule- don't get involved. Let sleeping dogs lie and all that. I had been stupid and for some reason I wasn't about to stop. The smart thing would have been to walk right into the bar, lose ourselves in the crowd. However my reign of stupidity had other ideas- I needed to 'get her out of there'. 'I'll give ya a ride home.' I had said, she didn't argue as I used her elbow to steer her down the sidewalk to where I had parked my car. While we walked she cried about Larry, at least that's all I could make out between her sobs.

Several minutes later I found myself unlocking the passenger side door, to let her in. My keys jangled out of the lock, and I turned to open the door, placing one hand on her shoulder. BLAM! The glass window shattered into a thousand pieces. 'Shit!" I heard myself saying. I pushed her backward away from my car, hoping the sharp stings in my side weren't large lances of glass. I got her behind a van that was next in the row just as my rear window exploded out into the parking lot. At this point I risked a glance back, not because of bravery in any sense it's just human nature to want to know 'hey, why is my car blowing up'. There was Larry, standing just between his car and it's open door. His face was twisted, literally, it seemed as if the left side were smiling while the right angled down in anger. If I knew anything about guns, I could probably have told you what it is he was pointing in our direction, but I don't, all that mattered was that he could kill us with it. Long story short- we ran. He chased us in his car, somewhere along the line we lost him in an alley. Then we ran onto the bridge, only to see him speed past us looking for a spot to turn around or make a U-ey.

"Take a deep breath right before you hit, try to hold it 'cause it's gonna be cold." She nodded in response. I looked behind her and saw headlights. "Are you ready?" Nothing. "Are you READY!?"
"Yes."
"Jump!"

Read "On the Edge of Life, Part 1" on the next page...


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