Parker’s New Year’s resolution is to end his own life. What he didn’t expect upon reaching the bridge where he planned to jump was to encounter a demon whose New Year’s resolution is to save a human.
Whoever said committing suicide was nothing at all should be shot to death. To stand at that point and make the decision to end one’s life was excruciating. Was the afterlife better than hell on earth or was it wishful thinking that came up with alternatives for comfort on the days that everything became too much? As Parker stared hard at the water, the only thought that he had in his head was, Is this really how I want to end my life?
He could hear the blood roaring in his head as he stared with wide eyes at the water below. It looked as black as the night that surrounded him and was probably as frigid as the cold air that held his tired and aching body in its firm grip.
The night was cold and quiet and the full moon and stars provided the only illumination. For once, the serenity of the night was not disturbed by the sounds of people laughing or cars honking as impatient drivers drove from one corner of the city to another.
It was New Year’s Eve and people were either in their homes with their family, friends, and lovers, awaiting the new year, or at any one of the various parties that were held all over the city. Those who were at neither were huddled in their offices, slaving away in a bid to accomplish something worthwhile before welcoming the New Year. Everyone was busy doing something they loved in order to welcome the New Year—everyone except Parker.
He was currently at the top of the city’s main bridge contemplating his life and the shitty year he had had. The year had started well enough and had filled him with false hope, and he had assumed that his luck had changed for the better.
Parker had gotten a job working as the personal assistant of Jonathan, who was the Vice President of Interswitch Marketing Communications. It had been a good job with good pay and the most amazing boss anyone could ever dream of.
Jonathan had acknowledged Parker’s work and had always been willing to listen when Parker had things to say and had given him advice on how to survive in the company. Jonathan had also been good looking and that combined with his kind and considerate nature had made Parker fall completely in love with him.
He had been thrilled when he had discovered that his love was returned and he had spent six months blissfully happy with his lover. Things had gone smoothly for them and Jonathan had helped him come out of his introspective shell. He had introduced him to other people who worked in the office. They had befriended him and had taken him to all the fun spots in the city.
Jonathan and Parker had spent a lot of nights lazing around and seeing the sights and the love had made everything seem even more magnificent in his eyes.
Parker smiled sardonically, shook his head at his stupidity, and held on tighter to the railings of the bridge. It had all been a fool’s dream and reality had intruded on his peaceful world.
Reality revealed its ugly head when Parker visited Jonathan at his house and met another man whom Jonathan had introduced as his fiancé. He had been wounded, but the pain had not been nearly as bad as the hurt when Jonathan had told Parker that their relationship was never meant to last as long as it had, that he had always had his fiancé waiting for him. This other man was someone who was more suitable to be the partner of the VP of Interswitch Marketing Company, a role that Parker was clearly unsuited for. A lowly assistant and a VP were not meant to be, and Jonathan had informed him bluntly and impersonally that he had only been living a dream.
Parker had been numb; he was unable to recognize the man he had been in love with and whom he had assumed had loved him back.
After that, things had gotten worse. His work that once had made him happy and content now made him ill. He was constantly distracted by the presence of his ex-lover, who made a point of bringing his new and socially-acceptable lover to the office. The new lover had found it amusing to taunt Parker and emphasize that Jonathan would never be his.
Distantly, he heard the howl of the wind and was temporarily returned to the present. Even the weather echoed the feelings of isolation that he had become accustomed to. Parker shivered, closed his eyes, and continued his trip down memory lane.
Finally, he reached his limit with the near-constant torture and quit his job a month later. Staying at home had not made the memories easier to deal with. All he could see when he was awake and asleep were images of the happier times he had had with Jonathan. He could see them laughing over the cookies Parker had attempted to bake for breakfast that had turned out to be as hard as stone; he could see them lounging on his sofa, lying on the bed, and reading the paper on Sunday mornings; he could see Jonathan singing while taking a shower on the mornings when he’d stayed over.
Jonathan’s presence had permeated his apartment and there was nothing he could do to get rid of it. There was no one he could talk to to help him deal with the sensation within him, the feeling that squeezed his innards and his heart, which left him gasping and in tears. The only friends he had he had met through Jonathan. When Jonathan had left, his friends had gone with him.
The depression, anguish, and loneliness were what led him to the bridge. While others eagerly anticipated the beginning of a new year, Parker stood at the bridge and considered the ending of his last one. At least if he jumped the heartache and the feeling of emptiness would end, too.
A sudden gust of wind made him shiver and he wrapped his arms around himself in a bid to protect his body from the chill. He rubbed his arms briskly to warm himself up a bit and was not prepared for the masculine voice that spoke in a dry tone.
“You know, given that you were just contemplating jumping into the ocean, you rubbing your arms to warm yourself strikes me as a little odd.”
Publisher: Less Than Three Press