The Accidental Savior

The Accidental Savior

by Jason Huebinger.

 

Today’s the day.

The crisp early-March breeze blows through the bridge and makes the orange steel cold to the touch.  Herds of pedestrians and bicyclists pass by—they don’t notice me.

But they will.

The water below is both a step and world away.  The safety railing comes to my chest; I’m no athlete, but it wouldn’t be difficult to hop over the barrier.  The whole process would only take a few seconds—a minute at most—and all the noise would quiet.

My vision is cloudy. No matter how much I rub my eyes, the haze remains.  Last night’s screams echo in my mind; even in silence, the screams never cease.  They haunt me like ghosts, my constant invisible companions.

Today’s the day.

How many times have I chickened out?  Too many.  Not today, though.  Not after Jesse Gorski’s fist to my gut.  Not after Sarah Flynn told me to move my “fat butt” out of the way so she could get to class.  Not after the sound of Jaime Franklin’s laugh when I asked her to prom.

I wonder how they will react to the news.  Will Jesse regret the punch?  Maybe Sarah would stop picking on the less fortunate.  Jaime might even be kinder to those who dare to woo her.

More likely, they will be indifferent.

Today’s the day.

With the icy steel in my hands, I steady my breathing, close my eyes, and tense my muscles.  No going back now.  Whatever’s next has to be better than this.

Today’s the day.

Warmth tickles my shoulder.  I turn and stare into eyes bluer than the San Francisco Bay.

“Excuse me,” a brunette beauty says with a smile that radiates sincerity.  “Can I ask you a favor?”

“Sure, whatever you want,” I mutter.

Giggling, she extends a hand holding an IPhone.  “Could you take a pic of me and my friend?  We’ve never been to San Fran, and this view is just incredible!  Don’t ya think?”

“Yeah,” I reply as I gaze at the backdrop of the city and mountains.  “It’s amazing.”

She hands me the phone and says, “Thanks, cutie.  You’re the best!”

She grabs her friend’s hand and runs behind me, forcing me to step away from the railing.  The girls wrap their arms around one another and pose with free arms cocked at ninety-degree angles.  Steadying the device in my hands, I carefully frame them—I will not allow a hint of her perfection to be lost to pixilation or blurriness.

After taking three shots, I give the phone back to her. She reviews the pictures and exclaims, “Wow!  These are great pics.”

“Really?” I ask.

“Yeah, totally.  Most guys take terrible pictures.  You have an awesome eye.”

I consider her kind words. She is not the first to compliment my photography skills. Is there something to that?  I’m not really good at much.

She’s looking me up and down; picking me apart I’m sure.  “Tell you what,” she says.  “Let’s take a selfie.”  Before I can respond, she places her arm over my shoulder and pulls me downward. Pressing her smooth cheek against my patchy two-day stubble, she yells, “Say cheese!”  The moment lasts no more than ten seconds, but I want to live in it forever.

She steps away, looks at her phone, and says, “Oh, that’s a good one.  That’s definitely a good one.”  There is a hint of deviousness in her tone.

“Let me see,” I say.

“Nope.”  She playfully withdraws the hand holding the phone.  ”I’ll tell ya what.  You can see it when I tag you in it.”  She presents her free right hand and says, “My name is Jessica Kapps, with a K and two Ps.  From a little town in Texas called Fredericksburg.”

I take her balmy grip.  “I’m Jacob Holland, two Ls.  From San Francisco.”

Jessica shakes my hand with vigor.  “Great to meet you, Jacob Holland from San Francisco.  I’ll send you a friend request later.  You have a Facebook page, right?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“Cool, I’ll stalk you later.”  Jessica winks, grabs her friend’s arm, and walks away while saying, “Have a good day Jacob!”

 It’s already a great one.

Soon she is gone, and I’m standing alone.  Heat slinks across my neck; sunlight bleeds through the mist, clearing the view.  Stepping towards the railing, I take out my IPhone; after snapping a few shots of the San Francisco skyline, I close my eyes again.  The sounds of cars speeding past fill my ears, stifling the screams. Maybe someday I’ll have a chance to capture a few stories of the people in those cars.

I step away from the precipice and begin my trek home. Fog distorts my path, making the bridge appear infinite.  What awaits me at the bridge’s end is still a mystery, but at least I have something to look forward to—a picture I can’t wait to see.  She may even post it today.

Yeah.  Today might be the day.

 

AUTHOR BIO

Jason Huebinger lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and dog.  By day, Jason is an attorney specializing in labor and employment litigation.  His forthcoming novel, FATE’S PAST, is a supernatural horror work scheduled to be published by Pandamoon Publishing in 2015. You can find Jason at:

Website:  www.JasonHuebinger.com

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/JasonHuebinger

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/AuthorJasonHuebinger

5 Comments for “The Accidental Savior”

says:

A vivid illustration of the Ying and Yang of life. As you have shown, it is often viewed by adolescents through a confusing mist, which may never lift for some. Fortunately the young cut through the fog and figure out that if you don’t have a bad day once in a while you won’t recognize a good one when it comes along. Your work puts the reader in the moment. Enjoyed the story.
Morey

says:

Jason, enjoyed the story. I love shorts because if I start a long book I won’t put it down and I want to work on my webpage instead.. You kept me on this one, gave it a warmth which kept me reading. Glad this was brought to my attention. sincerely, Mariam

R. J. Brown

says:

This story was beautifully written. It flowed so well and ended with a hope. My kind of story. Well done, jason! I hope to see more of your work.

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