Chapter no 70

Anxious People

The bridge is covered with ice, sparkling beneath the last few valiant stars as dawn heaves its way over the horizon. The town is breathing deeply around it, still asleep, swaddled in eiderdowns and dreams and tiny feet belonging to hearts our own can’t beat without.

Zara is standing by the railing. She leans forward, looks over the edge. It almost looks, just for a single, solitary moment, as if she’s going to jump. But if anyone had seen her, had known the whole of her story and everything that had happened in the past few days… well, then of course it would have been obvious that she wasn’t going to do that. No one goes through all this just to end a story that way. She isn’t the sort who jumps.


And then?


Then she lets go.


The drop is further than you realize, even if you’ve just been standing up there. It takes longer than you think to hit the surface. A gentle scraping sound, wind seizing hold of paper, the Auttering and crumpling as the letter drifts out across the water. The 1ngertips that have held that envelope ten thousand times since they 1rst picked it up from the doormat give up their struggle and let the letter sail oP toward its own eternity.


The man who sent it to her ten years ago wrote down everything he thought she needed to know. It was the last thing he ever told anyone. Only four words in length, no more than that. The four biggest little words one person, anyone at all, can say to another:


It masn’t youv fault.


By the time the letter hits the water Zara is already walking away, toward the far side of the bridge. There’s a car parked there, waiting for her. Lennart is sitting inside it. Their eyes meet when she opens the door. He lets her put the music on as loud as she wants. She’s planning to do her absolute utmost to get tired of him.

You'll Also Like