So a story idea came to me. I didn’t realize it would be so sad. Take care of each other, please. Let’s not end up like the people in this story.
Detective Cavity stood on the bridge, staring out at the city. Nearby, the fog horn blew. The lights and fog along the river were obscuring his view, but he loved this time of night. The lights had halos; the colors of the buildings and the noise from the restaurants and bars were muted. He took a breath and allowed the stillness to seep into his bones. This was his favorite place in the city. Unfortunately, this spot was used a lot by suicidal individuals.
His son flitted through his mind. Ten years ago, John Jr jumped from this bridge and ended his life. Detective Cavity didn’t understand then and didn’t understand now why someone would do take their own life. It left behind nothing but pain.
John took another look at the river and reached into his pocket. He took out a toy car. Every year, on the anniversary of John Jr’s death, the Detective came here. Every year, he dropped one of Jr’s small cars into the river. He knew he shouldn’t, as that was polluting the river, but he wanted his son to have his cars. He collected to many. Some were plastic, some were metal. Detective Cavity sometimes thought that the cars might end up in someone else’s hands. Maybe they floated downstream and ended up on the shore. Another child would find it and find joy in it.
He sighed again and caressed the metal car. This one was made of metal. It was an older car, a classic. Detective Cavity didn’t know the make or model, but he liked the fins on this one. John Jr knew all the names of the older cars; knew a lot of the newer cars too.
A tear came to his eye. He never understood why John Jr took his own life. There was no note, and he had been so happy. He was always making sure everyone else was happy, too. Since there was no note, there was an investigation. His death was ruled a suicide. Nothing pointed to foul play.
He wasn’t part of the case. He was too distraught to think. His wife Naomi was the strong one. She took care of everything and made sure their other kids were all right. John wasn’t sure what he would have done without her. He smiled, she was an amazing woman. By the time he returned to work, the case was closed. He read everything over and agreed with the conclusion. The department knew what they were doing.
Something on the car caught the skin on his finger and he looked down at it again.
“Ten years, son. You would have been 26. We all miss you so much. Shane just graduated from college. He wants to be a therapist. Help people so they don’t take their own life. Lisa is in her second year but still doesn’t know what she wants to do. She’ll figure it out. I know she will. Your mom didn’t cry, but I know she was thinking about you. She handed me this car when I told her I was going for a walk. ‘Take this one. It was one of his favorites.’ It’s been hard, Johnny. For all of us. Just wish I knew why you did it.”
He let go of the car and watched as it fell end over end into the water. It made a tiny sound when it hit the water and was gone.
“I guess we’ll never know. I hope you’re resting in peace son. Goodnight.”
Detective Cavity nodded and walked into the night, heading back home to his family.
And if you need it:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline