The Bridge

The Bridge

October, 1951

Three days passed before they found the body. The question of What has happened to Mrs. George Reiber? had just begun to form on the tips of the local law enforcement's tongues when they found the pale, mangled corpse of a woman washed up on a desolate beach of the San Francisco Bay. She was discovered on a day that had almost seemed too perfect for words. The leaves were just beginning to change and the air had just started to take on that Autumn crispness that made everything seem sharper, more real. She was found by a young couple taking a mid-morning stroll on the the beach, a Mr. and Mrs. Davies it was-- newly married and sightseeing in San Francisco (they came to see the bridge, no doubt. They all came to see the bridge). What a terrible shock it must have been, to enter that beach and fancy yourselves alone, when in fact you weren't at all.

Her widower arrived a few hours later at the funeral home, for identification purposes. He was classically handsome, tall with brown hair and a strong jaw line. But today he looked an absolute mess. He entered the funeral home and just stood there as if he had forgotten his purpose in being there.

"Can I help you sir?" an employee asked timidly, putting her hand on his shoulder.

"Ah yes I think, well, maybe, no. I mean yes," he stuttered, running his fingers through his already-mussed hair, "It's my wife. She's here." He managed to whisper. A look of realization came over the woman's face, and she led him back.

A large, rather sweaty middle-aged man introduced himself as Jeremiah Clarke, director of Clarke & Clarke Funeral Home.

"I'm terribly sorry for your loss, Mr. Reiber. I just want you to know that we will be with you for every step of the funeral process. What ever you need, just tell us." The way he said this made George wonder how many times he'd done this before, said the exact same thing to a shell-shocked husband or wife.

"Now if you'll follow me please, I'd like to take you back to identify your wife's body…" numbly he followed Clarke. A door was opened and he was led into a bright room. In the middle of this room was a cold metal table, and on this table was a small, sheet-covered figure, presumably her. He took a shuddery breath in and stepped forward slowly towards it, and with a trembling hand pulled back the sheet that kept hidden the identity of this woman.

It was her. Indefinitely, and terrifyingly her. There were bruises all over her pale face, and she looked cold. He timidly reached out to stroke her dark red hair. The sight of her like this was ultimately horrifying, but at the same time it comforted him; she was at peace.

"Sylvia…" he breathed to himself, and turned away. He couldn't stand it. That seemed to be all the confirmation that was necessary.

"How…how did it happen?" he asked, even though he was sure he already knew the answer.

Clarke seemed reluctant to answer, and when he finally did the words cut at George like no knife ever could.

"She jumped."

I hope you all like it, please leave reviews, because I KNOW there are things I need to work on. Thanks a bunch!