Kiseikatsu was and always was a small village which was connected to a bigger city via a bridge. The bridge was the busiest part of the village during the day but during the night it was surprisingly calm. Constable Amari noticed this as they set out on their nightly patrol. No one wanted to take the shift as nothing really happened so it normally fell to them. While this would've been a golden opportunity to take out their phone and scroll through various social media when Amari noticed a single person - a female adult judging by the silhouette - standing on the other-side of the bridge.
Normally, if this was the day they wouldn't just run across, but in this moment they zipped across the roads like all that stood between them was a path and put a small hand on the silhouettes shoulder.
"Are you okay...?" They tentatively ask the silhouette. They look at them with tired pained eyes. Amari can clearly see they are tear-streaked and red. They've been here crying for a while. A hand comes up to wipe their eyes when Amari passes a tissue over. They look at Amari for a while before placing the tissue to their eyes. "Tissue works a little bit better," They say, resting their hands on the bannister, "You won't hurt your eyes as much for example."
The silhouette stares at them for a while before smiling. The two of them look out at the night sky scattered with glittering stars and a full moon before the silhouette speaks.
"Thanks." She says in a near whisper. "For the tissue. It helped." She sniffles. "A bit."
Amari looks across at her. "You're welcome." The pair stands together in silence for a small moment. A small breeze passes through making the silhouette shiver. "Aren't you cold?"
"A little bit." Amari looks down at the others hands. They're shaking really badly and she doesn't look like she have gloves on her. They pull gloves out of their bag and hand them to the other.
"Here." They say. The other smiles at Amari and takes the gloves.
"Thank you." She seems to bite their lip. "My name's Naoko. Naoko Aotama. Thank you um..."
"Nagisa. Nagisa Amari." They take a deep breath and pull out a small card with their phone number on. She takes it from them. "Constable Amari infact. You doing okay Naoko?" They look at Naoko and Naoko seems to shrink into herself a bit.
"Rather not say?" They ask, looking over. Naoko seems to be stuck between nodding and shaking her head so she sighs instead.
"My friend Ayano died last week." The silence between the two is deafening. "She leaped off the banister here and plumeted into the river. They didn't find her body."
Amari is silent with grief and remorse. No wonder she's standing out here alone watching the spot where her friend had commited suicide. They couldn't even imahine how much the grief must've changed Naoko and how enoy she must feel. The absense of someone you're close to - that stings so badly. Like you're missing a part of your soul or a part of you just disapeared one day. A tear or two come to their eyes but the quickly wipe them away. This is Naoko's grief not theirs.
"I wanted to do the same." Naoko whispers to the night. "It's tempting to grip this banister tightly, leap up onto the thin border and topple straight over the edge. Take a running start, do it slow or just turn my back and walk until all I see is blue." Her sentances blurr together and she gasps, takes pauses and seems to be dtruggling to form words. She starts to desperstley cling onto the banister with all her strength and Amari watches as the woman stares out into the night, tears slipping off her cheeks and dripping slowly onto the bannister. Her face is red and the scene isn't pretty. They slip off their scarf and drape it around her.
"Even if Ayano didn't want to live, you can live for her." They whisper to her, running slow circles into her back as she hiccups. "Ayano would've wanted you to love so do the things that she would've wanted to. Besides you've got a life to see." Naoko drops her face into her hands and her sobs slowly fade out. "I know it's hard to convince yourself to live and to not give up but be strong for Ayano, Naoko. I don't know what she meant to you but I don't want you to die. You seem kind and wonderful. Soread your kindness to the world."
"I..." Naoko seems lost for words as she lets her arms fall over the wdge of the bannister. Then she brings them back in and presses the gloves into their hands. "Thank you, again. Take them back." They then press the gloves back into her hands.
"No take them. Consider them my gift to you." Amari smiles at Naoko and she smiles back.
The two of them stayed there staring at the night sky for what felt like hours and smiled together under the moonlight.