Chapter One

June 29th, 2001

Brooklyn's Bridge

                Brooklyn stood in the rain, waiting for the bus.  Her pale, white complexion was in complete contrast of her black outfit.  I trudged in the rain towards the bus stop with my umbrella.  I offered Brook protection from the rain.  She looked at me and for the first time, I saw so very much pain in her eyes.  Brook ducked under my umbrella and turned towards the empty, puddle-filled street.  There we stood silently until the bus came, minutes later.

                Brooklyn climbed onto the bus as I closed my umbrella and followed.  Brooklyn sat in an empty seat towards the back of the bus.  I sat with her.  Since we met in kindergarten, I always sat with her.  That was just the way it was.  We hadn't spoken to each other in years, but we always sat together.  We acted as if we were still best friends, the way we had in elementary school.  I'm ashamed of how we behaved.  I'm ashamed that we grew apart the way we had.  We lived in silence. 

                We had no reason to dislike each other, yet I couldn't find a reason to like her.  We seemed exactly the same on the outside.  We were both about the same size and we both had the same proportions; we wore the some type of clothes and had almost identical hairstyles.  When Brook and I were younger, we discovered the similarities between us and were in awe.  As we grew older, I hardly noticed how similar we were and how we changed together. 

                I'd never forget that day.  Later that day, I was listening to music in my room, I felt sharps pains stab into my back and began to suffocate.  Then, as quickly as these feelings arrived, they disappeared.  I had a sudden urge to go to the bridge overlooking the Mississippi.  I flew out of my room, grabbed my black leather coat and my mother's keys and I got in her car.

                The ignition flared and I pull out of my apartment complex onto the main road.  I drove for what seemed like hours until I came to the bridge.  I didn't even bother to pull my car over; I just got out.  I climbed down to the water, yards below.  I could see a body that almost looked crushed, on the sharp rocks below.  My pace quickly turned to a wary run.

                Before I had even left the apartment, I had known what had happened, but I'd refused to believe it.  Now, there was no denying it; the body on the rocks was Brooklyn.  I sobbed.  I cried more than I'd ever cried in my life.  I collapsed on my knees, tearing my skirt on the whetted rocks.  I couldn't tell if she was dead yet.  I'd hoped she was dead; she didn't deserve the pain that I knew, in my heart, she brought on herself.

                I sat there, crying, for what seemed like days, but when I looked at my watch, I saw that I had left the house only twenty minutes ago. I thought, Maybe she's still alive.  Maybe I can save her. So I picked her up and carried her limp body to my mother's car and placed it gently in the back seat.  I knew she was dead, for a part of me had died with her, but I got in the car and drove.  I drove straight to the hospital, though the tears in my eyes blurred my vision and my thoughts.  I pulled into the small hospital's parking lot and carried Brooklyn into the hospital.

                "I th-think she's... I think she's dead," I explained to the woman behind the desk.

                "Yeah, Honey, I would say that's a good guess." How could she act like that?  Brooklyn's either dead or dying in my arms and that's all she says? I thought.

                Within seconds, a doctor came and took her away.  I decided to call Brook's dad.  I, of course had no money, so I dialed collect, hoping her dad would take the call.

                "Operator," the woman on the line stated.  Our town was so small, that our phone company didn't bother with automated operators.

                "I'd like to place a collect call," I told the woman.

                "I'd like a lot of things, Kid.  What number're you calling?"

                "Um...6-6-2...uh...8-0-7...uh...2, I think."  I couldn't believe I actually remembered her phone number.

                ."Well, I hope you're right.  What's your name, Kid?"

                "He won't remember me.  Can you tell him it's about Brooklyn?"

                "Brooklyn?  The city?" The woman asked this as if it were the most exciting call she'd placed all day.

                "No, his daughter's name is Brooklyn.  Please, just connect me."

                "A'ight, hold on." I didn't hear much of her after that-only bits and pieces of her voice.  "...take a collect call...about Brooklyn..." I was so glad when I found myself talking to Mr. Sinclair, Brook's father.

                "Where is Brooklyn?"  I could hear the worry in his voice.

                "Mr. Sinclair, she jumped off the new bridge.  She's here, at the hospital on Miller Street."  He hung up.  "Mr. Sinclair?"  I stood there for a couple minutes, with the phone in my hand, staring at it.

                "Miss?  Are you done with the phone?  You're holding up the line," a woman standing behind me told me.  I handed her the phone and ran out the front door of the hospital.  I got into Mom's car a drove home.

                I parked the car in the parking lot and knocked on the door to my apartment.  "MOM!  Open up!  It's me!  I forgot my key!"  Finally, my door opened and mother looked at me.  I must've looked a wreck; I had blood covering my torn black turtleneck and skirt, mascara down my face and my favorite boots were more than ruined.  I didn't care and neither did Mom.  I began to sob, again.  She hugged me, covering her perfect white shirt with blood.  So we stood there, in the doorway, until she knew all that had happened that evening.

                Later, my mother and I received a call from Mr. Sinclair, who had, miraculously, recognized my voice, telling us that Brook was dead.  When she hit the rocks, her lungs were punctured, letting blood into her lungs.   She drowned in her own blood. 

                I'd never found out why Brooklyn thought suicide was the only way out, nor did I find out what she was trying to get out of.  I also never found out how I knew she'd jumped off that bridge, how I felt her die.  I guess she had just been a large part of my life, a part of me; even though we never said a word to each other, she was my best friend.