(*photo credit to Negativexposive*)
I thought about her for most of that day. I imagined her walking slowly, purposefully, towards the platform. Knowing. I wondered if she'd left anybody at home: if she'd left anybody. I assumed she probably had.
I thought about whether she'd had breakfast that morning: whether she might have chopped fresh strawberries onto her porridge or had poached eggs on brown toast, yolks perfectly runny, because they had always been her favourites. And perhaps, if you had a choice, you'd choose your favourite as your last. Perhaps.
Maybe she was a mother. Or a sister. Or a best friend. Or the 'lovely lady from the post office', whose chirpy, gleaming smile, the smile a little too big for her face, hid all of the broken parts. All of the parts she couldn't fix. I hoped it wasn't always that way. I hoped there was a time: a wonderful time, that she'd looked back on with fondness, now and again. A time when her world was painted in the hues of her favourite colours. When she felt nothing, really, but joy.
I thought about how loved she was. How that smile may have made strangers matter, for a moment, and how the warmth of her skin: its subtle scent of fresh clementine and vanilla, was a comfort blanket to a special few. I thought about how little it mattered as she saw the hurtling train and launched her beautiful body, a little thinner, a little frailer than before, in front of it. How little everything mattered compared to everything else: the crippling pain, the all encompassing sadness. Her desperation to escape it all.
I sat with the enormity of that for a while. The fucking weight of it. How we can so fiercely love, and love, and love, and be so fiercely loved.
And how sometimes, it simply isn't enough.
I imagined them, the ones who loved her, finding out. The heavy silence that would follow the words that would change the entire world and everything in it. The shock. The grief, crashing in like a tidal wave. The guilt, its loyal surfer. The 'should I?'s and 'could I?'s and 'what if?'s. Because 'surely, surely, there must have been something we could have done.'
I thought about the driver too, and the people on the platform. And those who would have to take her limp body from the tracks: the body that once walked and danced and held and surrendered, blissfully, to the touch of a lover. The body that was home to thoughts and ideas and dreams and hope, so much hope, before it housed only the mind that wouldn't heal.
I thought about the head shakes. The slow exhales. 'The waste of it all.' The closer embraces of that afternoon. The strong cups of tea that would have been made that day, because, sometimes, just sometimes, amidst the chaos: when somebody is there and then suddenly not there, there is so little else to do.
And yet. Despite it all, despite all of these terrible things, finding compassion in that pre-9am city crowd was like fumbling for a light switch in the darkness. Because the woman who jumped made them late. The woman who jumped paused their precious life for a moment, and apparently that was far worse than the fact she had just ended her own.
And I think that thought was the very saddest of all.