Broken Bridge


For some reason, I could not stop myself from leaving that place. I could not help myself sitting at the edge of the broken bridge. The bridge seemed so familiar, so ordinary. It was a bridge that I had seen before. Yes, I knew it, I knew the woods without human habitation, I knew how to go there when the bridge was not there. I also knew many things about the bridge. A vague memory was hovering in front of me. I seemed to fly away, back to the time when I had my best friend Andreas beside me, when we used to play in these woods, the very woods that were in front of me, right then.

It was the same bridge that Andreas (whom I called Andre) and I made when we were just teenagers. The bridge was made up of dry boughs of trees, very firm and sturdy, which were tied together with firm ropes. The heap of brown, crackling leaves was still scattered on the bridge. Everything was fine but the bridge was broken, unrepaired since the unfortunate incident took place. The two hundred years old banyan tree, on whose branch we tied the strong rope to cross the bridge, was there too. Even the bricks that we kept on the other side of the bridge were there, except the boughs with which the bridge was made, were not as steady as before. They looked like stairs made of sand, which seem to be rigid but when one stands on them, they break into pieces. The broken bridge reminded me of our childhood, the times when Andre and I spent together.

The vague memory became slowly clear. I could see us swinging from this edge of the land to the woods and the river flowing beneath. I could clearly remember the storm that came and broke our bridge, the bridge to the Aden forest (the name of the woods given by us). I could also remember that day, the very day I lost one of my precious things in life. The scene of the storm was vivid in front of my eyes. It looked like as if it were that day when I was watching the storm. I saw the storm, then the thunder that broke our bridge. The memory of Andre attempting to cross the bridge and falling – struck my mind. I could visualize Andre running towards the bridge and trying to cross it using the rope we tied to the tree as the bridge was broken. I saw Andre holding the rope very tightly, and the swing he attempted, the ten yards’ fall… and then my best friend’s dead body.

“No!!,” a scream came out of my mouth. Suddenly everything seemed clear. It dawned on me that I was thinking about the past. It was not Andre falling from the great height and dying but it was just the broken bridge for which I lost my friend, my best friend.