At 4:30 in the morning, the bridge is well-lit and beginning to come to life. Joggers, the die-hard and early-working, are spread out across its span, running the pedestrian walkway high above the car deck. Each of them alone, lost to their iPods or talking breathlessly into hands-free cell phones, they take no more than a passing glance at the skinny young man, dressed in black, standing beside the rail, leaning against a pylon and staring down at the water. Later, the only feature they'll be able to describe is the flat black visor he's wearing.
Something's here. No scent, above the running water and after so many days, but something's here, down in the deep and the dark. The sensation is faint, but unmistakable.They notice when he jumps. The nearest of the joggers, a man in expensive shoes and a shirt with the sleeves torn out, lunges to grab him, to pull him back, but the young man's gone, over the edge and without a sound. A woman drops her cellphone and screams, falling silent just in time to hear the splash. Before the rings and foam of impact have faded from the choppy waves, she's on her cell phone, hysterically telling the dispatcher at 911 what she's seen.
Hitting the water's like hitting sand, the impact bruising and stinging. Bubbles explode in all directions, erasing up and down, and the visor is ripped from his face, only kept from being lost by the tether around his neck. He spreads his limbs out to keep from spinning, and waits for equilibrium to return before stroking down, down away from the pale grey light of the surface. He swims down until his lungs burn, the salt stinging his eyes, and keeps going, the pressure popping his ears and the murk of the bottom blinding him. Something's here. He knows it. He finds the pylon again, a forested column of seaweed with a hard, barnacled core, cutting his hands on the shells, and follows it down, dragging himself deeper still when he can no longer swim down. His body's demanding air now, muscles cramping painfully, ribs jerking with attempts to breath, and he'll have to surface, have to- Here's the bottom, rocky and rough. Something's here, so close it pings against his skin, a warm itch that supersedes the burn of the stagnant salt water, and he fumbles blindiy from rock to rock. Until his fingers find plastic.A fire truck and an aide unit arrive at the same time, blocking traffic in one lane of the car deck below the pedestrian walk. The woman with the cell phone repeats herself hysterically again and again, telling them how the boy leapt, how young he looked and how if the man in the expensive shoes had been just a moment faster, he'd have caught him, grabbed his ankles or his ragged coat and kept him from falling. The man sits on one of the benches, well away from the rail, and cries. The only thing the paramedics can wrest out of him is that the boy looked the same age as his son.
A police boat arrives soon, with divers, and they search for hours, but no body is ever found.
Because Some's already gone