Step Back

By Taibhrigh

It's easy to say that I didn't see myself here a year ago, but do any of us really truly see ourselves in the future in a real state filled with possibilities that we controlled from the get go? Or is it a made up dream? A, this is where I *want* to be if I controlled the universe place. Probably explains why I've always hated that "were do you see yourself in five years" question. Who the hell really knows?

It's the here and now that matters because I definitely didn't see myself standing on the edge of a building trying to talk a jumper down while at the same time trying to distract him from noticing that the rescue crews were inflating an airbag underneath his projected fall path. Nope, not on my list of scheduled events for this fine Wednesday afternoon. But, here I am.

I'm not even sure I believe the words that are coming out of my mouth. They're not lies per say, just half truths that in the end could do more harm than good. But if they get us off the ledge, then they were worth the chance. If he jumps, I'll probably blame myself.

Thanks to the surveillance mic in my ear I know that Jim is pissed that I'm up on this ledge instead of him. Now he's telling me that it's the jumper's decision and neither outcome will be my fault. I sometimes think my partner is psychic.

"Not psychic, Chief, just know you," he says quietly into the mic and I know I said that last bit out loud. Oops. "Air bag's ready," he adds.

I know he still wishes we'd traded places. But honestly, Jim up here. He'd have tackled the guy. Pulled that scene from Lethal Weapon and I'd be having a heart attack down there on the ground as they both plummet towards the airbag. Not that Jim is really that rash, but I don't think this man needs someone with Jim's bearing trying to talk him down. I think that's what got him up here in the first place.

I glance down and shouldn't have. Yep, still afraid of heights and my next soothing dialogue to the jumper comes a little faster than it was meant to. Maybe it's my fear, or maybe it's my words, but at this point it doesn't matter, the young man is listening as I as I say that nothing in life is as bad as becoming a stain on the sidewalk that people ignore and step on.

He looks down at the crowd, the airbag and then over at me. "What do I do?" he asks.

"We take a step back and see what happens next," I answer. "That's all we can do."


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