He was dressed all in white
Which was quite a curious thing.
She prayed that he wouldn’t sit down
On the seat next to her on the bus.
He did stop beside her and she shuffled along,
Hoping that at least he’d stay quiet.
It’s going to be OK, he said after a mile or two.
She looked at him properly for the very first time,
The sun filtered through windows to blind her with light.
I haven’t a clue what you mean, she muttered,
But way deep down in the pit of her stomach
She knew that he knew.
There was something extraordinary
About the man dressed in white.
He smiled and he stroked at her face
And everything melted away.
He was gone by the time they reached the next stop,
But he saved her that day.
She had been travelling to the place where she planned to jump,
Feeling empty and dark, a weight on the world.
It only took one person to shine in a light.
Whether he was real or an angel on the bus,
It really didn’t matter,
He quietened the chatter inside of her head,
For just long enough
To pull her away from the edge.
I feel like everyone needs an angel at some point in their life. And I like to believe that sometimes we get one sent down. There has been a lot of talk about suicide in the UK over this weekend and the need to reach out and talk when things are difficult. But this is a bloody scary thing to do when you already feel crappy, and sometimes it needs to be the other way round.
The brilliant book The Stranger on the Bridge by Jonny Benjamin is a perfect example of this. When somebody is right there on the edge, it can be a stranger who makes all the difference. I know that everyone hates the person who comes and sits next to them on the bus and starts having a conversation when all you want to do is read, but we are a social species and surely the world would be a better place if we all connected a little bit more.
I really do believe in angels, whether they be normal people put in a certain place at just the right time, or some sort of messenger sent straight from God Himself, I really think they are out there. Perhaps we should all aim to be a little bit more like the angel on the bridge. You never know what awful set of events you might stop from happening.