When Seth had finished eating, he went up to his room and tried to focus on doing his homework. But his mind was just not in it, and for some reason, he felt himself being drawn to the river. He just felt the urge to drive out to the waterfront. He snuck out of his room and went downstairs. Seeing that the plate of food was empty, the tv. was off and his dad was asleep again, Seth crept out the door and into his car. He put the top back up, noting that it had gotten colder, and grabbed his favourite Bench sweater from the backseat. Throwing it on, he got in the driver's seat and started up the engine, feeling content for the first time since coming home, the hum of the engine reminding him of the presence of his mother in his life. He put on his iPod through the car's stereo system, and turned on his favourite All-American Rejects song. He liked the beat and the lyrics were so reminiscent of his own life. He pulled out of the driveway and made his way downtown.

Finally arriving at the mall, he parked by the Galaxy Cinemas at the mall parking lot, turned off the car and the music, and got out of the car, locking it. He walked away from the mall, towards the boardwalk and the river. Looking across the water, he could see the buildings of the city with the same name, but a completely different country. He noted that there were more US flags flying from two or three buildings on the other side of the river, than there are Canadian flags on his side altogether. "Ha, that's patriotism for you..." He laughed to himself.

Seth started walking along the boardwalk towards the marina. He didn't know why exactly, but something there was pulling him towards it. As he got closer, he noticed that there was only one car in the lot, a metallic blue Jeep that he recognized from school, but he couldn't think of whose it was. As he kept walking towards the marina, he saw a figure at the end of the boardwalk, their silhouette making a strange shape with the railing at the edge of the walkway. In a flash, Seth knew exactly what was happening, the person, whoever it was, was standing on the far side of the railing. The side directly above the cold water of the fast moving St. Mary's.

Seth had no idea how he had been drawn there, but he knew exactly why. This person was about to commit suicide! There was no way that Seth could let this happen, whether or not he actually knew the person, or if he even liked whoever it was, Seth had endured too much death in his lifetime to allow another person to end one more. He ran quickly to the end of the boardwalk, until he was within a few feet of whoever it was; it was still too dark out for him to see, all he could tell was that it was a guy.

"Please don't do this...it's not the right answer. Whatever problems you have, we can sort them out...please don't let go!" Seth pleaded, hoping that the person would heed his warning. Then he heard a response, in a strangely familiar voice. "You don't know me! You don't have any idea what I'm going through. Just leave me alone, to do this one last thing in peace!" Suddenly it came to him. "Corey, please don't jump, you mean too much to too many people. What about your parents? What about Lauren? Not to mention everyone in the world who enjoys your show...including me!"

Corey was shocked to realize that it was Seth once again. He didn't understand why this guy just wouldn't leave him alone. But as he thought about what Seth had said, he realized he was right. He couldn't just leave his parents, or Lauren...not like this. Not because of Kyle. Corey deserved better than someone like that, and he deserved a better farewell than letting Kyle get the best of him. He slowly drew back from the edge, and made his way back over the railing.

Corey was lifting his right leg over the wooden railing when he heard a horrifying sound. The snapping of wooden planks beneath his feet! With a look of sheer horror on his face, Corey began falling into the rushing water below. He just managed to grab hold of the railing with one hand before he was all the way in, but he knew he couldn't hold on for long. The water was much colder than he would have expected, and it was sapping every last bit of energy from his body. He knew he was going to die, and he realized this really wasn't how he wanted to go.

Seth reacted almost instantly and used his football training to tackle the railing next to him, and brake off a shaft of wood about a meter long. He held the pole with both hands, and slowly lowered it to within reach of Corey, whose face was slowly turning blue. "Hold on Corey! I'm not going to let you go like this!" He yelled, hoping Corey was still conscious enough to hear and understand.

Corey was almost at the point of losing consciousness when the pole was finally within his grasp. With a big lunge, he reached out, but he missed the pole. He was able to hold on to the railing again, but there was not way he was going to be able to try again; he just didn't have the strength. He had never been a good swimmer, and the thought of drowning terrified him.

 

Seth realized that the pole wasn't going to work, so he remembered his NLS training, and began tearing off his clothes. With just his boxers left, he jumped to the edge of the railing. There was no way even he could beat the current with an undertow as strong as this one, he only had one chance to grab Corey. Taking a deep breath, Seth wrapped his legs around one of the remaining wooden posts of the railing, and let his torso drop down into the icy water. Immediately, he started losing strength. Fighting to stay afloat in the current, he reached out and grabbed Corey's hand, just as he was letting go. With a great effort, he was able to grab Corey's other hand as well, and started to pull. He heard creaking from behind him, and he realized that this part of the banister was also going to break. He had to move quickly if he was going to save Corey, and also himself.

Using all the strength he could muster, he pulled himself back up to the boardwalk, still holding on to both of Corey's hands. Corey was now unconscious. With one last great pull, he was able to heave them both back onto the walkway. Fighting against the cold setting in, Seth tried to remember his mouth-to-mouth training. Knowing that help would take too long to get there, he was the only chance that Corey had.

Seth placed his mouth against Corey's, and was shocked by how cold they were. Scared as hell, he began filling Corey's lungs with air, and listening to see if it had worked. He heard nothing, and Corey still wasn't breathing on his own. So Seth tried again, breathing his own air into Corey's lungs. Again and again he did this, praying that he wasn't too late. Just when he was about to give up hope, Corey coughed, and spluttered, and a mouthful of water was spat out. Seth was so relieved, and he picked Corey up and pulled the other boy to him, trying to warm them both up. Corey was delirious, but alive, and the warmth of the other boy's body was helping. Corey knew that there was still a good chance that Corey would get hypothermia, and knowing he wasn't far from the hospital, he scooped Corey up into his arms, grabbed his clothes, and ran for his car. He tossed his clothes in the backseat, and laid Corey down on top of them, trying to make a sort of bed. He jumped into the driver's seat, and without putting on his seatbelt, he took off, like a bat out of hell.

They made it to the hospital in record time, and he again grabbed Corey out of the backseat. He saw that he was shivering fiercely and made a mad dash into the emergency room. The nurse at the front desk took one look at the boys, one of whom was clearly still turning blue, and said, "Take him to floor three right now, I'll have a nurse ready to receive him as soon as you get there! Run!" Not stopping for a millisecond, Seth did exactly as she said, and was relieved to see not only a nurse ready for them, but also a doctor, and a bed. He laid Corey down on the bed, and as he was wheeled away by the doctor, his heart slowed down for the first time since he'd seen a mysterious figure at the end of the boardwalk.

After pulling on his clothes once again, and parking his car in the visitor's lot, Seth made his way back into the hospital. He went back up to the third floor, and sat in the waiting room. After about 20 minutes, Corey's parents arrived, wrought with panic and worry. He barely had time to point them in the direction of his room before they were off again, without so much as a whisper. Seth couldn't help but worry about Corey, after all, he admired him so much, and despite their earlier argument, he felt that they had so much in common, he almost felt as though he needed the other boy. The time in the waiting room seemed to snail by, and every time a doctor or a nurse would walk by, he would look up hoping to hear good news. But each one would just continue walking down the hallway, and Seth would continue to wait.

It was almost three o'clock in the morning by the time someone came to get him. A very pretty nurse, in her mid twenties came to get Seth, smiling at him. "Thanks to your efforts young man, Mr. Silver is going to be just fine, although he is quite shaken up, as anyone would. His parents would like to speak with you, and Corey himself specifically asked that you to come see him." She smiled at him again, and led him to Corey's room. "I'll leave you guys alone, but only for ten minutes. He is recovering from quite a traumatizing experience, and he needs his sleep, ok?" Seth agreed and walked into the room, a little awkwardly...he wasn't sure how to feel.

Seth was looking at his feet and didn't look up until he got to the bed. Slowly he raised his eyes to see Corey's face, a more-or-less normal colour, but very shaken up. Corey smiled at Seth, and for some unknown reason, this one smile made his heart jump. "You saved my life," Corey said simply, "...you saved my life after everything that I said. I guess that means that I don't know what I'm talking about. If you had been who I thought you were, you wouldn't have done even half the things you did for me." The smile that had been on his face disappeared slowly. "I owe you an explanation, but I'm just not ready to give one yet. I just need some time to think things over. I want you to know though, that I'm so grateful for you being there for me, and I'm sorry for everything I said..." A single tear escaped his eye, and somehow, in his soul, Seth knew exactly what Corey had been through. It was something like what he himself had been through this past summer. He didn't need to say anything; he just reached out and grasped the other boy's hand in his. They smiled softly at each other, knowing that they had both misjudged the other, and Corey gradually fell asleep, still holding Seth's hand. When the nurse did come back, she was with Corey's parents who thanked Seth for doing what he did for their son. He felt a little awkward around them, but said that he would return to visit soon. The nurse felt awful for asking Seth to leave; there was never a good time to bring bad news, but the sooner the better, and it was important that Seth not be there to hear...

When Seth had finished eating, he went up to his room and tried to focus on doing his homework. But his mind was just not in it, and for some reason, he felt himself being drawn to the river. He just felt the urge to drive out to the waterfront. He snuck out of his room and went downstairs. Seeing that the plate of food was empty, the tv. was off and his dad was asleep again, Seth crept out the door and into his car. He put the top back up, noting that it had gotten colder, and grabbed his favourite Bench sweater from the backseat. Throwing it on, he got in the driver's seat and started up the engine, feeling content for the first time since coming home, the hum of the engine reminding him of the presence of his mother in his life. He put on his iPod through the car's stereo system, and turned on his favourite All-American Rejects song. He liked the beat and the lyrics were so reminiscent of his own life. He pulled out of the driveway and made his way downtown.

Finally arriving at the mall, he parked by the Galaxy Cinemas at the mall parking lot, turned off the car and the music, and got out of the car, locking it. He walked away from the mall, towards the boardwalk and the river. Looking across the water, he could see the buildings of the city with the same name, but a completely different country. He noted that there were more US flags flying from two or three buildings on the other side of the river, than there are Canadian flags on his side altogether. "Ha, that's patriotism for you..." He laughed to himself.

Seth started walking along the boardwalk towards the marina. He didn't know why exactly, but something there was pulling him towards it. As he got closer, he noticed that there was only one car in the lot, a metallic blue Jeep that he recognized from school, but he couldn't think of whose it was. As he kept walking towards the marina, he saw a figure at the end of the boardwalk, their silhouette making a strange shape with the railing at the edge of the walkway. In a flash, Seth knew exactly what was happening, the person, whoever it was, was standing on the far side of the railing. The side directly above the cold water of the fast moving St. Mary's.

Seth had no idea how he had been drawn there, but he knew exactly why. This person was about to commit suicide! There was no way that Seth could let this happen, whether or not he actually knew the person, or if he even liked whoever it was, Seth had endured too much death in his lifetime to allow another person to end one more. He ran quickly to the end of the boardwalk, until he was within a few feet of whoever it was; it was still too dark out for him to see, all he could tell was that it was a guy.

"Please don't do this...it's not the right answer. Whatever problems you have, we can sort them out...please don't let go!" Seth pleaded, hoping that the person would heed his warning. Then he heard a response, in a strangely familiar voice. "You don't know me! You don't have any idea what I'm going through. Just leave me alone, to do this one last thing in peace!" Suddenly it came to him. "Corey, please don't jump, you mean too much to too many people. What about your parents? What about Lauren? Not to mention everyone in the world who enjoys your show...including me!"

Corey was shocked to realize that it was Seth once again. He didn't understand why this guy just wouldn't leave him alone. But as he thought about what Seth had said, he realized he was right. He couldn't just leave his parents, or Lauren...not like this. Not because of Kyle. Corey deserved better than someone like that, and he deserved a better farewell than letting Kyle get the best of him. He slowly drew back from the edge, and made his way back over the railing.

Corey was lifting his right leg over the wooden railing when he heard a horrifying sound. The snapping of wooden planks beneath his feet! With a look of sheer horror on his face, Corey began falling into the rushing water below. He just managed to grab hold of the railing with one hand before he was all the way in, but he knew he couldn't hold on for long. The water was much colder than he would have expected, and it was sapping every last bit of energy from his body. He knew he was going to die, and he realized this really wasn't how he wanted to go.

Seth reacted almost instantly and used his football training to tackle the railing next to him, and brake off a shaft of wood about a meter long. He held the pole with both hands, and slowly lowered it to within reach of Corey, whose face was slowly turning blue. "Hold on Corey! I'm not going to let you go like this!" He yelled, hoping Corey was still conscious enough to hear and understand.

Corey was almost at the point of losing consciousness when the pole was finally within his grasp. With a big lunge, he reached out, but he missed the pole. He was able to hold on to the railing again, but there was not way he was going to be able to try again; he just didn't have the strength. He had never been a good swimmer, and the thought of drowning terrified him.

Seth realized that the pole wasn't going to work, so he remembered his NLS training, and began tearing off his clothes. With just his boxers left, he jumped to the edge of the railing. There was no way even he could beat the current with an undertow as strong as this one, he only had one chance to grab Corey. Taking a deep breath, Seth wrapped his legs around one of the remaining wooden posts of the railing, and let his torso drop down into the icy water. Immediately, he started losing strength. Fighting to stay afloat in the current, he reached out and grabbed Corey's hand, just as he was letting go. With a great effort, he was able to grab Corey's other hand as well, and started to pull. He heard creaking from behind him, and he realized that this part of the banister was also going to break. He had to move quickly if he was going to save Corey, and also himself.

Using all the strength he could muster, he pulled himself back up to the boardwalk, still holding on to both of Corey's hands. Corey was now unconscious. With one last great pull, he was able to heave them both back onto the walkway. Fighting against the cold setting in, Seth tried to remember his mouth-to-mouth training. Knowing that help would take too long to get there, he was the only chance that Corey had.

Seth placed his mouth against Corey's, and was shocked by how cold they were. Scared as hell, he began filling Corey's lungs with air, and listening to see if it had worked. He heard nothing, and Corey still wasn't breathing on his own. So Seth tried again, breathing his own air into Corey's lungs. Again and again he did this, praying that he wasn't too late. Just when he was about to give up hope, Corey coughed, and spluttered, and a mouthful of water was spat out. Seth was so relieved, and he picked Corey up and pulled the other boy to him, trying to warm them both up. Corey was delirious, but alive, and the warmth of the other boy's body was helping. Corey knew that there was still a good chance that Corey would get hypothermia, and knowing he wasn't far from the hospital, he scooped Corey up into his arms, grabbed his clothes, and ran for his car. He tossed his clothes in the backseat, and laid Corey down on top of them, trying to make a sort of bed. He jumped into the driver's seat, and without putting on his seatbelt, he took off, like a bat out of hell.

They made it to the hospital in record time, and he again grabbed Corey out of the backseat. He saw that he was shivering fiercely and made a mad dash into the emergency room. The nurse at the front desk took one look at the boys, one of whom was clearly still turning blue, and said, "Take him to floor three right now, I'll have a nurse ready to receive him as soon as you get there! Run!" Not stopping for a millisecond, Seth did exactly as she said, and was relieved to see not only a nurse ready for them, but also a doctor, and a bed. He laid Corey down on the bed, and as he was wheeled away by the doctor, his heart slowed down for the first time since he'd seen a mysterious figure at the end of the boardwalk.

After pulling on his clothes once again, and parking his car in the visitor's lot, Seth made his way back into the hospital. He went back up to the third floor, and sat in the waiting room. After about 20 minutes, Corey's parents arrived, wrought with panic and worry. He barely had time to point them in the direction of his room before they were off again, without so much as a whisper. Seth couldn't help but worry about Corey, after all, he admired him so much, and despite their earlier argument, he felt that they had so much in common, he almost felt as though he needed the other boy. The time in the waiting room seemed to snail by, and every time a doctor or a nurse would walk by, he would look up hoping to hear good news. But each one would just continue walking down the hallway, and Seth would continue to wait.

It was almost three o'clock in the morning by the time someone came to get him. A very pretty nurse, in her mid twenties came to get Seth, smiling at him. "Thanks to your efforts young man, Mr. Silver is going to be just fine, although he is quite shaken up, as anyone would. His parents would like to speak with you, and Corey himself specifically asked that you to come see him." She smiled at him again, and led him to Corey's room. "I'll leave you guys alone, but only for ten minutes. He is recovering from quite a traumatizing experience, and he needs his sleep, ok?" Seth agreed and walked into the room, a little awkwardly...he wasn't sure how to feel.

Seth was looking at his feet and didn't look up until he got to the bed. Slowly he raised his eyes to see Corey's face, a more-or-less normal colour, but very shaken up. Corey smiled at Seth, and for some unknown reason, this one smile made his heart jump. "You saved my life," Corey said simply, "...you saved my life after everything that I said. I guess that means that I don't know what I'm talking about. If you had been who I thought you were, you wouldn't have done even half the things you did for me." The smile that had been on his face disappeared slowly. "I owe you an explanation, but I'm just not ready to give one yet. I just need some time to think things over. I want you to know though, that I'm so grateful for you being there for me, and I'm sorry for everything I said..." A single tear escaped his eye, and somehow, in his soul, Seth knew exactly what Corey had been through. It was something like what he himself had been through this past summer. He didn't need to say anything; he just reached out and grasped the other boy's hand in his. They smiled softly at each other, knowing that they had both misjudged the other, and Corey gradually fell asleep, still holding Seth's hand. When the nurse did come back, she was with Corey's parents who thanked Seth for doing what he did for their son. He felt a little awkward around them, but said that he would return to visit soon. The nurse felt awful for asking Seth to leave; there was never a good time to bring bad news, but the sooner the better, and it was important that Seth not be there to hear...

 

Josh Volland

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