“Would you like anything to drink? Water, coffee maybe?”
Bob shook his head. He made no eye contact from the bench he was sitting on. He stared at the dirty cement below his feet. Around them, the police and paramedics went about their business. Bob took no notice of it. Susanne sighed and sat beside him.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “Are you willing to answer a couple questions?”
“There was nothing I could do,” Bob said. “I couldn’t help her.”
“I know, Bob. We know.” A gust of wind tossed Susanne’s hair into her face. She brushed it back. “We’re just trying to understand what happened. Why it happened.”
There was a long pause before Bob continued on. He rubbed his shoe at a piece of aged gum stuck to the concrete. The tip of his toe smudged the blackness up slowly to reveal a blue underside. “I made reports about her before. I tried to warn you.” The gum rolled up from the surface, and Bob kicked it away. “I knew this was going to happen.”
“I know,” said Susanne. “The police have already confirmed that. But there was nothing they could legally do. She wasn’t breaking the law.” Another gust of wind came through. The dirty gum was stirred into a mix of dead leaves and lost. Susanne shivered and retreated her hands into her coat sleeves. She wished she had worn her gloves. “Did you ever talk to her?”
Bob folded his arms and shook his head. “Nope. I just saw her everyday, standing on the edge of that platform.” He let out a shallow sigh. “She would stand there on the very edge, the very corner, and just watch me as the train went by.” Susanne opened a small pad and began to write. “I knew it was going to happen,” he said. “I could see it in her eyes. She always looked me dead in the eye.”
“Did she ever make any indication of jumping?” Susanne asked.
“No.” Bob twisted his neck to look back at the corner of the train platform. “She just stood there with those empty blue eyes. Always right there, alone on the edge.”
“According to the police,” Susanne said, flipping back a few pages, “when she was questioned a few weeks back her response was that she was waiting for the next train.”
“She was,” Bob said. The wind blew again and carried with it a few drops of rain. “She was always waiting for the next train until it was the last one.”
Dark circles stained the cement around the bench. Susanne shifted restlessly. She wanted to ask Bob to come inside, but she was afraid he’d stop talking again. “What did you do when she jumped, Bob? Did you try to slow the train?”
Bob leaned forward on the bench and rested his elbows on his knees. His tears fell freely and mixed with the rain. “I watched,” he said quietly. “I had dreams about it happening. I lived it so many times before. When it actually happened, it didn’t seem real. It was like I was back in my dream again, me watching her and her watching me.” Bob turned his head and looked at Susanne for the first time that afternoon. “We made eye contact the entire time,” he said. “She had beautiful blue eyes.” The rain fell harder now, and the cement was entirely wet. “I watched her eyes and then she was gone.”