The Last Ten Minutes
The Last Ten Minutes
It was a shadowy night when Atticus Ford jumped off the fence and sneaked out of his own house. The brightness of a distant streetlight down the lane guided him along the path. Ford was well aware of the fact that scarpering out of his own house, would bring no honor to his family, and that he was wronging his wife.
But alas, someone had said, everything is fair in love and war. In times of war, we lose our loved ones, but in times of love, we lose ourselves. And Ford had lost himself many years ago, to this woman who he was going to see, while his wife and children slept in the comfort of his manor. He cheated his family every once in a year to meet the love of his life, Catherine, who awaited his presence in the middle of the Brighton Bridge. She would carry a basket full of pastries that Atticus admired so much.
Ford started to run as his pocket watch ticked faster. If he were late he would miss her sight. Those ten minutes on the Brighton Bridge were the fastest moments of his life. How he wished to slow them down, so he could be there with Catherine to tell her about his time in the war and that he would leave his family forever to be with her. Every instance he thought about that, he spiraled in a sensation of zeal and remorse.
The parky weather was biting his fingertips and as he breathed, fog seeped out of his mouth. Ford’s body was shaking as if it were about to fall apart and his eyes were looking for a carriage to climb in. And soon as he walked further he found an abandoned carriage and without another moment's delay, he climbed and raced towards the bridge. He only had a few minutes spared or Catherine would go away. The horse neighed as Ford smacked his back with a whip. It was the only sound in the shallow streets of London.
Soon he reached there with two minutes still in hand. There was no one on the bridge. Not a single soul. Ford decided to wait assuming that Catherine would be there anytime. An hour passed and boaters had started to gather along the banks of Thames. A drop of tear fell into the restless water of the Thames as Atticus started losing hope. Soon a rower approached him with a basket and a little envelope.
“Who gave this to you?” He asked while looking at the pastries in the basket.
“The lady in the carriage, sir.” The rower said and went away.
Ford stared at the black carriage at the bottom of the bridge. The curtains were drawn—the carriage was frozen in its place.
Catherine watched Atticus from the carriage. He knew it was her, and he didn’t run away. He waited for her, and it was the last time, they would spend ten minutes with each other—gaping at the blankness in the air, trying to have wordless conversations. Only if she weren’t sick, she would’ve climbed down the carriage and kissed him till her last breath. But nothing is fair in death. Not even love.
At the last second of the tenth minute, the carriage drove away, into lifting mists of the city. Atticus opened the envelope to find words written in Catherine’s beautiful handwriting.
We fell in love, and we keep falling.