N is for New Mexico #atozchallenge #amwriting


The Bridge

He grabs my hand. “Let’s cross the bridge.”

The sun is setting. The scruffy landscape, cast in pink, is devastating.

“Uh, let’s take this easy.”

“Carmen, stop being so afraid of everything.”

“Everything? This is a fucking bridge that is high up. I’ve told you one hundred and twelve times, I hate heights, especially over bridges!” My voice raises to the range that only dogs can hear.

Carl nods, sighs. “Okay. Just take my hand. We’ll walk in the middle unless a car comes.”

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. I feel like there should be some damn John Wayne tie-in

In the center of the bridge, I want to look over, see the river below, but I know the compulsion, that weird thing that rises in me that wants to toss me over the side or make me faint so that I collapse against the railing and, with the same result, go over the side. I don’t know if it’s me. I don’t talk about these things to other people. I hate heights. I hate bridges. I hate narrow boardwalks and piers even if they’re just inches above water.

Carl touches my cheek, his brown eyes sweet. “Sorry about before. Are you okay?”

I nod.

He leads me by the fingertips. “Look at us, Carmen! We’re in the center of history!” He dances some weird soft-shoe that his buddies back home would ridicule him for. I laugh.

We’ve walked across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, and I have survived.


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