I was visiting a classmate's dorm for a study session when someone outside started shouting down the hall, "There's a girl on the roof who's about to jump!" Within seconds almost all of the doors in the hallway opened as people piled toward the stairwell, heading down to get a better look.
Without a word, I grabbed my jacket and headed toward the stairwell, but found myself fighting the stream of traffic to head up instead of down. Finally, after several minutes of struggling, I made my way to the roof entrance where a smaller group of students had gathered, too timid to go onto the roof itself, and made my way past them.
When my eyes adjust to the bright sunlight, I saw a girl standing precariously on the edge of the building. I tried to make my way to her as quietly as I could, but, when I got about ten yards away, I crunched some gravel beneath my boot and she quickly spun to her side and barked, "Don't you come any closer or I'll jump!"
The suddenness of everything startled me for a second, it took a moment for me to collect my thoughts but when I finished I resumed walking toward her and said, "No you won't."
A look of awe and disgust came on her face as I sat down about ten feet away from her, letting my legs dangle over the edge. "Don't you tell me what I won't do," she said, "You don't know anything about me!"
I looked her up and down slowly, "I know more about you than you probably realize."
She scoffed at me and spun back around fixing her gaze on the horizon, "Yeah, like what?" she said with disgust in her voice.
"I know that you're here because of your boyfriend, David I believe his name is. He's a controlling and manipulating prick but you care about him a lot, especially since he's an older guy. In fact, I think you came over here today to surprise him with a special date, but you two had an argument of some kind, probably because you caught him with another woman, and, after some tears, you ran up to the roof."
She spun around so fast she nearly lost her balance. Even though she tried to maintain a poker face, the look in her eyes changed to shock, "H-H-How did you know all of that?"
"If I tell you, will you come down?"
She looked around for a second a bit unsure but when her eyes met mine again her curiosity piqued, "Sure, I guess."
"Very well, today is Saturday but you're dressed in very nice clothes, including make up and freshly-washed hair. You were clearly planning on doing something nice or at seeing someone special," I began.
She nodded impatiently.
"On your left arm there's a bracelet and on it is printed the name 'David'. Now, only manipulating and/or self-absorbed guys give their girlfriends jewelry with their name on it…"
"Wait a second," she interrupted, "How did you know I didn't have it made?"
"Easy, the rest of your jewelry is silver, the bracelet is gold and it doesn't even match your clothes. It's clearly not something you would have bought for yourself."
"Oh," she sighed.
"Anyway, I knew you had had an argument with him recently because the make up on your face is still running from the tears. Oh, and I knew he was an older guy because you're on the roof of the guys upperclassmen dorm and you yourself look like a freshman, though I have to admit that was just a guess."
She dropped her head for a second. "But a very good one," she said solemnly.
"There's nothing wrong with being a freshman," I said. "But there is something wrong with standing on the roof of a building threatening to jump so, if you don't have any more questions, would you mind coming down so we can talk about this in a bit more reasonable environment, preferably before the police arrive?"
"One more question," she said as I began to move, "How did you know I wasn't going to jump?"
"That one's easy. If you were going to jump, you would have done so before I got here, " I leaned over the side of the building to look down, "Besides, it's only a seven-story building. Tall enough definitely, but certainly not a jumper's first choice."
She glanced down for a second and nodded.
"I figured you were just trying to get someone's attention. But, if you want my opinion, I don't think this guy's worth your time. So why don't you come down and I'll buy you a late lunch so we talk in a more relaxed environment?"
With that, she smiled brightly for a second, grabbed my hand, stepped away from the edge and together we quickly dashed out of the building. We spent the rest of the day talking about what had happened and by the time the sun set I realized that out of the ordeal I had gained one very good friend.
A friend that remains to this day…