The fourteen year old was on a ledge on the rooftop. There were no police or firefighters below.
No spotlight. He was alone as usual. He was in the dark as he was used to be.
“Should I jump?” he whispered to himself,
in the language of his dreams and not of his own country.
“Why should you?” a voice replied from behind, in the same language.
The teenager turned around. The man was not a young man. His hair already showed some white that reflected the moonlight, and his forehead was covered in crevices.
“No one cares about me,” the teenager replied.
“Why do you think that?”
“Today is my birthday… and no one remembered.”
“How old are you now?”
“Fourteen. Will you tell me now that things will change when I am an adult?”
The man shook his head and took a step towards the teenager. “No. I think they won’t change.”
The teenager smiled. “Well, there is at least one adult that doesn’t lie.”
“I would never lie to you.”
“So why should I not jump? No one cares.”
The man took another step, his hands still in the pockets of his black coat. “What about you? Do you care about others?”
The teenager shrugged. “Yeah. Sadly I do.”
“Then why don’t you live to care about others? To take care of them” the man asked, now on the ledge too, pointing to the buildings below.
“I don’t know how much I would be able to endure. I am fourteen and the pain is already too much.”
The man grabbed one of the teenager shoulders. They both had scars on their faces, but the man had a couple more.
“What about twenty years more? Could you take care of them for two decades?”
“And then you can rest.”
“I guess I could live until my thirties.”
“I know you can. Let’s meet here in twenty years then. Same rooftop, same day, same time.”
The teenager nodded, and started walking to the stairs.
“Don’t forget to care,” the man said just before the teenager closed the door to the stairs.
Only then the man jumped, and rested.