Will He Jump?

By 7:45 am, a crowd had gathered on the Corniche, heads tilted back to get a good look. There were TV cameras, sirens too. A jumper clung to red scaffolding near the 9th floor of an unfinished high-rise luxury apartment building.

I had only been there for five minutes and I was already an anxious wreck. I hadn't come to see a man die. I'd come to see what the fuss was about. Now that I knew, I couldn't leave without knowing how it would end. Not very many people can actually go through with it, after all. I had to know if he, this jumper, was one of those who could.

I waited. The jumper teased the crowd, letting go with one hand and maintaining only a tenuous grasp with the other. Other times he gestured wildly at the soldiers who had arrived to attempt a rescue. Did I want him to be brought to safety or did I want him to get it over with?

I looked around the crowd. What about everyone else standing there, staring at him like I was? Did they want him to jump? Is that what they were there to see? Maybe just the opposite. Maybe they were staying nearby to pray and hope him back to safety. Or were they there for the reason I was there? Maybe all they wanted was to have the question answered, to not leave the scene before they knew how it would all end.

As I waited one bystander said the jumper had been there since 6:30 in the morning. That's it, I thought. He's not a jumper. If he was, he would have finished the job long ago.

Shortly before 9:00 am, the crowd on the Corniche was cheering. Soldiers at the scene had successfully taken him into custody and brought him safely down to the ground.


  1. Wow, what does one do when confronted with that situation? I have never been in that situation before. Hummmmmm. At least things resolved nicely for the time being.
    Grandpa Dan

  2. Makes me nervous just looking at the picture!