The Foot Bridge

The Foot Bridge

Tola stood at the junction, looked ahead the foot bridge, counting in her head how many steps to crossover to the other side. She looked beneath the bridge and thought out loud “I just saw an alligator down there. And there’s a monkey with an owl too.

Haven’t seen that one before, not even the ninety-something year old tortoise at the park”. As her fingers counted the imaginary steps she’d be taking, a loud sigh blew from her lips. “It’s okay Dear, we’re doing this together. This is the best part of our tour?” Gab talked calmly to ease Tola’s nerves. “I know right. But now that I’m here, it looks more scary than fun.” Tola replied maintaining the forced smile on her face. “Hope I don’t fall over”.

“It’s our turn to go now dear” as Gab held Tola’s hand while taking the first step. Tola followed hesitantly and the other three tourists followed behind. As everyone else held both ropes of the bridge while walking along, it didn’t take long for Tola to loose hold of Gab and grab both handles herself. A few steps ahead and all five of them on the bridge got to the end and “Whew! Glad it’s finally over” were the next words from Tola. “That was easy though”.

“Sorry to burst your bubbles Missy but we’re just about halfway there yet”. One of the other tourists responded to Tola’s remarks. Trying not to lose her calmness, Tola gave a wide teeth smile to the dude. So they headed for the next bridge with Tola pulling Gab backwards. “Let’s take the back seat this time sweetie.” allowing the other three walk ahead.

Halfway down the bridge, a buckle fell off the right side rope of the bridge. Fortunately, no one else besides Gab noticed who even paid less attention. A few steps forward, as Tola held on to another segment of the bridge’s rope, another buckle holding that segment loosened and fell off, this time, leaving an awe reaction on Tola’s face. “Come on dear, why the sudden pause?” As Gab looked backed and noticed Tola’s mouth wide open, legs shaking, and holding on tight to the rope on her left side. Gab paid less attention to anything else save Tola’s unusual face.

With Gab’s eyes set on Tola and the other three, a few walks ahead of Gab, he struggled to get the shaking words from Tola’s lips before seeing the loosened rope next to her. Now Gab’s mouth and eyes turned wide open as he realised and grabbed onto the same side of the bridge as Tola. This time, others ahead couldn’t but noticed the usual leftward swaying of the bridge and turned back, out of curiosity. To their surprise, they too grabbed onto the same side leaving the other side more slanted upwards.

A little while later, a loud voice came from the front of the bridge. “Okay guys, we can’t stay here all day knowing we are the last crew to cross this bridge and get it over with. So we need to keep moving somehow.” the front guy exclaimed. “You keep moving and we’ll follow your lead Andy” Gab responded.

“Or do you need me to lead the way from the back!?” …the stretching voice of Tola responding to Andy’s comment. So Andy took his next step while still holding on to the left side of the bridge. Others followed on the same side as Gab kept looking back at Tola to see if she was also coming through.

Suddenly to Tola’s right, a monkey humped on to the loose rope of the bridge yielding a screaming reflex from Tola and a pausing reaction from the other four tourists on the bridge. This time the bridge swayed towards the right as the monkey swung his flexible curvy structure on the rope back and forth.

The more he swung, however, the more buckles fell off the right side of the bridge leaving more ropes freely dangling and the bridge losing more handle to the right. “Somebody please shoot me now before I turn to an alligator’s lunch” Tola screamed out raising the anxiety of others.

“Gabriel! Please remind me to never come here with you again, if I make it out alive.” Tola cried at this point but Gab, however focused more on getting himself out of that bridge. “I know you don’t mean that dear but please let’s keep moving while this bridge is still hanging”. “Can someone please tell that monkey to quit tormenting us already? And why are we still not moving yet? Who’s keeping us here against our will? Somebody PLEASE! keep moving!”

After so much screaming, whining and screeching, Tola finally got the courage to move closer towards Gab. With her left hand holding tight to the left bridge’s rope, Tola stretched her right arm across Gab to grab on to the rope in front of him, followed by her right foot and finally, found herself in front of Gab.

The screaming had extended to other tourists on the bridge as Tola moved closer to the next guy in front of Gab and maneuvered herself to his front amidst it all. Even Andy at the extreme end was busy screaming, he barely noticed Tola was ahead of him already.

“Two down, two to go” Tola thought out loud as she moved closer to the lady just before her, behind Andy. Through the swaying and screaming, Tola found her way to get next to Andy and finally ahead of him. “Hey Tola, see I told you this would be fun but not as crazy shit life-threatening like this though. I’m coming through by the way.” Gab couldn’t keep up with the screaming any longer and followed to catch up with Tola who was close to the bridge’s exit already.

Micheal Tadese


photo credit: pixabay