“Did you see?” Marlee came into the room and bounced down on my bed, making my notes jump a few inches in the air. I glared at her as piles separated out from what I’d placed them in. Nothing like younger sisters to make research papers so much more frustrating.
“I’ve seen a lot of things, want to narrow it down?” I replied, fussing with the papers to get them back into the proper order.
Marlee stuck her tongue out at me for being bratty with her. “Old Mill Bridge is gone.” She offered, stopping me in my fidgeting tracks. She had a smug little smile now, proud of herself for catching me off guard.
“The Bridge? It’s gone?” I repeated. Marlee nodded solemnly, placing a mocking hand over her heart, in memory of the bridge so old and in such disrepair that people were forbidden from driving on it before we were even born. “Did the storm take it out?” I asked, referring to a decent sized thunderstorm we’d had two nights before.
“Nope. A proper construction crew came in and took it out. At like, three in the morning. Dad thinks it was so that the historical people couldn’t come down and protest them taking it down.” Marlee lounged back, squishing some of my papers. I was still too dazed to care.
“They tore the bridge down in the middle of the night.” I summarized.
“I’m kind of bummed out. It was like—a stupid senior year rite of passage to be dared to cross the bridge drunkenly at least once,” Marlee sighed, tucking her hands behind her head. “What stupid thing am I going to get to do now?”
The fact that the bridge was gone finally settled somewhere in the back my mind—clicking into place so I actually understood what the words meant. “I’ve got to go.” I jumped up and grabbed my car keys off my desk.
“What are you doing? Can I come?” Marlee called after me, but I ignored her.
I stuck my head into the living room where my parents were sitting. “Gotta go out for a second, I’ll be home soon.”
“Say hi to the old bridge for me,” My dad called back as I was already half way out the door.
When I pulled up, she was already there, her car parked at an angle off the side of the unused road. I parked next to her, and Chrissy gave me a smile from the driver’s seat.
“I knew you would come,” She shouted at me as we got out, “With your obsession with this place, someone would have had to tell you sooner rather than later.”
I approached her and she wrapped an arm around my waist. Together, we walked passed the ancient blockades that told cars to stop, and around the little bend to the bridge.
There was yellow ‘do not cross’ tape put up across the road, and a stack of old wood, haphazardly placed on the other side of the river, along with two big construction-y looking trucks, abandoned for the day. I felt something tighten in my chest and tried to squash it down. Crying over a bridge would rank in one of the silliest things I’d ever done.
“We’re not upset about the bridge,” Chrissy said aloud, as if she could read my thoughts, “We’re upset about the memories we had there.” She said it as if she was reassuring herself as well.
“Yeah. Yeah, that’s it.” I agreed, leaning my head against her shoulder. “After all, a lot of first happened there, didn’t they?”
Chrissy chuckled. “That they did.” She put a hand to her heart, just like my sister had earlier, but with world’s more sincerity. “Goodbye, Old Mill Bridge. Thanks for everything.”