she leant her weight against the metal railing overlooking the calm river, feeling the pressure of the cold, thin bar pushing into her arm through the flannel material of her jacket. a small, blue lock rested in her gloved palm. she inserted the key into the hole, twisting it absentmindedly.
her gaze flitted over to a laughing couple a distance away.
“let me, let me! i want to do it,” the girl pouted prettily, pushing her hair away from her face impatiently. “come on.”
“okay, but i get to attach the lock to the bridge.”
“fine. gimme the key.” the boy fumbled in his pocket for a moment, before producing a delicate, silver lock. he turned the key—it was fitted in already—and yanked it open. he knelt down in front of the wire fence, and fixed it amongst the many others, most of them already rust-edged.
“here,” he handed the key to the girl, who took it gingerly, as if it were fragile. perhaps it was.
love lock bridge, this place was called. it was believed that during the first world war, a schoolmistress, fell in love with an officer. they loved each other deeply, and got engaged. as fate would have it, the officer was called away to war, and fell in love with another woman. as a consequence, the engagement was broken off. the poor schoolmistress never recovered from her heartbreak, and died soon after.
as young women from her village wanted to protect their own loves, they started writing down their names, with the names of their loved ones, on padlocks and affixing them to the railings of the bridge where the officer and the schoolmistress used to meet. and the tradition stuck since.
i always thought it was the most exquisite story. love. that was what those locks stood for. i hadn’t known that in a while.
the young lovers were a few metres away from me now. they had stopped, and were sharing a passionate kiss, folded into each other’s loving embrace.
i glanced down at the lock nestled snugly in the palm of my hand. my fingers grazed over the two faded names written in black sharpie on its surface. my hand clenched into a fist, as did my heart.
the key flew high in a smooth arc, a dazzling sun ray glinting off its surface, before landing with a barely notable splash in the water, soon followed by the lock. they sank under the soft, pulsating waves, and they were no more.
well, this was surprisingly fun to write. i’ve been trying to write more recently, but i felt strangely unsatisfied with what managed to produce. perhaps it was a different kind of writer’s block. *shrugs*
i hope you enjoyed reading this as much as i did writing it!!