It was three o clock the bell had just rung to let Zuzanna know it was the last study period on a long cold Friday afternoon. History class she hated it, stories about people long dead not even related to her most of it just data about how they spent there lives, and dates that seemed only important to them. Mr Strawinsky’s voice seemed to drone on for ever, She knew these last few weeks at secondary school were important to her she needed good pass results if she was to have a chance at getting a place in university. At 20 years old she knew this was her last chance. Now here was something important to her, university! How she longed to walk along those corridors, the knowledge she could gain. If she could qualify as a teacher of languages, she could escape this small town and visit the world. Ireland she had dreamed of it and read stories of how lush and green the grass grew there, beautiful coastlines with mountains running down to the edge of the sea. In addition, the people were so different to Polish people and such a strange and exciting culture, with their stories of giant’s legends and fairies. As usual, her attention began to wander and she looked out the window to the river.
Was that someone trying to cross the old wooden bridge near the dam? Did he not see the warning signs? Clear as day “Danger Bridge unsafe”.
OMG he has fallen through, no, she can see his leg under the bridge but he has caught himself in time. Using the bridge rail, he makes his way across and to the safety of the riverbank.
“ZUZANNA” Mr Strawinsky’s voice again. ”Please sit down I am sure whoever it was, is now ok”. She hadn’t realised she was standing trying to get a better view of the stranger now disappearing into the stand of trees near the river. As she sat down it came to her how strange he had looked. Certainly not a local or he would have known about the dangers of the bridge.
Moreover, something about the way he was dressed the long coat and wide brimmed hat, so different he even seemed to walk differently.
BRIIIIIIIING final bell school was over for the day, walking out of the class she met with Edyta and her cousin Karolina. “Well did you manage to arrange everything”? Edyta and Karolina asked, the excitement dripping of their tongues. “Yes grandpa is going to visit his brother in Wroclaw for the day sometime next week and wont return home until the next afternoon”. Replied Zuzanna, the girls all squealed in excitement. ”What about your boy Jorgen do you think he will come?” Asked Edyta, as Zuzanna began to reply, Karolina cut into the conversation. “What and bring that little blonde I seen him with at the coffee shop?”
Zuzanna was devastated Jorgen was her long time boyfriend, a few years older he had been such a charmer.
Good looking in a roughish way, but he also had access to the internet, a dream come true for Zuzanna. A small town like Zegansi was still light years away from internet cafes. Moreover, few could bear the cost of such expensive equipment and connection to the net. She had spent hours online researching things from language to culture to just everything.
She and Jorgen had an argument the other evening. She remembered it so well. The usual one, she had come to his parent’s house to use the internet and of course see Jorgen while she was there. After an hour working on the computer she had finished her course work for school and was very tired mentally, Jorgen was of course in a playful mood, all had started well a bit of fun no more then in the quiet of the room Jorgen slipped his hand under Zuzanna’s skirt. Right up to her crotch and hard against her knickers, it was so sudden and serious that just for a moment she was shocked by the intensity of the move. What had worried her more was the feelings it had aroused in her, she had never before felt such a feeling in her loins, the heat and passion built up in her in an instant. Instead of succumbing to them, she pushed him away and jumped off the bed. His reaction was startling to her, his anger frightened her. In addition, the terrible things he had said to her. How could he, she had loved him with such passion she just did not feel ready for the physical side at that moment.
This was partly why she had gone to such pains to arrange the birthday party, get grandpa away for the night, and have the house to herself with Karolina and Edyta and then a little fun.
She had decided to confront her fears throw caution to the wind and make passionate love to Jorgen on the night of her 20th birthday.
Now all those plans had come crashing down and fallen apart. The thought of Jorgen with another girl, Omg! Moreover, to make matters worse it was that little blonde-haired bitch that had been hanging about eyeing him up all the time she had been with him.
The little tart she had not wasted any time. Well she would get her revenge on them both.
Zuzanna knew Karolina was stirring the pot for her, and that this was the first she had heard about Jorgen and his little hussy.
Ok two can play that game. “Ok girls I will come to town shopping with you.” Secretly Zuzanna hoped to see the pair together and perhaps confront them both.
“Sorry Zuzanna but we go to buy you birthday present and you can’t possibly come with us.” Edyta was smiling she half-guessed Zuzanna’s plan. Edyta and Zuzanna had been best friends since early childhood, and Karolina had always been in the background both friends with Edyta and cousin to Zuzanna. But Edyta was well aware of Zuzanna with a bad temper and always steered clear of her when she was angry. This time it was beyond just angry thought Edyta. Both Edyta and Karolina skipped off on there shopping spree leaving Zuzanna to her thoughts.
Resigned to the fact she could not go with them she waved them goodbye and stood a minute watching them go. She was about to take the roadway home, but in a sudden change of mind decided to walk the river path. After all, she told herself it was shorter. Nevertheless, a nagging thought at the back of her mind said “really is it?”
Zuzanna walked up the concrete pathway to the riverbank, and along the side of the deep dark and cold water. She knew the quiet surface was a façade, underneath was a fast and strong flowing current that had taken more than a few lives.
Lost in her thoughts and with her head down looking at the path she noticed some fresh bloodstains, recently fallen on the grass just off the path.
Someone had lost quite a bit of blood and not to long ago by the look of things.
Her heart began to beat more rapidly now as she increased her pace along the side of the river.
Suddenly a thought struck her. The stranger on the bridge, he had fallen through the weak walk way, had he hurt himself so bad? She thought this was the reason she had unconsciously chosen the river path home, to search out the stranger and see what had happened to him.
A little path moved off between the trees the trail of blood led that same way. She had taken just a few steps along it when she heard what sounded like a moan. Just around the next bend was an old tree long fallen down, folk walking the forest path used it as a resting place, perhaps this was where the stranger was resting with an injured leg.
As she turned the bend there he was, but not resting as she had first thought, he was slumped over and lying against the tree.
He looked like he was unconscious at first but as she neared the tree she seen he was semi-awake, looking at his torn trouser leg it was obvious he was in trouble. There seemed to be blood everywhere she looked. Panic was not a usually the way she dealt with situations. Level headed to the last she immediately began to minister to the stranger. She did not even stop to consider if she was in any danger herself, perhaps from him.
Looking at the wound in his leg, she knew he had lost blood and was weak, ands that if she did not do something he might even die from blood loss.