It kept repeating like a video loop

This is something that happened to me at a certain university in Kanagawa.

During a lecture I looked outside and saw a man jumping from the roof of a building in the distance. I was so shocked I stood up but when I went to say something I noticed something odd. There was no body where he fell.

‘That’s strange,’ I thought, and looking at the roof of the building again I saw the same man jumping once more. Just before he hit the ground he disappeared. Then he jumped again. And again. It was endless.

Jump and disappear. Jump and disappear. It was like a video loop repeating over and over.

I remembered hearing about how people relive the moment they die over and over and realised that man was no longer a part of this world. Every day, in the morning and during the day and at night, on and on the scene of his suicide looped.

Of course the more I saw it the more I got used to it, and gradually I took less and less notice of it. You could say the sight of his suicide became a part of my daily life.

But one day when I was walking towards the cafeteria with a friend I heard a trembling voice right above me.

“Somebody please stop it.”

Surprised, I looked up, and a few metres above my head I saw the face of the man who kept jumping.

I remembered instantly. I was standing in the place where he always landed, but I realised too late. I felt a terrible impact on my right shoulder and lost consciousness.

When I woke up I was in a hospital bed. Luckily I only dislocated my shoulder and broke my elbow. According to my friend my shoulder suddenly dropped and I hit the ground, even though there was nothing there.

Even now I still remember the faint, stiff smile on the man’s face, and the feeling of his hair on my shoulder as he dove face first towards the ground and hit me.

Last year I went back to the university for a drinking party with my club friends. The man was still jumping, over and over. Ever since then I decided that the one thing I’ll never, ever do is commit suicide.


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