He reaches the bridge at midnight, the bolt cutters heavy in his hands. Five hundred padlocks are to be removed, an unpopular decision taken by the council. His instruction is to work in secret, throughout the night and paid at double time.
Many of the padlocks represent young love, a history of the town documented in metal. He instinctively finds his own padlock, now rusting and unfamiliar, a painful memento of a world less cynical.
Using a key from his pocket he snaps the padlock open, and holding it tightly to his chest he begins to climb over the railings.
This story was originally published on The Drabble