Listen

January 12, 2011
Jane and Tim are sitting on the edge of the twelve story rooftop. It is nearly midnight, and the sky is the clearest they’ve ever seen it. There is no sound but the wind whistles faintly through the crisp air. Tim sighs, lost in his thoughts. The two are holding hands on the cement rim. They’ve been here nearly an hour, without much talking. Jane finally ends the silence.
Jane: (slowly sways her feet off the edge) You don’t have to be here, I’ve told you a hundred times. (Looks away)
Tim: I know you have, I hear you every time. That doesn’t mean I’m ever going to listen.
Jane: Well, you should. You’re being ridiculous. Just let go, already.
Tim: No. (Holds her hand tighter)I won’t let you do this, do you know what I’ve been through? If you think it’s going to solve anything, trust me, it’s not. I would rather be here stopping you every second of my life, and have you here, than live in a world where you’re not.
Jane: Okay, just hold on a second. Do you realize the relief you and me and everyone will feel once this is done? I’ll be free, you’ll be free of being tied down by me, and you will finally be able to life your life again. Get a pretty girlfriend, introduce her to your parents, finish school and have some kids. The whole point of the cycle I do not wish to be a part of any longer. If you understood me, and cared about me, you would just let me do it.
Tim: And the same goes for me! If you understood me you would understand why I cannot let you do this. And the thing is, I do understand… (Looks down)
Jane: How, Tim, do tell. How could you understand what I’m feeling? No one knows until they are exactly where I am, swaying their legs on the edge. Looking down, longing. Seeing the bottom as the best place in the world, where the pain is gone.
Tim: (Thinks for a moment) I…get it. You don’t know that I get it because I never told you. You know how my dad died in a car accident, I told you that freshman year, remember?
Jane: (Nods with her head slightly tilted to the side, listening closely)
Tim: He didn’t get into an accident. He killed himself, Jane, with a kid and a wife and a job, he killed himself. Took his life with a bottle of painkillers. And after that, after knowing his life wasn’t worth living with me in it, well I didn’t want to do the same but I thought about it, I thought a lot. Enough to know it’s stupid. Stupid and wrong.
Jane: …I don’t know what to say, Tim, I’m so sorry. (Puts her hand on his shoulder)
Tim:(Doesn’t speak for a moment) Don’t you get that this is exactly what people are going to do to me, and your mom, and your dad and your brother if you jump tonight like I you had planned? If I hadn’t shown up?
Jane: I just thought you...
Tim: No, you didn’t, you really didn’t. You didn’t think about anyone but yourself.
Jane: I didn’t know about your dad, Tim, otherwise…
Tim: Otherwise you wouldn’t have done it? Talked about it so often? Discussed with me exactly what methods would work best, thinking I was being supportive? I wasn’t, I was making sure I know what you would do so I could stop it. Like I couldn’t for my dad.

The two look out at the sky for a while, not knowing what to say. Tim lets go of her hand, and Jane brings up her legs from the edge and crosses them, Indian style. It’s after 12:30 A.M and a stinging breeze passes over the rooftop.

Jane: (Playing with her shoelace) It hurts.
Tim: I know, I know. But you can talk to me about anything that’s bothering you, you should know that. You can trust me.
Jane: I know I can Tim, thanks. Are you cold?
Tim: I’m not going inside without you.
Jane: (Laughs) I know, I didn’t mean it like that. Do you want to go inside?
Tim: Do you still wish I wasn’t here so you could jump?
Jane: No, I honestly don’t. I’m not cured completely but I don’t want to be selfish, and now I see I’ve been like that all along. Thanks for telling me about your dad; it took a lot to tell me that.
Tim: Yeah, it did. At least now its out in the open, and at least it helped you some.
Jane: It definitely did. I don’t want you to ever go through something like that again.
Tim: Then don’t do it. It’s that easy.
Jane: (Looks at him right in the eyes) I don’t want to do that to you. I don’t want to do it.
Tim: It? (not meeting her gaze)
Jane: Leave you, all lonely on Earth and all that jazz. I…promise I won’t. Yes, I promise.
Tim: I sure as h*** hope not. Let’s go inside already, we’re freezing. (Takes Jane’s hand)
They walk down all twelve floors, until exiting the building and saying goodbye. They take their separate cabs.
Tim: (Muttering to himself in the cab) Sometimes lies are for the best…





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