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At the Edge of the World

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I never know what to do when someone I love starts to cry. My body seizes up at the realization

that they are suffering, my words become locked up somewhere deep in the shallows of my mind, and I

become paralysed; unable to do anything. I hate to put anyone else in that position, but I could already

feel my eyes welling up, my throat becoming tight, and sore, as I tried to hold back the eruption of sobs

that was about to break through. I held it together long enough to pass by my little sister, Jess, on my

way out the door without her noticing my dishevelled state. Before I reached even the end of my street,

I had tears streaming down my face, blurring my vision.


I made a beeline for the tracks two blocks away. They were still hot when I reached them,

indicating that the next train wouldn't be along for another while. I followed the rusted rails far past the

outer skirts of town, past the highway and to the only place I can truly be happy.


The first time my dad brought me here, he wouldn't tell me where we were going. My mom was

pregnant with Jess and she needed some rest, so my dad took me out for the afternoon. I sat on his

shoulders and listened to him whistle as he made his way along the tracks. He let me down after what

felt like an eternity of walking, and he took my hand to lead me away from the tracks we had been

following. He still hadn't told me where we were going, and I was gradually becoming more and more

confused. There was nothing in sight other than the sky and the ground beneath us which stopped

abruptly a few hundred feet away. From far away it appeared as though the earth truly was flat, and that

we had reached the edge of the world. I gripped my dad's hand tighter, but I knew he would never lead

me to danger. He had, in fact, brought me to the most beautiful place I've ever seen.


We stood at the edge of the cliff and watched the still, dark water below. It stretched out across

the horizon where the sun dipped low in the sky. Ribbons of orange and pink, purple and yellow fused

the water with the sky, and in that moment, it was like we were suspended in time. It was as if the sun

ceased to fall below the water- that it would never let the dark of night come over me. It was as if the

strong hand that encompassed mine would be there forever. But the sun passed under the horizon and
with that I felt a pang of worry. Everything, I realized, is temporary.


Now as I sat along that same cliff with my feet draped over the edge and tears dripping onto my

lap, the feeling came back to me. The feeling that nothing lasts, no matter how tightly you try to hold

onto it. Even that feeling didn't last, as it was overtaken by fear when the ground began to shake

violently beneath my feet. Stones began to drop over the edge of the cliff and the sharp sound of metal

on metal shook me to my bones as the evening train appeared around the corner. I stood up to watch the

commuters pass by, and imagined seeing his face in the window, looking out at the horizon as he made

his usual way home from the city. I imagined him smiling at me when he saw me there, standing in the

same place he had brought me to years ago. My hand raised tentatively to say hello to him, as if

making any sudden movements would cause him to disappear. But it was no use. The last cart came

and went so quickly, as if it had never even been there at all, just like he hadn't really been there. Not

this time.


This time was so different than all the other times I'd come here. Being here alone, without him,

felt so strange. It felt wrong, like I was betraying him somehow, by coming here without him. But when

the sun began to drop, my worries eased. The most beautiful show in the world had started, and for the

first time, I was okay that it would only be moments until it was over. I was more than okay; I was

happy. Happy to be watching the show at all, because even though it wouldn't go on forever, I felt

connected to him for that brief moment when the sun laced ribbons through the sky and the sea,

holding them together. Then, almost as fast as a passing train, the ribbons loosened their hold on the

horizon, releasing the sun, and it fell below the water.



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This article has 3 comments. Post your own now!

ExpRESsY0uRse1F said...
Jun. 28, 2011 at 7:08 am
This was so beautiful, I loved it! Great job, and I'm excited to see everything you post here!
 
LauraDanielle said...
Jun. 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm
this is beautiful, i love every part of it, especially the reoccurance of the sunset. You are a talented writer, I'm proud of your progression
 
Kwigggggg replied...
Jun. 25, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Thank you so much! I really appreciate it

 

 
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