The rain slowly starts to drip down my back as I stop in my tracks and stand staring out onto the open road watching cars pass and people rushing by swiftly. Seeing everything happening, in one big snapshot while still seeing nothing at all. I stood dormant as I hung up the phone as it slipped out of my hand onto the concrete, shattering, I didn’t respond. All the sounds drifted away and the world stopped for a moment. The tall buildings scraping the sky, taking up every inch of ground not already consumed by cars and people rushing along. As I stood soundless, timeless. Staring blankly into the buzz surrounding me, I drifted into what felt like another world, back to the moment where I was breaking like glass from the inside out, back to when I was the one who needed saving.
The sun shined down weaving through the trees in the mid humid afternoon. Paths chiseled out by rocks and trees reaching tall enough to block out the blues of the sky. The forest floor was covered in the tangled fragments of bark and leaves that crack and crunch underneath my every step. Fog sneaks back down the mountain receding into the abyss. Silence rings my ears with every step I take, furthering my reach to the top of a mountain that’s supposedly impossible to climb. Time moves on seamlessly, air seems to escape my lungs, and anyone who was in sight earlier has long passed me. Every moment I seem to fall further and further behind gaining more distant every passing second until their voices fade away, as do their footsteps. Then, in this peaceful place, I melt into the terrain around me, so close to the top of everything I had worked to get to, but no longer could I find the determination. Digging inside my deteriorating coat pocket I pull out an orange prescription container. Many small blue ovals tumble out onto my scared frail hand. The clouds overcome the sunlight and turn the sky to grey. Shaking, I look down at the small pills that, contain my fate, swallowing all the hesitation in the back on my mind.
Just before, my conscious escaped into the great unknown and my vision blurs. A tall figure strides up melting down and grabbing me, revealing his comforting warm smile that I had known so many times before.
My face must have looked starstruck and surprised because next he said:
“Abby! Don’t worry it’s just me.” Still weary and confused I looked up with a false smile and looked back down at my knees.
“What are you doing here?” My voice trembled on the break of tears. His hands engulf mine and he reveals the pills. I looked up shyly.
“It’s ok, It’s all going to be ok” For the first time I look up into his trusting blue green eyes and find them softly gazing back at me, starting to cloud with fragments of tears.
“I-I-I-I’m sorry” I rattle out tears uncontrollably breaking up each word I whisper.
“Hey” He sits down next to me on the tightly formed path, “Breathe” I try to slow my breathing from the heaving inhales and exhales sounding like rapid hiccups. .
“I-I-I d-d-don’t k-k-know wh-wha-what to d-o anymore.” I studder with quick breaths trying to prevent my constant sobs.
“You don’t have to know, but right now you have to get up” I turn my head to see his freckled covered face. Soft fluffy coffee brown hair flops upon his head and traces of tears still remain on his face. This is the first time I had ever seen him cry. We’d always been so close but usually we only share laughs, it’s never been like this before. Those last words that slipped his mouth “get up” stick in my head. Whatever it meant figuratively or literally, I couldn’t let it go.
“Come on” He nods his head in the direction of the path that, weaves through the trees the rest of the way up the mountain, at some angle that was seemly impossible for me. I started to nudge my feet forward slowly and he looked back at me again with that bright light smile. That smile that always comforted me, It gave me hope that he would be there no matter the distance in miles or years that separated us. I always knew he would come back and that things would be the same just the way were before.
That day we made it to the top of the mountain. Before this seemed unimaginable and unattainable. The top was everything he said it would be, breathlessly beautiful. Finally I could breathe, and my eyes wandered the skyline scraping all the clouds. The sun kissing my skin which, it hadn’t in so long.
“I don’t know how you did this…” I look up to him, as he looks dreamily off the edge.
“I know you, the real you, and that wasn’t it” He looked towards me.
“I just felt so lost so hopeless and somehow you saved me..”
“No, I simply offered you a parachute, you chose to pull that string” I smiled slightly and looked back out off the edge.
“Another metaphor?” I say sarcastically with a small chuckle. He looks back to me with his pearly white smile to share our last laugh, about his seemly stupid obsession with metaphors. Ever since we were both 3 feet tall on the playground playing hide and seek, he loved metaphors. He said they were so mysical and so real at the same time, and the meaning was up to you.
Sitting a top that mountain almost flying and seeing for what seemes like miles. Skyscrapers the size of rice and distant mountains looking like hills I used to roll down as a child. We weren’t on top of the world but we were as close as we were ever going to get and it was enough for us. Little did I know that I’d never feel that free and elated ever again, at least not with him.
Now things are different in a way I can’t explain. We are no longer children playing in my front yard, we are people with problems. I always thought we were so close, apparently I was wrong because now I don’t understand how the person I knew that day is the person they speak of today. He was so poised to be the one I always knew would be right behind me when I fell. The one person in this world I could count on without a doubt, and that would lead me in the right direction. Strangely he is gone in a way he has never been before, in a way I never imagined. Yet, here we are, the farthest we’ve ever been. All are left are my memories of before of that day, because I’ll never see him again.
Drifting back into reality still hearing his faint laughs ringing in my ears as the city around me wakes up. Cars still speeding by with people chirping away on their phones buzzing and shifting me in the crowd. My clammy hands picked up the recently cracked phone from the concrete. The memory slips away just like him. Now living up in the clouds with a piece of my heart, that will never be returned. Again in reality I am left hopeless, crushed by the air around me with no room to breath. Except this time he won’t come back for me to help me from melting down to the ground. Ghostly tears run down my face and, the rain finally soaks through my clothes standing as a statue in this concrete jungle. Mascara dripped down my face breathing in low breaths.
One more time I open my phone and stare down at the last words saying:
“I’m so happy I could be your parachute.” sent at 12:57 a.m. Which until just this moment, I hadn’t understood it’s meaning. Then, the heartbreaking phone call marked “1:24 a.m.” I feel my body slip down the side of the building sitting curled up in the rain clinging to my knees knowing, he offered me help so many times. I couldn’t even respond to a simple text. To do the same for him, in the moment he needed it most.