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He told her once that the only way their relationship could work was if they were both willing to jump together. He told her it would be a challenge, that the only way they’d make it was if they let go of what bound them to reality, took a leap of faith, and fell.
Lennox tries her hardest to stand still. It’s becoming increasingly difficult. She still wears her six inch heels from the night before, and the pressure mounting on her toes is becoming unbearable. Her cobalt blue cocktail dress is stained with wine and vomit. Her bun is sloppily askew, and whichever black strands don’t remain in the confines of the ponytail holder wisp about her ashen face in the light breeze.
Mascara-stained tears trail her golden face on either side. She tries to take a breath, but the action nearly chokes her.
Well above her head, the sun rises on another day, painting the sky in a nice pink. It starts its slow ascent towards the center of the sky. Were someone to see her standing there on that gray ledge, twenty stories above the ground, they’d be shocked by the peculiar beauty of the entire scene. Some of the rays find her face. They offer a contrast of purity to the abysmal scene.
Her nails bite into the side of the building, ruining her French manicure. Her knuckles scream out in protest, and her blood stains the cement.
“I can’t,” she gasps, fighting herself to stay on the ledge. She just wants to die. The night before had been the worst in all her short life. She messed up and she doesn’t know how to contend with the truth of it.
Below her, she can hear the blaring cacophony of traffic; even further off, she can hear a bird’s lonely call. If only she could hear him…
“I love her,” Kane cries to himself. His eyes blur with salty tears. He drove the whole night through, never going less than 80 miles per hour. It’s both a miracle and an inopportune twist of fate that he hasn’t been stopped by a police officer. That may have given this situation a better outcome. He would have been granted one call, and he may have been persuaded to pick up that phone to call her.
He no longer has the desire to keep going, yet his tires still devour the road, taking him farther and farther away from the girl he loves. He pushes his brown hair from his eyes.
When he’d left the night before, it’d been raining hard. He’d soaked completely through instantly. Since then, his clothes – excluding the seat of his pants – have dried in deep creases, and his hair is just as bad.
Kane leans forward to turn on the radio, tiring of the tedious silence. This is a bad idea. He’s somewhere in Pennsylvania and the only stations his little Toyota will pick up are country stations and talk radio.
Each song rips at his heart, each conversation makes him want to bash his head into the steering wheel, and each empty air wave makes him press harder on the gas pedal.
“I love her,” he repeats, and the words nearly drive him mad. How could she have done this to him? She said she loved him too. Then why?
He glances at his phone. It rests on the passenger seat, half submerged by the jacket to the stupid tuxedo he rented. He takes a deep breath, and realizes that he can’t keep running.
So he calls her.
He’s anxious. All he wants to say is that he loves her and he forgives her, but it hurts. He’d told her that he hated her, watched as the words made her face crumble, and then walked out on her.
The phone rings…
Lennox can hear it from where she stands on the ledge. It’s on the plush white rug near the bed where she’d sat up the whole night crying. She glances to her right; the sound of her ring tone drifts out the window.
What if it’s him?
This thought makes her heart prick with hope. Slowly, she drops down to her knees, clutching the ledge as she crawls forward. She gets to the window and hoists herself inside. Her stockings snag on the sill, and the cold metal breaks her skin. She takes a second to stare at the mess as crimson blood oozes from the gash, but it doesn’t matter to her. All that matters is the toll of the phone.
Falling over herself, she fights to stand. By the time she gets to her cell phone, it no longer rings…
Kane pulls the phone away from his ear and jams his thumb into the END button. He glares at it indignantly then hurls it out the window. He watches his side mirror as the phone bounces against the asphalt, the silver catching rays of sunlight and reflecting it in the most pitiful way.
It only takes him a minute to realize how stupid that was. What if she tries to call him back? She should. The whole thing is her fault.
He knew her father didn’t think he was good enough. He knew their relationship might have been a lost cause, but he thought their love could survive it. He thought they could survive anything.
“I just need to talk to her.” His voice is rough, and it rips through the car with the sound of his agony. He thinks about going back for his phone, forgetting about the fact that it’s probably obliterated. “I just need to talk to her.” Everything would be okay if he could just hear the sound of her voice…
“Kane, please,” Lennox begs into her receiver, “please, answer.” The phone only continues to ring. When his voice mail picks up, she lets the phone fall from her ear and onto the carpet. She slumps to the floor, her cheek flush against it.
The diamond ring on her finger seems to weigh a ton. It should have been him. She loves him. She’d give a million Jack Turners for one Kane, her Kane. She doesn’t want her father’s approval; she doesn’t want the money. The five karat ring that made all her friends swoon burns her skin. She sits up just enough to wrench it from her finger and hurl it at the wall…
Kane only looks over his shoulder for a second, but in that time he manages to turn the wheel a little too far to the left. When he turns back around, he’s barreling down the wrong side of the road, heading right towards a big rig.
The driver of the truck doesn’t see his little car, and even if he did, it wouldn’t have done any good.
Kane stares up at the truck, wide-eyed, unable to think or react, not that there is a reaction he could have that would help him.
Wind tears through the car, whipping at his tie and ruffling his hair, right before impact…
“I’ll do anything,” Lennox affirms to herself, “if I have to spend the rest of my life proving that I love him, I’ll do it. He’ll calm down, and he’ll talk to me. We can get married at city hall, and move out of the city. We’ll have a life.”
Even as she says this quietly to herself, something in her knows that this is a dream that will never come true.