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I stood on the sea cliff, sand shifting underneath my toes as I wriggled them deep into the soft ground. I held my palms upward, closed my eyes, and breathed in your scent. You stood behind me, arms wrapped tightly around my waist as we silently faced the horizon.
You were there with me, and I was safe. I could do anything, I could be anything, and you whispered in my ear you would be there beside me always. So I jumped.
Everyone is always vaguely aware that there is the sea at the bottom of the cliff- a cold expanse of empty water separating this world from one completely unknown to us, a realm of silent, solitary darkness. I might have known it was there, I might not have; all I was aware of was that your arms were around me as I plummeted downwards.
I saw others on my way down, other couples embracing in simple harmony as they tumbled through the air. Some fell slower, so that we zipped past stem, and some fell even faster, so that we were quickly left behind in our free-fall. I saw one girl alone, flailing and creaming with no one beside her to hold. Her desperate shrieks turned my stomach with anxiety, but you kissed my cheek and I looked back at you and forgot.
You kissed me, and the air whistling in my ears grew quiet, and I never noticed the gravity dragging my body to the ground becoming that much heavier. You smiled at me, and we plummeted faster. Or I did anyways.
The cliff was a mile high, but we fell for days, and I slept on your shoulder when the stars came out and danced with you when the first rays of sunlight touched the skies.
Four thousand feet, three thousand feet, two thousand feet.
As our helpless bodies flew towards the glass waves, I gazed at you and told you I loved you. Your fingers caressed me, touch speaking the words for you. I clung to you as fogy moisture misted my hair.
One thousand feet.
Everyone knows that if you fall with someone, and if you hit the water holding each other, you are both instantly transported back to the sea cliff. There is no fear when you know your love is true, so you jump. We would hit the water with the force of comets, but we wouldn’t feel anything, and death would not touch us. Together.
My lips found yours, and I knew we would survive.
You drew back, and my breathing quickened. My fingers tightened on your arms, asking he obvious question, what’s wrong? But you didn’t answer; your face was frozen staring at me, your body frigid and cold around me. I felt the chill from your skin creeping into mine, and I yelled over the buffeting wind to get your attention.
Slowly, as your black eyes stared at me, the body in my arms crumbled. I shook uncontrollably as your hands disintegrated to dust- sand. You flaked and fell apart, and my last sight of you was those eyes, before brittle sand filled my gaping mouth and eyes.
Five hundred feet.
By myself I fell faster, chaotically and completely out of control. I flip and spin as the wind takes advantage of my weakness. I scream soundlessly, remembering the girl I saw when you were still with me. now I know she had been left too, another boy gad made her fall and taken her heart with him when he burst into a cloud of earth.
I am bleeding inside, my lungs heave with the effort to hold my unbroken scream. My chest burns, but not from the lack of air. A red-hot poker has been thrust between my shoulder blades, and flames of grief lick at my delicate skin. Inside I burn, while outside I am drenched by sea spray.
I scream your name, begging from you to come back, to at least tell me why you have left me here, falling to my death. I scream at myself for being so stupid, allowing myself to be compelled to step into the thin air, away from the ground. But most of all I scream to God, to save me. Please Save me.
Three hundred feet.
My mind spends its final moments torturing me with images of how I will die-whether it will be the impact itself, the frigid cold of the water, or my inability to swim. I wonder…
One hundred feet.
I told you, I told you.
You should have known this would happen.
I’m disappointed in you, I thought you were less naïve.
It was just too fast, it was just too soon.
Don’t think about it.
He wasn’t worth it.
But I thought he was. I really did.
I see the same girl again to my left, just before she slams into the water. She jerks her head in my direction at the last moment, and our eyes meet as she hits.
Fear? Anger? Resolution? Forgiveness?
I guess all.
I remember his kiss.
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"I have learned that people will forget what you did, people will forget what you said, but people will never forget how you made them feel." ~Maya Angelou