It was her expectation for beauty that had made it so tragic. Like sunglasses covered in rain. Now, the downpour came. The night was true. There she was, barefoot, her wet toes curling around the concrete edge. The only sounds she could hear were the wind pushing through her hair, the drone of traffic in the background, the occasional voice begging her to step down. The only things she could see were the headlights of passing cars, the dark abyss that rolled underneath her feet, the streetlights and the stars. Above her were the heavens, where she longed to be. But to get there, she had to plummet. Her hair covered her face, dark and lonely, her clothes fluttering in the wind. Tears welled in her eyes, but the rain concealed their fall. She stood, contemplating the moments that had led to this. The first glance, the first lie, the first crack, the final decision. She removed her rings and dropped them first, their silent fall taking longer than she imagined. She would be next, she knew. She adjusted her feet, straightened her posture for the finality of this moment. Her world was going to leave, the pain would cease, the darkness no longer a feeling or an actuality but suddenly a state of being; she would be in a place where darkness was everything while it represented nothingness. Who will love you? Who will fight? Who will fall behind? The words rang in her head, clockwork, like church bells. She tried to scream but it came as nothing more than a grieving facial expression, a momentary weep, a sob. Her legs straightened, her torso became taught, her shoulders square. With one breath, an inhale and exhale, the emotion left her face. Her eyes went dark, empty, there was nothing behind them. She put her arms at her side, feeling her hips one more time. Her hands rose up; she stood like a cross, putting her weight on her toes and lifting her heels from the ground. Water dripped from her fingers, over her eyelashes, the rain her final cleanse. She leaned forward, like a swan, with all the grace and beauty she could manage, and entered her final descent. Suddenly everything was flying past, her body traveling faster on its own than it ever had. Her life had gone by quickly too, she thought. The ledge now empty, her life became what it was; a splash in the water, a splash in the universe, it’s ripples changing those around it, but ultimately fading into a nonentity. Like sunglasses covered in rain, it had been her expectation that drove her here. The ledge was empty now. The jump was complete. Another star had dimmed. The words ran through her head, one more time. Who will love you? Who will fight? Who will fall behind?
To Bon Iver, M. Van Ness, and the lost ones.