The Fall

The warm air and glass choked us in. Up we went. The lights went from red, to blue, to green, and back again inside the elevator. This city was art. Everything it did had to have deeper meaning and a relationship with aestheticism. Train-tracks followed the river through the glass beside us. The higher we rose, the more we saw of the great pulsing neon skyline. Muffled behind the glass, we heard the deep pounding of a heartbeat. Ding. The two-flight elevator reached the landing. The bridge, usually sighing under the weight of pedestrians, now rests easy as trickles of people stream across. The sleek white steel mesh of the bridge was monolithic. It stood as if all of nature could sweep the world and civilization would have it’s final stand here, above the roaring river. Below us the water swirled with streaks of purple, blue, orange dripping from the brush of the neon cityscape. Gray won out the further it ran from the city. The unstirred air hung still, waiting. Sirens, music, people all sang the song of the night, rising and falling, reducing each other to noise.

Each overture of sense composed itself to one symphony: her.

Up here I was being initiated like few before me ever had. She’s quiet and reserved, and doesn’t let people close. But, for some reason, this never applied to me. These arches were a reminder of bridges burnt and paths overgrown for her. A relic remaining in her mind. Tonight, these two worlds are colliding for her. She grabbed my hand and stepped backwards through time to the edge of the balcony. Rust formed on the railing where white paint scratched off from belt buckles as people leaned to see the water far below. The gentle strum of a street duet, a man and his guitar, started behind us. I leaned over.

The water below us was now completely still. Algae had formed along the concrete foundation. Pennies, and trinkets missing their mark sat on the edge of the foundation where metal met stone, reminding us of more than ourselves. People converging like river with the skyline left their memories here, just how we were going to leave ours, although a bit less permanent. I wanted to take her hand. A gentle breeze crept out of the stillness and ruffled the soft brown ringlets in her hair. A picture-esque moment, her standing austere against the worn staunch metal. Their strength supporting each other. Feet lodged between the bottom rails to lean over the edge further. She looked over at me.

“1,2,3” And we spit.

Down went our globs to meet the water. Silence as we anticipated the completion of the ritual. Our ears tuned in to hear this split second, and everything else faded. All was still. Split seconds blurred together, merging the lines between now and then. Together we peered over the railing, and forgot our past and present. Our fights, our splits, our well-worn-ruts all passed. All that stood triumphantly was silent anticipation. We tensed to see if the world, hell-bent on our separation, would again halt progress. A world that would stop time to never see the collision between her past and our future. During this period, the longest yet in my life, my mind was filled with her. I wanted to reach over, wrench her from the railing, lift her up, and plant a kiss so firmly it would kick-start time again.