On the Edge
Standing on the edge I was about to jump off the bridge into the river. It was my eighteenth suicide attempt. When, like always her voice stopped me, urging me to come back to her. Somewhere in my mind I always know that she is not real but I don’t know what holds me back, I turned towards her. She was standing there, arms open, in that white dress. So beautiful, there was just something unreal and eerie about her. Her face, somewhat luminous, had a pale tone to it. Her eyes, god! I loved those eyes, how I could look into them till eternity. Tears trickled down my eyes as I started to walk towards her. Those thousands headlights were hurting my eyes, forcing them shut. I steadied myself and glared into the darkness of my eyelids. When I opened my eyes, as always she was gone. I fell on my knees crying. Why doesn’t she just let me die? I turned back towards the edge, but I had no courage left. The effect of marijuana was dying. I lifted myself back to my apartment only to get deeper into the depths of intoxication. I took out the syringe and stuck it in my vein and injected relief. And I was back to the time when I was a human not just a walking bag of flesh. I was back to the day which I would never forget.
It was my first date with her after thousands of messages exchanged I had finally asked her out. I was nervous. I breathed deeply, and began counting to fifteen. It was silly, I realized. Childish and stupid, but I counted anyway, and when my breathing had steadied, I folded my arms again over my legs.
It was a very bright, lazy, empty Sunday afternoon in the last throws of summer. A cloud swam across the blue sky, and I tried to give shape to it. For a moment I imagined that I saw something, a dragon, but the form faded in my mind and I realized it had been my imagination. I craned my head backward, looking across the rest area. A few picnic tables, a small building and few fast food stalls. Sighing, I looked down the embankment I sat on. Waves of grass, and then lines of trees that transformed into a thicket and then a forest which continued to the distant horizon, where a line of mountains splintered the land and sky.
She was coming. I thought to myself. She is definitely coming. And yet, something deep inside me, a snarling, bestial force told me that she wasn’t coming. The creature was bleak, concealed in darkness and very dark itself. It wrapped around me, strangling me, pressed its mouth close to my ear and whispered to me that she wasn’t coming, that she had never intended to come. I felt the beast seize around me and I tried to throw him off. Childish, again, yet still I imagined myself, trying to fight the beast off. I failed, though, and the fear continued to chew inside my gut, my hands clasping tighter around me knees as I waited. Waited. Waited. And began to feel she really wasn’t coming.
Then, she came.
I pursed my lips and closed my eyes again, muttering something that might have been close to a prayer. Another immature habit I had grown over the years, like counting to fifteen. Closing my eyes and praying. But praying wasn’t quite the right word. I wasn’t uttering my desires to any particular being or deity or anything. And the word ‘wishing’ never seemed to fit, either. Then I turned my head, opened my eyes and gave a slight, casual wave of the wrist, all those romantic notions came to my mind which I would dismiss as childish at any other time. She was there, alright. She was there. Coming right towards me, with her long, brown hair tied behind her, the deep, brown color of her eyes captivating even at a distance. She smiled a perfect, white smile and waved back as she walked.
She was beautiful. What more could I say.
“Hey,” I said, and I couldn’t help but smile. She had that effect on me. Had had it, in fact, for years, since I first saw her. Her deep, enthralling, hypnotizing eyes that seemed too large and mature for her age.
She sat beside me, took a small, whimsical breath and paused a moment.
“Am I late?” she asked after a moment.
“No,” I said. She wasn’t. I was early by twenty minutes or so, I didn’t tell her that.
“How long’ve you been here?”
“Not long.” I said, and cracked my knuckles. Childish habit number three.
I saw her eyes flick skyward from the corner of mine. I allowed my eyes to slip skyward, a few clouds sailed by across the deep blue summer sky. I tried to find the cloud she was watching, I scoured the shapeless forms of gas, the puffy wisps of white miles and miles away. Something held her attention, something in the sky attracted her big, brown eyes- and I wanted to see it. To catch a glimpse at the shape which might appear formless to me, or might have looked like something completely different than what her eyes saw. I couldn’t settle upon what she saw, I stopped looking.
“College soon,” she said. I felt a pang, a sort of mild pain shoot through my spine. ‘Yes,’ I thought to myself, ‘College soon.’
“We’ll stay in touch, though.” I said.
“Yeah,” she responded, and repeated, as if trying to convince herself “we’ll stay in touch.”
And the voice within me, the beast, somehow alien to my nature yet indistinguishable from myself, edged away from my bleeding entrails to wrap around my neck. A mad grin spread on it’s hideous, monstrous face, and it whispered in my ear that we wouldn’t stay in touch. We would drift away. We could separate, and then I would be alone. Alone.
“We’ll definitely stay in touch.” The words escaped my mouth, defiantly, against the hideous creature’s will. It squeezed tighter on my neck, then relented with a smirk, and returned to the consumption of my insides. I wanted to believe what I said. I wanted, desperately for the words that escaped my mouth to have been meaningful. I wanted to stay in touch.
“Still though. There’s a lot of people we won’t ever see again, you know?” she said. And I said nothing, I sat, watching the trees sway in the invisible breeze that tickled my face. “People I never really got to know, people I didn’t know very well. Faces, you know? Faces you see walking down the hallway, and you nod, you say hello, but don’t really know their names. They’re all going, and you probably won’t see them after college starts.”
We sat there, for a while. Neither speaking. My thoughts were selfish. I thought only of her. About her eyes, the rare, brilliant, intolerable cuteness of them. Adorable, I supposed was the word I would have used, but it didn’t fit. It wasn’t mature enough. It didn’t-couldn’t evoke how I felt when I saw them, even at a distance. I felt like I had just been thrown off a ledge, and the air had been instantly sucked from my lungs. I thought of her hair, and how it always looked as if it was exactly the way it ought to be, even when tied carelessly behind her or flung halfheartedly over one shoulder. I thought of the soft curve of her lips, and thought what they might be like, pressed against mine.
“Make sure to tell me all about your college,” I said, rather feebly, my eyes flowing easily from the sky to her face.
“Tell me about yours?”
“I’m sure it’ll be great.”
“Yeah. Me too.”
We sat, a while and talked little. I didn’t mind at all, but I grew worried she was dreadfully bored. I always worried about that, and felt no relief as I saw her smiles with each furtive glance I shot her way. Smiles- even though she was bored. Must be something about her nature, I thought.
I was out of time.
I was out of time.
I was out of time.
I just had enough time.
“Have you ever thought,” I asked her quietly, suddenly and quite unexpectedly snapping the neck of the beast about my neck. “About us, do you think we could have ever been more than, you know what I mean, like we both don’t have partners?” I didn’t bother looking away from her as her eyes flicked toward me. I didn’t look away.
“I guess we are the left-overs in this world.” I said with a smile
“I think so…all of my friends have boyfriends, and we are the only the 2 people left in this world without any special person in our lives.” She said.
“Yup, I don’t know what to do.”
“I know! We’ll play a game.” She proposed with a smile this time more indicating.
“I’ll be your girlfriend for 30 days and you will be my boyfriend.” She finally said. And that moment was the best I had experienced till then.
“That’s a great plan, in fact, I don’t have anything to do much for the following few weeks.” That was a very foolish thing to say. But I swear to god, it was the best I could manage at that time.
DAY 1: we watch our first movie and are both touched by the romantic film.
DAY 4: We go to have a picnic. We have their quality time together, I still enjoying every second of it and making sure she is too.
DAY 12: I invited her to a circus and we rode through a Horror House. She was scared and she accidently touched my hand. First trace of physical contact between us.
DAY 15: I saw a fortune teller down the road, and we asked for future advice. The fortune teller said: “My darlings, please don’t waste the time of your life, spend the rest of your time together, happily.” Then tears flowed out from the teller’s eyes. It was very weird, so we took his comments very lightly and continued forward.
DAY 29: That day we decided to go out for a late night walk, she was looking as beautiful as any girl could manage to look. I was mesmerized by her flowing hair, which she had left open and flowing that day. We then stopped near a tree and leaned against it, neither of us speaking. I was staring at her face without blinking. Then she moved forward and took my hand in hers, almost as an instinct I leant forward and kissed her. She did not protest. I held on to her for a while. Then I moved back, embarrassed I was. But her smile comforted me. She smiled shyly at me and I smiled back. And then I said “Do you want anything to drink? I’ll buy you something…I’ll just go down the road.” I sometimes wonder how foolish I could possibly be.
She said “An Apple Juice, that’s all. Thank you.” with a smirk laugh, well acquainted with my unromantic nature.
“Wait for me.” I said and left.
10 minutes later
While I was returning to the spot I left her, I spotted a lot of commotion at that place. Then a stranger approached me “Do you know that girl who was standing there?”
“Yes! Why what happened?” I asked.
“A drunk truck driver hit her, she is heavily bleeding.” He said.
The world crumbled in front of me. I ran like anything towards her. I started shouting for help, stream of tears trickling down my cheeks. My vision started to darken, I was coming back to reality, and the syringe stuck to my hand was empty. I searched for more drug, I couldn’t find any. The effect of intoxications was dying away. I wanted to go back, to stop myself from leaving her alone. I had so much to say, so much to ask, ‘did she love me as much as I did’ I would never know. The pain came back, I could not take it. I ran out of my apartment to the street. I kept running towards the oncoming traffic hoping that someone would hit me, a truck came in my sight. I ran towards it with all my might and then closed my eyes waiting for the collision. But nothing hit me, I heard loud shriek of breaks. I opened my eyes only to look into hers, she was there in the same white dress, spectacular as ever, standing in between me and the truck. The tremendous amount of lights from the vehicles gave way to darkness as I fainted.
When I woke up, I was in a hospital, lying on a bed. I asked for a diary and started writing my tale. When you read this I may or may not have died and if not I would still be trying to….