I'm falling. That much I can sense. At first my senses blur in confusion, jarred by the biting speed of my ineluctable path--I'm on a crash course with the pavement. What am I doing here again? The sun is blinking, climbing up over the top of the skyscraper as I ask myself this question. I can almost hear it yawning. So serene, so peaceful. For a moment I'm numb to the searing wind branding marks into my bare wrists, whipping at my jeans. I smile, and think that this might be the most beautiful moment in my entire depraved life.
It comes crashing down on my soul, a tidal wave of emotions and memories burning into my heart. Someone, then another someone, just endless people beating me. Then fists flying, landing solidly, and sirens in the distance. A broken figure. Me, unconscious on a creepily white hospital bed.
That was when I decided to submit to death.
In the last moments before the sunrise, I struggled to sit up. I was wearing a dress--not one of the party dresses I'd always dreamed of wearing, but a disgusting, old-lady hospital dress. Nevertheless, it was airy and more or less comfortable. In a chair, white like the rest of this uncomfortably sterile room, is a bundle of what looks like clothes and a small slip of paper. I already know what it says.
"Meet me outside. I have a surprise for you."
Kira thought she was so clever. My best friend in all the world. The only reason I would be sorry to leave it. But today I couldn't go out to her. Because today I was going out to death. Slipping into the clothes that Ki left me, I crept into the hallway of the hospital, my steps echoing through the passage. No one was about this early in the morning. I pressed the up button on the elevator and its cheerful ding! made me smile a little. Just a very little.
The ladder up to the roof wasn't too hard to find. The slightly thinner air was refreshing after the oppressive, white-lit hospital. I imagined that I could hear the birds chirping, heralding a new day that would start without me. Hearing frantic footsteps behind me, I rushed to the edge of the building's top. With no regrets, I hurtled over. Down, down, down.
A fraction of a second passed. Against the sky that was now splashed with fiery oranges and pinks pushing back the receding night-blue, Kira's face appeared. Words flew from her mouth, but I couldn't hear them. I just smiled up at her. As she realized that this was my own doing, tears began streaming down her face. One touched my cheek as it rushed down, gravity summoning it to the ground. Like rain, I thought as my consciousness splintered.
I'm still falling. I guess I've just jerked awake after a spell of falling unconscious. Sadly, I paint the lines of Kira and me in all of our happy times--the only happy times of the life of Ariana Hatfield, I think sadly. But now I'm in a train, speeding towards the sidewalk, where hopefully there is a light at the end of this despairing tunnel. I can almost hear the clickety-clack of the tracks and the steam issuing from the top.
I've heard that your life is supposed to flash before your eyes just before you die. I really don't know if that's what's happening to me. All I see is moments, of laughing, of running, of crying myself to sleep. Of darkness, and sunlight. Kira, me, the various abusive foster parents. The social workers. The nurses. Another memory, another smile, another vaguely nostalgic recollection. I decide that I want to close my eyes as I die. I can feel the earth now, rushing up to greet me, to take me to a better place.
Just before I hit the ground, my eyes snap open to a dull thud on the sidewalk beside me. Kira -! She must have thrown herself down when I blacked out. Kira... the light is already leaving her eyes, her bones and body broken. She didn't have to. She didn't have to. Please... no...
But I'm strangely comforted by the thought that, wherever she's gone, I'll soon follow. Then we'll spend the rest of our afterlife in some light-filled place, among what I'm sure will be a glade of many-hued wildflowers, tinkling like fairy bells filled with sunny laughter. My heart warms at the thought of the place that I'm heading to, that I'll find when I finally die in this stupid world. Peacefully, I stare up at the brilliant sky. It really is a beautiful morning. A slight pang fills my chest as I realize I won't be there to live out that pretty summer day. Light glares at me over the metal skyscraper.
I see Kira's body on the pavement, beside and just below me. Then a violent shove. Unbelievable pain. In the agony I scream, though in that sleepy morning, no one can hear me. Do I really make a sound? Somewhere in all of that suffering, in the crack of my springy bones and long-forgotten bruises hurting again, I clasp Kira's hand and the world, with one last boom that I'm probably imagining, just goes out. I wait for the meadow, the fairy bells. I wait for the same blue sky in another, better place. I wait. And wait. And wait. And that's when it hits me, more painful than hitting the ground:
I'll have to wait forever.
According to the I Write Like Software, in this story
xv. intersectional feminist. writes poems about love & violence. writes star-dusted prose. lives for the obnoxiously artsy & the sharply observant. thinks out loud about stories & their aftermaths here at fairy skeletons.