After The Fall

The broken man finally stepped off the roof of the five story building, and instantly felt terror stabbing icy needles through him. He desperately willed it away and tried to restore a calm mind, but his brain was betraying him, and he was suddenly overcome by an influx of sounds and images. Memories swept in and out of his vision like ghosts, blurry and distant, until one became more vivid, flashed in front of him and bursting into life, drowning out reality.

He knew it instantly and watched, almost calmly, as he relived the moment he had allowed the woman he loved to walk away from him without a word. He felt once more the desperate need to call after her, but fear gripped hold of him, and choked his throat shut. A sick cowardly shame reared its’ familiar head, and his eyes filled with burning tears. He knew how this ended. With himself on top of the building, watching his tears fall forever, until he finally followed them down. He wished that he could change just this memory.

“STOP!” he cried through the silence, and she did, as if she was as shocked as he was at his outburst. His voice echoed hauntingly around the room as if it was from a different reality. He surmised that it probably was.
She turned around slowly as he made his way towards her, wishing he had more time to compose himself. She seemed to have a puzzled look on her face as if this was not the way it was meant to happen.

“Please.” His voice cracked on the word, and she must have saw the intense feelings in the surface of his eyes, because she swallowed her rebuke and allowed him to take her hand gently into his. “I know I never fought for you, and that probably left you feeling that I didn’t care. I know it is too late now, but I can’t let you leave again without me showing you how much you mean to me!” he was breathing harder, and was becoming aware of a rushing sound gaining voice in his ears. “I want you to forget about me, and to find happiness. I am fighting for you now, for your future, and whatever happens, I want you to keep the smile on your face and the kindness in your heart. You are doing the right thing in leaving, and you are going to walk into the arms of someone who really deserves you, someone who can treat you the way I never could.”

He saw that she was looking at him in a way he hadn’t seen for many years, since the first few months of their lives together. He felt more than saw her mouth open and knew what she was going to say. She was going to say she loved him, and she was going to give him another chance. He started to shake.
“I can’t allow even a dream of you to end in your unhappiness” he said with great difficulty, resisting her embrace and her kiss. “Leave now, but leave happy, because tomorrow is a new day, and everything will be okay.”
“But..I..” she began, but his cry cut her off.
“NO! Just go, please. Please just go. GO!” he pushed her gently away but kept his tear soaked eyes level with hers. “If you must remember me at all, remember that your happiness gives me strength, no matter how far apart we are,” tears streamed down his face, dripping onto the dusty floor.
“I love you!” she exclaimed before he could stop her, and he felt his body collide with the unforgiving concrete.

The explosion of pain was short but excruciating, but it meant he was still alive, for now, and he kept his vision on her, ignoring the electric pulses coursing through the image and the colours that bled and mixed. “I… love… you,” he said, less than a whisper, but he saw her smile, and that was enough for him. He let go of her, and realised that she was the only thing holding him onto life, and he faded gently away like the words of his whisper.

The End

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