Enter, the Stranger

12th July 2010

I’m not sure why Lewis and I got on so well, why there was a spark between us from that first moment, when he pulled me away from the cliff edge.  I know it was his job to get close to me but even now, after I found out about the lies and the secrets he kept from me, we’re still friends.  Possibly more than that.

12th July 2009

‘What on earth were you doing standing so close to the edge?  You could have fallen and killed yourself.’  The blue-green eyes that looked at me as I lay stunned on the grass weren’t judgemental, only filled with concern.

‘Umm… I’m not…’

‘I’m sorry,’ the man apologized, helping me to sit up.  ‘I didn’t mean to sound so sharp.  Are you OK?’

‘Well, I’m not sure how I’m going to get these leaves out of my hair but I think I’ll survive,’ I joked, pulling half a tree out of my windswept hair.

‘Here let me help.’  The guy leaned over and started pulling bits of leaves, grass and twigs out of my hair.  His hands were very gentle and he didn’t pull hard on my hair, slowly easing out the knots that anchored the debris into my hair.

‘I wasn’t going to jump y’know.’  I looked at the stranger, his face totally blank.  ‘I thought I should just say that.  I don’t want you thinking I’m some sort of nutcase.’

‘I would never think that,’ the man replied confidently.  He dropped his hands onto his lap and looked intently at me.  Strands of his blonde hair blew across his face, brushing his perfect skin.  I wanted to reach out and brush them away but thought that would be a little to intimate seeing as I didn’t even know his name.  As if he read my thoughts, he held out his hand to introduce himself.  ‘Lewis Carter.  I’m here on a visit to my grandma who lives in the village.’

‘Evelyn Russell.  I live in the cottage down there with my dad and brother.’  Lewis turned around to look at our cottage, sitting alone on the beach.

‘Wow that looks like an interesting place to live.’  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that comment so just smiled.  ‘So,’ Lewis broke the silence, ‘why were you standing on the edge of a cliff if you weren’t going to jump?’

‘You’re going to think I’m a real nutter now.’

‘I won’t, I promise.’  Lewis’ smile suddenly made me forget my worries and I explained.

‘I like standing on the edge of the cliff.  It makes me feel… powerful and free, like I’m flying and don’t have to worry about anything except the wind in my hair and the ground falling away beneath my feet.’

‘That’s not stupid.’  Lewis’ voice was calm and there wasn’t a hint of laughter in his eyes.  ‘I’ve always wondered what it would be like to fly.’  The last remark was aimed more to himself than at me but I jumped in anyway.

‘Well if you stand right on the edge there and close your eyes, then that’s what I think it would be like to fly.’  I didn’t think Lewis, a man I hardly knew, would act on my advise but he jumped to his feet, pulling me up with him and moved towards the edge.  ‘What are you doing?’

‘Show me,’ he insisted, putting me in front of him with his hands on my shoulders.  ‘Tell me what you’re thinking.’  Letting a nervous laugh escape from my lips, I crept closer to the edge and held out my arms, closing my eyes as I had done when I was alone.  Suddenly a wave of fear washed over me and I took a step back, walking straight into Lewis.

‘How do I know you’re not a murderer planning to push me off the edge.’

‘You’ll just have to trust me,’ Lewis smiled.  I laughed again, the rational side of my brain screaming at me to not trust him but the other side telling me to ignore my instincts.  I carefully took up my position again, letting my imagination take over.  ‘What do you see?’  I heard Lewis whisper in my ear.

‘My feet are leaving the ground and I’m flying straight upwards towards the clouds.  I’m looking back down at my house.  I can see you on the cliff waving at me.’  I felt Lewis’ body move as he chuckled.  ‘You’re so small now I can’t see you and I’m turning to fly out to sea-‘  A pair of hands around my waist pulling me back from the edge and against Lewis' body in a strange sort of hug, made my eyes shoot open in half panic, half surprise.  ‘Let me go.’  I said it quite forcefully but I wasn’t sure if I meant it, despite the adrenaline that began pumping through my veins.

‘It is true then, you really are a complete nutcase!’  Lewis laughed hysterically and I joined in until we had collapsed on the ground, gasping for breath.

The End

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