Living on the Edge
Things look spectacular when up high. You can see the rooftops and the sky. At street level you rarely look up. When up high, you always look down. Standing on top of a multi storey car park you see things as no one else sees them. The air is clearer, the light purer. It's easy to clear your mind like this. Teetering on the edge of safety and falling. I've often thought more people should do this. You can question your own mentality along with that of others.
The voice came from behind. I turned to see a middle aged lady with a look of concern on her face.
"Whatever it is that's troubling you, there are people to help."
She thinks I'm suicidal. A smile crosses my face as I assure her I have no intention to take my own life. I come here every week to think, to reflect and to rationalise. She doesn't believe me. She comes closer and takes my hand.
"Please come down from there."
I try once again to reassure her, but she keeps banging on about her church, how there is so much to live for, that there are people who care. I think of my family, loving, together, close. She tells of hers, dead, distant and uncommunicative. If she can cope to live, surely so can I. There are offers of attending church, going for coffee, buying me food. She tries everything to talk me off the ledge. But I want to stay. Up here is less complicated than down there. That's why I like it.
I continue to stand on the ledge. I want to see how far I can take this now. She won't leave whether I fall or step back. It looks like I have a friend for life now. She carries on talking about her hardships. She lived in a warzone as a girl and moved here as a refugee. It's a dramatic tale of suffering. I listen intently without looking at her. I wanted some peace and quiet, but I don't think I'll get it today.
By now, I'm toying with the idea of putting her out of her misery and stepping back. But something in the back of my head keeps me on the ledge. Her talking is getting annoying now, I just want her to go away. She is a woman of God so life, to her, is sacred. Part of me now wants to fall, just to show her it isn't. Life goes on without me.
There's silence now. Her life story has lead us to this point. Now is the time I decide to step back from the edge. I trip.
I'm falling now. I feel like I've been falling all my life. I feel the wind on my neck and look up for the first time to see her face. She reaches out to catch me, but is too slow. The agony on her face is beautiful, I hold on to this look as I fall. I hold my hands out to take hers, I never intended this. All I wanted was peace, now I have it.